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Estate Planning Essentials: Beyond Just Writing a Will

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Introduction: Estate planning is often mistakenly reduced to just creating a will. However, at Tehan George & Co, we understand that true estate planning encompasses much more. It's about ensuring that your legacy is preserved and your wishes are honored, not just after your passing, but also during unforeseen circumstances in life. This blog explores the essential elements of estate planning and why each is crucial for a comprehensive plan.


Estate Planning Essentials: Beyond Just Writing a Will
Estate Planning Essentials: Beyond Just Writing a Will

Understanding the Scope of Estate Planning: Estate planning involves preparing for the transfer of your assets and responsibilities after your passing, and also includes making arrangements for potential incapacity.


Key Components of Estate Planning:


The Will:

  • Asset Distribution: The most recognized part of estate planning, a will, dictates how your assets will be distributed.

  • Guardianship: For those with minor children, a will is crucial for appointing guardians.


Trusts:

  • Asset Protection: Trusts can be used to manage how your assets are distributed, potentially minimizing taxes and protecting assets from creditors.

  • Specific Needs: Special types of trusts can cater to unique family situations, like caring for a special needs dependent.


Powers of Attorney:

  • Financial Decisions: A financial power of attorney designates someone to handle your financial affairs if you’re unable to do so.

  • Medical Decisions: A medical power of attorney (or healthcare directive) outlines your wishes for medical care and appoints someone to make decisions if you’re incapacitated.


Beneficiary Designations:

  • Direct Asset Transfer: Certain assets, like life insurance policies and retirement accounts, are transferred directly to beneficiaries named on the accounts, bypassing the will.


Letter of Intent:

  • Personal Wishes: This document provides guidance on your personal wishes that may not be legally binding but can inform executors and beneficiaries.


Regular Review and Update:

  • Changing Circumstances: It’s essential to review and update your estate plan regularly, especially after major life events like marriage, divorce, birth of a child, or significant financial changes.


Why Comprehensive Estate Planning Matters: Comprehensive estate planning ensures that all aspects of your life are covered, not just the distribution of your assets. It can provide peace of mind, knowing that your wishes are documented, and your loved ones are protected from unnecessary legal complications and financial burdens.


Conclusion: Estate planning is a critical process that goes well beyond just writing a will. It's about crafting a plan that aligns with your values, takes care of your loved ones, and ensures your wishes are respected, no matter what the future holds. At Tehan George & Co, our expertise in estate planning ensures that your plan is thorough, up-to-date, and tailored to your unique circumstances.


If you haven’t started on your estate plan or need to update an existing one, reach out to Tehan George & Co. Our experienced team is ready to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring that your estate planning is comprehensive, thoughtful, and secure.



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