Here are some FAQs we have received. If you have another question, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer you and add the question to this list.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is the process of putting your personal, family, and financial affairs in order. The goals of estate planning are: (1) to maximize enjoyment an individual’s estate during his or her lifetime; and (2) to maximize beneficiaries’ enjoyment of the estate after the individual’s death.
Is an estate plan necessary if I don't own much?
Proper estate planning requires an initial investment in lawyers’ fees, in addition to the time needed to collect information and meet with your lawyer. The return on this “investment” may be substantial. We recently calculated that the savings (from probate fees alone) for preparing the estate plan of a $1 Million gross estate resulted in at least a 920% return. At this rate of return, making an “investment” in proper estate planning should be a no-brainer!
Why shouldn't I just use DIY online forms to save money?
We don’t recommend it because the cost of improper planning is often higher than not planning at all. A few inadvertent errors we have come across include: accidental re-assessment of real estate, resulting in higher property taxes; failure to integrate non-probate assets with the estate plan; un-funded trusts, resulting in unnecessary probate proceedings; and out-dated or inappropriate estate tax planning techniques. Because the risks of “do-it-yourself” forms and kits are so high, we cannot recommend this approach.