The second part of our Estate Planning 101 series:
Lesson 2 – Putting the Band Together (the instruments you need)
You’ll recall from Lesson 1 that a comprehensive estate plan includes the legal, medical and financial instruments to accomplish your estate planning goals. Whether you’re looking to play Beethoven’s 5th or Mary Had a Little Lamb, there are some essential instruments you will need.
But Tom, you say, I just need a simple Will
For whatever reason, many people believe this statement to be true. I’m young. I don’t have many/any assets. I’m only worried about my kid(s). I’m only worried about my house. I’m only worried about my pet(s). I’ll worry about the complex stuff later. The list goes on.
The most important thing to understand about a Will is that it only becomes operative when you die.
A Will alone does nothing to protect your assets from creditors or liability if you remain alive and well. A Will accomplishes nothing if you remain alive but are disabled or incapacitated. A Will does nothing to provide for any gifts you would like to leave to someone while you’re still living. A Will guarantees you will incur professional fees and court costs.
Don’t misunderstand me. A Will is an integral part of EVERY comprehensive estate plan but a Will alone is not enough.
So how do I accomplish the 4 goals of Estate Planning?
You have many options depending on your specific goals but at the very least every comprehensive estate plan contains the following instruments:
- A Trust and/or a Will,
- A Living Will and/or Advance Medical Directive,
- A Healthcare Power of Attorney,
- A HIPAA release,
- A Durable Financial Power of Attorney
If you are ready to assemble the band, contact us at (720) 358-4768 or click here to schedule an appointment to discuss your planning options.
If you’re still not convinced that Estate Planning is right for you, check out Lesson 3: Coaching and Execution