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Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

Posted on in Estate Planning

Greenwich estate planning lawyerNo matter what your financial situation is, you have an estate. Your estate is made up of everything you own. Many people think this only includes real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, etc., and therefore, if they do not have these types of assets, they do not have an estate.

However, an estate also includes your furniture, personal possessions, vehicle, and even your digital property, such as music and photographs. The bottom line is that no matter how modest your estate is, you should still have an estate plan in place to specify what should be done with these items when you die. The following are some of the components you may choose for your estate plan.

Last Will and Testament

Wills can still be a useful tool in estate planning. If you have young children, you are able to name the party or parties you wish to be your children’s legal guardian. A will allows you to address how you want personal belongings, collections, furniture, digital assets, and other property to be divided among your heirs, as well as which relatives you do not want to receive anything.

Living Trust

Although it is a good idea to have a will in place, many clients are also turning to living trusts to address these assets instead. Wills must go through the probate process, which can take a minimum of one year and even longer if anyone contests the will.

A living trust gives you complete control over who gets those assets, but totally avoids probate, allowing distribution of those assets immediately upon your death, instead of at the end of the probate process. Trusts also provide privacy for a family, since the probate process is public and allows anyone access to your financial business.

Living Will

Unlike a last will and testament which address the financial aspect of your estate planning, a living will addresses what your wishes are for your end-of-life medical care should you become incapable of making those decisions for yourself. You can also appoint a health care proxy to make sure those wishes are followed.

Contact a Metro New York Area Estate Planning Lawyer 

If you are ready to sit down and put together an estate plan, our team is ready and willing to help you. Call Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC at 203-661-6000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Greenwich, CT estate planning attorneys.




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