Law Offices

David P. Korteling, PC     

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Estate Planning

Good estate planning ensures that your estate is distributed as you wish and minimizes the burdens placed on your loved ones in the event of your death.  Proper planning can help to preserve wealth, minimize probate costs and taxes that may be imposed on your estate, and ensure the orderly transfer of assets, including family owned businesses. Planning is also crucial to protect you and your family in the event of your disability, medical emergencies, and can help safeguard your assets from creditor claims.

Regardless of the size of your estate, everyone should consider the necessity of an estate plan. Major life events, such as the birth of a child, marriage, divorce, death of a family member, or a significant change in health, are all events when people should consider reviewing their estate plan.  Additionally, Federal and state laws applicable to estates change - sometimes rather radically.  A sound, well draft estate plan prepared years ago may now lead to unintended and unwanted consequences because of changes in the law. In fact, over the past few years, significant changes at the Federal level require different strategies than what would have been appropriate 5 years ago. If you have a plan that was put in place years ago, it may be time for a review and update.

It is also important to have the right documents in place so that the appropriate individuals can manage your assets if you are unable to do so, and so that trusted individuals can assist in making health care decisions if you are unable to do so.

It is natural to disregard estate planning until the need becomes imminent and pressing.  However, in some instances, it can take a great deal of time – years in some cases – to put an estate plan into effect. This is certainly not an area where it is a good idea to be "penny wise, but pound foolish."