Estate planning is a process whereby we help people think about what is going to be happening from this point in their life until after their death. It primarily deals with after-death situations but in our estate plan, the one that we like to help people with, we encourage a durable power of attorney, to give someone the authority to help you if you cannot help yourself as well as a healthcare power of attorney and a living will which simply lets you dictate what will happen in medical situations when you cannot help yourself or tell the doctor what you want. Then, for after death there is generally either a will or a trust of some kind and there are many different kinds of trusts. A will simply says what you want to happen to your assets after you die. They all have to be dealt with within a very short time after your death whereas a trust can deal with assets that you want to pass down to a second or later generation after your death.
Also, a trust will avoid the probate process whereas a will does not avoid that. So a trust, in addition to avoiding probate lets you plan for your grandchildren or even great grandchildren whereas in a will you cannot do that.
How Often Should People Review Their Estate Plan?
One primarily creates an estate plan based on her current financial situation and current wants and needs concerning how she wants her assets to be distributed or treated. As time goes on, these feelings or the financial situation may change. Such changes can include changing the type of assets that you have or you may purchase new property or you can might sell property or acquire different type of financial vehicles. In these types of cases, either a trust or a will may need to be changed in order to properly account for these new types of assets. Additionally, as time goes on, you may decide that you want these assets to be treated differently where you may want them to go at one point to a certain family member or to a charity and later you may want to have that changed to be distributed differently.
Therefore we recommend that you do a checkup every couple of years at least, even if it is confirmed that you want things to remain the same because that way you are making sure that everything which is in your estate plan continues to properly reflect not just your current situation but your wishes as well.
For more information on Estate Planning In South Carolina, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (864) 271-7940 today.