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You worked hard to be where you are in life and you’re thinking about doing some planning so your assets go to those you want to help. Estate planning is about maintaining control over your life and controlling your assets so they serve the people and causes you care about. If that’s something that interests you, ACS Law can help.
Estate planning is important for those who own any kind of assets whether that’s a house, investments or you own a business, big or small. Planning documents can also put in place a guardian in case you can’t care for your child and you can name someone you trust to make medical and financial decisions in case you’re unable to do so.
We don’t take a cookie cutter approach to estate planning. We take the time to get to know our clients, where they are financially, their family life, their wants, needs and goals. We advise our clients what would be the right methods to achieve those needs and goals in ways that aren’t overly complex or expensive.
There are several different types of planning documents. A single one or a combination may be right for you and your family.
- A will is a document that spells out how you want your assets to be disbursed and who you want to care for your child after you die. After your debts, taxes and fees are paid the person in charge of your estate can distribute your remaining assets as you see fit. The alternative to a will is that after you pass away your next of kin will get your assets according to state law. If that’s not what you want, you should consider a will.
- A trust is a method for you to set aside assets which will benefit a person, group of people or cause. A trust can be funded during your lifetime or through the assets of your estate after you die. You need to name a trustee to be responsible for the assets and make sure they’re handled wisely and that your beneficiaries are funded as you see fit.
- Powers of attorney can be very helpful to you and your family. Through a power of attorney, you can name an agent to make decisions for you in case you no longer want to make such decisions or are unable to do so. A trustee can pay your bills, take care of your finances and make medical decisions for you in case you become incapacitated.
- An advanced medical directive helps you maintain control over your medical treatment when your health fails. It’s like a healthcare power of attorney but it’s more narrow in scope. If you are terminally ill it allows you to name someone to make your medical decisions if you aren’t capable of making them yourself. You can also spell out what kind of medical care you want and don’t want during your final days.
Estate planning can be as simple or as complex as you want. Depending on your situation you may need to consider how taxes could impact your plans. You may also want to structure your assets so you can qualify for Medicaid so it can pay for future nursing home care.
Estate planning isn’t just for wealthy, elderly people. It’s for anyone of any age and income level with a house, children or assets and who cares about how they will be treated in the future. If you have questions about estate planning and live in the Virginia Beach area, call Abrons, Chiusano & Sceviour at (757) 644-6789 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today.