7 Estate Planning Things to be Thankful For

November 25, 2020

By: Christopher M. Brown, Esquire

As we approach Thanksgiving, here are 20 estate planning things worthy of giving thanks for this year:

  1. Free Initial Estate Planning Consultation With An Experienced Attorney – Our attorneys want to discuss the goals of your estate plan and your legacy. We want to know who the important people are in your life and we want to get to know them as well. An initial consultation over the phone, via Zoom, or in person is a jumping off point in the pursuit of the financial security and continued well-being of you and your loved ones. Contact us to schedule your consultation. We are thankful to hear from you!
  2. Flat Fees for Estate Planning Document Preparation – Our attorneys encourage interaction with you. We are here for you and to answer your questions, before, during, and after the drafting process. We do not want that process to result in an inflated final invoice. To guard against that, following your free initial consultation, a flat fee or estimated total fee quote will be provided so you know what to expect and can give thanks this year for no surprise legal bills.
  3. Last Will and Testament – A Will is the foundation of any estate plan, and one that too many adults either neglect to have prepared, or prepare it improperly. It is your opportunity to designate the beneficiaries of your estate, the executor of your estate, and perhaps even the trustee of trusts created under your Will as the circumstances may be. However, understanding what your Will controls and what it does not control is critical in achieving your goals and protecting your loved ones. Having a Last Will and Testament prepared following an initial consultation can give you peace of mind to allow you to sleep peacefully after that third helping of turkey.
  4. General Durable Power of Attorney – Who is your person? At many dinner tables this Thursday, we will express aloud who we are thankful for. Your person may be your spouse, your daughter or son, your grandchild, or your best friend. Designating your person as your Agent under a General Durable Power can empower that individual to do anything that you might otherwise be able to do yourself, and can be a critically important document to help you both in an emergency and equally for matters of pure convenience. As much as estate planning contemplates death, our attorneys care about you while you are still with us and expensive and time-consuming legal issues of absence or incapacity can be avoided by having a properly drafted and executed General Durable Power of Attorney in place. Just remember to thank your Agent.
  5. Living Will – Durable Health Care Power of Attorney: Speaking of your person, you may not have the same person for matters of health care as you do for financial affairs. Your Health Care Agent is empowered to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable, including decisions as to the withholding of life sustaining measures under circumstances where there will be no meaningful recovery. If you have your health, be thankful for it, but if that should change you will know that the person you have designated will be acting in your best interests. Now, you can agree to play in next year’s full contact Turkey Bowl with your friends (play football responsibly) knowing you have a Health Care Agent!
  6. Trusts – Trusts can provide estate planning for the beneficiaries that they cannot do for themselves. Our firm prepares Revocable Living Trusts, IRA Beneficiary Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, among others. Eckell Sparks puts the TRUST in Trusting the Process.
  7. Asset Cohesiveness with your Estate Plan – A car with no gas gets nowhere. Similarly, a Will that controls no assets gets you nowhere. Our attorneys are prepared to consult with you to ensure your estate plan is consistent with the titling of your assets. This alone makes the Free Initial Estate Planning Consultation worthwhile to understand what estate planning you may have already done, and how it can be improved upon.

We are grateful and thankful for each and every client and friend of the firm. We appreciate the confidence our clients have in us, and strive to earn it anew each day. We look forward to hearing from you.

Have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!