Surprisingly, estate planning and footwear share many similarities. Let’s see how:
- Like estate plans, shoes protect you from unexpected obstacles in your path. Like a great pair of shoes, a good estate plan prepares you for any contingency.
- When choosing shoes, you need to consider the whole wardrobe. When designing an estate plan, you must consider all assets, even those which will not be governed by the Will or Trust, such as retirement plans and joint tenancy property.
- In order to stay in style, your shoes must be updated periodically. Estate plans, too, must be updated periodically. Changes in circumstances and laws necessitate revisiting your plan periodically.
- Most importantly, a good fit is essential with a pair of shoes and with an estate plan. A poor-fitting pair of shoes, even if attractive, can leave you and your feet miserable. Likewise, an estate plan that does not fit your current situation will not achieve your goals.
Obviously, choosing an estate plan that is right for you is a bit more complicated than choosing a pair of shoes. A basic estate plan consists of a well thought out, integrated plan which should include the following documents:
- Trust. This holds title to your property and avoids probate and public scrutiny of your affairs. It can be extremely flexible and provide direction for your assets and heirs for years to come.
- Will. At death, this can transfer any remaining assets to your Trust.
- Financial Power of Attorney. This appoints a trusted person to make financial decisions if you are unable to make them for yourself.
- Health Care Power of Attorney. This appoints a trusted person to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to make them for yourself.
- HIPAA Power. This designates those individuals who are allowed access to your protected health information. Without this important power, a health care provider like a hospital may refuse to provide any information to your family, including whether you are even in their care.
An experienced attorney who focuses in estate planning can help you craft a plan that is tailored to your unique needs. For finding a good pair of shoes—you’re on your own.
Mr. Morrison is a board-certified estate planning attorney with experience in both simple and complex estate matters. He can prepare an estate plan for you that achieves your goals of passing your assets to whom you wish. He has been engaged in Louisiana trusts and estate law for the last 18 years. The planning can even help minimize estate taxes. To learn more about how you can achieve your estate planning goals, please call (504) 831-2348 or visit our website at www.morrisonlawplc.com.