Make yourself safe. Organize your resources. Build a plan.


Estate planning is the best tool you can have to plan for the future. We can work with you to put together a plan that protects you and your family from small or big issues during your lifetime and any that may arise after you pass away. Having a plan in place eliminates a great deal of anxiety, confusion, and uncertainty. The toolbox for this planning includes a power of attorney, a living will, advance health care directives, different trusts (depending on the type of assets you own), and a last will and testament. As circumstances in your life change, your estate plan will need to as well. Your plan should be reviewed every three years to make sure it is working as you intended and meets your needs and wishes at all times.

You should avoid do-it-yourself estate planning. There are potential dangers of online documents, such as improper execution, probate court challenges, and outdated information. The documents are inexpensive at first but might cost your family thousands after your death if you do not have a high-quality and complete plan in place.

A power of attorney gives someone you select the legal authority to act on your behalf with respect to tax and financial matters. This power can be general or limited, immediate or delayed, and is designed to work in the event you are incapable of handling your own affairs. The most important feature of a power of attorney is that “it works when you need it to.” Although a properly drafted power of attorney should not expire, many banks think that a power of attorney has “a shelf life” and becomes ineffective with the passage of time.