At the Kanthaka Group, our estate planning efforts are led by Jason Bell. Estate planning is a general term that encompasses not only the drafting of documents, but the analysis of your individual financial needs. The goal is to attempt to ensure the long-term financial stability of you and your loved ones; while minimizing the potential of taxes, costs and other difficulties. This is often requires a holistic approach with involvement of your accountant, physician, brokers, and a host of other team members.
Estate planning can range from the simple will that may provide for the custody of children or pets; to complex multi-facetted estates. Special circumstances often also require special approaches – for example a gun trust to legally pass firearms down to the next generation.
Several types of documents, most of which revolve around what a person would like to occur after their death or incapacity. Popular documents in estate planning include Wills, Power of Attorney, and Trusts. These documents allow a person to control what happens with their property once they are gone. While it is commonly believed that estate planning is for the wealthy, it can be a useful tool to help everyone plan for the future; especially if you have minor children. A Will allows a parent to appoint a guardian and conservator for their children.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is an estate?
A: An estate is essentially all the assets that a person owns including real property, like a house, money, and personal property, like furniture.
Q: What is a Will?
A: A will is a binding legal document that states a person’s intention to distribute assets and property after their death.
Q: What happens if I die without a Will?
A: Most likely your property will go through Intestacy, where a set of laws govern who will take your property.
Q: Why make a Will?
A: A will allows you to control where your assets and property goes and helps make the process of distributing that process much easier and faster for your loved ones.
Q: What is a trust?
A: A trust is a different method of transferring your assets to others. It gives a person authority to handle your assets for the benefit of another person. There are several types of trusts for different purposes.
Q: What is Probate?
A: Probate is a term to describe the court and process of administering a person’s estate after their death