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Estate plans: legal instruments of broad-based relevance and utility

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2021 | Estate Planning

A Missouri couple on the cusp of retirement that possesses substantial assets. A business owner. A young married couple with a growing family. Parents duly concerned with caring for a child with special needs. An individual with existing or potential health care concerns. Persons focused on promoting a family legacy. A life planner intent on safeguarding privacy.

Those distinctly different identifiers comprise a lengthy list, indeed, and reasonably point to disparate planning needs. Yet all of the above-cited groups share a fundamentally common interest.

And that is this: a logical concern to timely and effectively plan for the future in a manner that promotes their best interests and those of family loved ones.

The estate planning process: a common misconception

The estate planning realm is a legal sphere that unquestionably gives some would-be planners pause. Many individuals and families envision crafting a sound estate plan, yet balk when it comes to taking concrete action.

The cited reasons for vacillating and indecision are many and varied.

Still, they often coalesce around a single view, as noted by one established Missouri legal source addressing estate planning and administration. That overview stresses that, “Many people believe estate planning is only for middle-aged adults with substantial assets.”

Candidly, that demographic is well served by a sound, well-crafted and periodically revisited plan, but so too are most other individuals focused upon the future. The above-cited source underscores that virtually “everyone can benefit from basic estate planning documents.”

The tailored and seamless reach of a sound estate planning strategy

One of the first tasks that a proven, empathetic and results-oriented estate planning attorney often focuses upon is helping a valued client fully appreciate the broad utility that reflective and forward-focused planning strategy can confer. For many people, protecting assets and ensuring their availability for future generations is indeed a key objective. Sound planning can promote a host of other core goals as well, though, as emphasized above in this post. A number of key planning instruments can come into play, including these:

  • Wills (centrally important planning tools that typically serve as foundational documents chronicling a drafter’s intent concerning property, beneficiary designations, inheritances, guardianships and other matters)
  • One or more trusts (highly flexible tools that can work together with or as supplements to wills, promoting broadly varied interests (e.g., probate avoidance, privacy, safeguarded interests of loved ones in the future and many other important goals)
  • Powers of attorney relevant to finances and health care, which enable a trusted person to act on a planner’s behalf in the event of incapacity
  • Advance medical directives (living wills) that outline end-of-life directives to doctors and loved ones

The above bulleted list is but a sketch portrayal of desired outcomes that can be realized by timely and tailored estate planning action.

Legions of prospective planners are surprised and encouraged following a deepened understanding of the critically important benefits conferred by quality personal planning. An experienced legal professional with a deep well of proven advocacy on behalf of clients can provide further information.