Estate Planning 101

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is a way to prepare yourself and your family for what happens after your death.  Estate planning is also a way to plan for unexpected incapacity. There are a wide variety of estate planning tools that an experienced estate planning attorney can help you create, depending on your needs.  You can easily prepare for both by creating a comprehensive plan.

Planning for the future is crucial.  Planning ahead allows you to determine who will inherit your property after your death, while reducing the amount of taxes your estate will have to pay.  In the unfortunate event that you become incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently, an estate plan you can provide protection for you and your family if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Planning for Your Death

Your estate plan should consist of two parts, one that provides for the payment of your debts and one that designates who will receive your assets after those debts have been paid.  The most common estate planning tool used to accomplish this is a Will or Last Will and Testament.  This legal document is essentially your written instructions as to how you want your estate to be handled after your death, and who you want to manage it.

Planning for Mental Incapacity

Planning for incapacity requires a two-part plan as well.  When certain life situations such as medical conditions or severe injuries result in incapacity, someone needs to be able to take care of you and make decisions when you cannot.  One part of an incapacity plan should deal with your personal and health care.  The other part should address your financial affairs.  In the unfortunate event that you become incapacitated and you do not have a plan in place, a court will appoint a guardian to make these decisions.

If you any questions or concerns regarding estate planning in Alabama, contact our firm either online, or by calling (205) 533-7476.


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