Many clients think that financial planning is enough to provide for themselves and leave enough for their children. However, the reality is that financial planning alone is not enough. Estate planning is one of the most overlooked areas of personal financial management. It is estimated that over 120,000,000 Americans do not have an up-to-date estate plan to protect themselves and their families.

Why Do I Need An Estate Plan?

Everyone should, at minimum, have Powers of Attorney for Healthcare and Property to nominate someone to make your decisions should you no longer be able to make them for yourself.  If you have children, then you should have a basic Will to nominate guardians for your children.  What happens if you are incapacitated or if you die goes beyond just who gets your “stuff”.

The Congressional Research Service estimates that only 3,000 of the 2.5 million Americans who died in 2013, or 0.12%, will have a taxable estate.  The typical marital/nonmarital trust drafting (or A/B trusts, as they are sometimes called) with its emphasis on estate tax planning has become irrelevant to the majority of people.  The focus of estate planning at the Larson Law Firm is to pass a legacy on through Wealth Preservation in long-term Dynasty Trusts, and a focus on trust decanting and trust protection.

Can My Current Lawyer Draft My Will?

Just like you would not trust a dentist to do your brain surgery, do not trust just any attorney to draft your estate plan. The lawyers at the Larson Law Firm are experienced in estate planning and stay updated on law changes to ensure you always have the best documents possible.  The risk that you have with a general practice attorney is that they are likely not qualified to draft highly complicated estate plans, and you will end up with a very generic run-of-the-mill Will or Trust.

“To me, this case exemplifies the problems inherent in having assets pass by sloppily drafted instruments. The public should realize the danger in attempting to have a substantial portion of their wealth pass to their heirs or beneficiaries by IRA accounts, brokerage accounts, insurance policies, bank-deposit accounts, and the like. Often, as here, these documents are not prepared by a lawyer, not subject to the legal formalities of a will, and not artfully completed. For someone with the substantial assets involved here, an estate plan would have been advisable, so an attorney could have reviewed all documents such as this, avoiding ambiguity and its attendant costs, and ensuring that the decedent’s wishes were followed.”  – Painter, J., concurring opinion, McDonald Securities v. Alzheimer’s Ass’n, 747 N.E.2d 843