Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 2 Slideshow Image 3 Slideshow Image 4 Slideshow Image 5
  • Shrink text
  • Enlarge text
  • Mail this page

Estate Planning
 

Many people believe that estate planning is only for people who are particularly wealthy, have elaborate schemes in mind for passing their money to their heirs, or for people who are acutely ill and contemplating their death. This could not be farther from the truth!

Estate planning is for every husband, wife, mother, father, grandparent, business owner, professional, or anyone else who has someone they care about, are concerned about providing responsibly for their own well being and for the well being of those they love, and for anyone who seeks to make a difference in the lives of others after they’re gone. Estate planning is not “death planning”; it’s “life planning”, and an essential and rewarding process for individuals and families who engage in it.

Persons who fail to plan during their lives and die without creating a will 'die intestate'.  Each state has laws that dictate how an intestate person's property will be distributed leaving you with absolutely no control. Property may go to people you don't want and in ways that you never intended.  Dying intestate means no planning was done on your behalf. 

When done properly, estate planning requires that a highly trained individual lead you through one or more in-depth meetings to uncover your hopes, fears, and expectations for yourself and for those who are most important to you. This process almost always requires the preparation of several sophisticated legal documents, but those documents themselves are not “estate planning.” Planning is a process, represented by a complete strategy that is properly documented and maintained by a professional who has taken the time to get to know you, and who is committed to continuing to serve you. 

Your estate plan is a snapshot of you, your family, your assets and the tax laws in effect at the time it was created. All of these change over time, and so should your plan. It is unreasonable to expect the simple will written when you were a newlywed to be ineffective now that you have a growing family, or now that you are divorced from your spouse, or now that you are retired and have grandchildren. Over the course of your lifetime, your estate plan will need check-ups, maintenance, tweaking, maybe even replacing.

So, how do you know when it's time to give your estate plan a check-up?  Generally, any change in your personal, family, financial or health situation, or a change in the tax laws, could prompt a change in your estate plan.

Again, proper estate planning is a process.  By listening and understanding our clients’ needs and expectations, the Walls Law Firm carefully creates and reviews estate plans custom-designed to meet our clients’ goals.