Estate planning is a way
to protect your legacy
Estate planning is a way
and your loved ones by making it clearly known how you want your estate to be handled after you pass or become incapacitated.
Your estate includes everything you own: your car, home, other real estate, personal property, bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, life insurance, etc. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common – you can’t take it with you when you pass away. Whether you prefer a will or a revocable trust, a well-drafted document is essential to avoiding probate, taxes, and other legal issues. A complete estate plan generally consists of a last will or a trust, a living will, and a durable power of attorney. Our experienced attorneys at Gordon Delić & Associates can help you develop a plan that suits your needs!
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is a legal document that specifies who gets your assets when you pass away.
It can also contain other instructions for your loved ones to follow. A last will and testaments will often list one or more executors –administrators who are tasked with overseeing probate and execution of the will. Probate is a court supervised proceeding that determines the validity of your will and oversees the administration of your estate. The probate process begins when the executor of the will, a family member, or an attorney presents the death certificate to the local probate court. Probate is one of the biggest differences between wills and trusts.
A Revocable Trust is an alternative to a last will. A Revocable Trust is a separate entity that holds the property ‘in trust’. . .
. . .and allows you to transfer ownership of real property and/or assets from your personal ownership into the legal ownership of the Trust. Like a will, a Revocable Trust allows you to decide who will receive your assets and it enables you to revoke or amend the terms of the trust at any time. Unlike a will, a Revocable Trust allows you to exercise much greater control over your property, avoid the complexities and expense of probate, distributes property and assets to the beneficiaries almost immediately after death, and saves money in federal estate tax and capital gains taxes. A trust also keeps your estate private and outof the public eye.
A Living Will is also known as health care directive. It is entirely separate from your last will and testament that determines the inheritance of your assets.
A living will provides medical personnel and family members with instructions on how you want to be treated if you’re unable to express your wishes. A living will only comes into play if you’re incapacitated and unconscious.
Pour Over Will
If you have a Revocable Trust, you might also consider setting up a Pour Over Will to ensure that all your assets are protected after you pass away.
A Pour-Over Will works in a partnership with a Revocable Trust by allowing all of your assets to automatically transfer (pour over) to a previously set-up Revocable Trust if you forget to (or are unable to, or choose not to) move assets into your trust while you’re still alive. Because you’ll likely continue acquiring new property throughout your life, having a trust requires continuous management and maintenance. It’s easy to forget to transfer newly acquired property into your trust. This is where a pour-over will comes to the rescue.
Power of Attorney
Your estate plan should also include a financial power of attorney. A financial power of attorney is a legal document. . .
. . .that lets you appoint an agent or personal representative to manage your finances for you if you ever become unable to do so yourself. A durable power of attorney remains in effect if you become incapacitated, such as due to illness, an accident, and/or cognitive decline later in life. Your personal representative is allowed to handle many types of transactions, including buying and selling real property, managing bank accounts, investments, filing tax returns, etc. Absent a power of attorney, you family may have to go to court and have you declared incompetent before they’re able to make those decisions for you.
Power of Attorney
A Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) designates someone to be your representative, or agent, and make decisions for you regarding your health care.
It is very similar to a living will and some people decide to have both. Whether you go with just a living will or a HPOA, you receive similar benefits. Like a living will, your personal representative may act on your behalf only when you’re unable to do so yourself. Choosing your agent is an important decision, and you should think carefully about who you want to assume this responsibility. This person may be the one to decide whether you should remain on life support.
Why Have an Estate Plan?
Our Process & What to Expect
Your consultation can be done by phone, Zoom, or in-person at our office in Downtown Boise. Think of your initial consultation as a chance to interview your attorney and our firm. You should feel comfortable asking questions and confident in our ability to answer them. Estate planning can be deeply personal, so it’s important that you feel safe and secure. Your attorney will also ask you about your situation to help determine which estate plan best suits your needs.
At the end of the consultation, your attorney will provide you with an outline of next steps for your estate plan. Based on the depth of your estate plan, we will provide a quote for our services. You are welcome to take all the time you need to review the plan and cost. Once you’re ready, we’ll be here to help!
After you retain our firm, we will provide you with a welcome packet and an in-depth questionnaire about your assets. In addition to your attorney, you’ll be assigned to one of our talented paralegals. They will be able to assist you with any questions or issues that arise along the way.
After we receive all necessary information, including a list of all your assets, your attorney and paralegal will start crafting your unique estate plan. You can expect to be in weekly contact with your team as they tailor each document to your needs.
When your estate plan is completed, you will sit down with your attorney to review the entire plan. Your attorney will explain each document and its purpose.
Once your estate plan is perfect, you can sign right away with one of our in-office notaries. You will walk out of our office knowing everything is complete and your assets are protected. We will always keep a copy of your estate plan should you ever lose yours or need another copy.