Far too many people have no estate plan in place at all, or have just made a simple will without taking any steps to protect assets or heirs. If you want to ensure that you leave a strong legacy, support causes you believe in, and provide a stable future for your family, you may need to ensure your estate plan is more comprehensive than just the basic will.
Hodgkins Law, PLLC provides assistance with all estate planning issues to clients of all ages throughout southern Maine. We care deeply about helping every client to use the available legal tools necessary to protect his or her family and financial security.
Whether we assist with the creation of a simple will or help you to make a much more detailed plan, we will use our legal knowledge to help you achieve your goals. Give us a call at 207-358-3270 to find out about the personalized estate planning services provided by our firm and to get answers to questions including:
- What is involved in estate planning?
- Who needs an estate plan?
- How can a local estate planning lawyer help?
What is Involved in Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a process in which you take control over end-of-life issues, make a plan to protect your assets, and plan for the transfer of assets after your death. Your estate plan could include:
- Taking steps to protect assets during your lifetime so you can leave a legacy. This could involve structuring ownership of assets so you do not have to spend your money or sell property if you need cash to pay for nursing home bills.
- Ensuring your assets are managed appropriately if something happens to you. A power of attorney and/or living trust will give you control over who safeguards your legacy by managing your investments when you can’t.
- Making plans for end of life issues. This includes naming a person to make healthcare choices for you if you can’t, and deciding in advance what kinds of extraordinary lifesaving care you wish to undergo. Advanced directives like a living will are going to give you control over your medical treatment in an emergency.
- Making plans to transfer assets to new owners after death. A will is just one tool used to make sure your property goes to the people you care about. You can also use trusts, joint ownership of accounts, and other tools that allow asset transfer outside of the formal probate process.
- Taking steps to protect heirs. If you are concerned you could leave money to someone who will lose it to divorce or bankruptcy, you can use trusts and other legal tools to protect an inheritance. You can also use trusts to provide for heirs with disabilities without jeopardizing means-tested government benefits.
These are just a few possible steps you may need to take as part of the creation of your comprehensive estate plan. Every person’s situation is different, so your attorney should help you to find appropriate solutions given your income and your family situation.
Who Needs an Estate Plan?
An estate plan is important for virtually everyone. Even if you do not have a fortune to bequeath to your loved ones, having a plan can still allow you to protect the assets you have and to ensure that family fighting does not occur over your property after your death.
Creating an estate plan is also just as important for young people as it is for seniors. You never know when tragedy will unexpectedly strike, leaving you incapacitated or causing your death to occur. If you have young children or if you are concerned about putting your family in a situation where difficult medical choices may need to be made, you need to have an estate plan.
The sooner you put your plan in place, the better protection you can provide to your family and the more secure you and your loved ones will be in the future. There is no reason to wait to make your plan.
How Can a Local Estate Planning Lawyer Help?
A Brunswick estate planning lawyer at Hodgkins Law, PLLC will work with you to determine what steps you should take to secure your own future and to protect your assets as well as the people who you love. Give us a call at 207-358-3270 to learn more about how we can assist with the creation of your personalized estate plan.