Congratulations! You’ve made it! What’s that, you ask? What do I mean “You’ve made it?” You are now at a point in your life where you have started to build wealth. You probably have a good job or a successful business, a home that has equity, and a little something set aside for that proverbial rainy day. What do you do next? You start planning your estate!
What does it mean to plan an estate in Connecticut?
For each individual, of course, it can mean something different. However, there are some basic threads that we all recognize as part of our planning for the future. This usually encompasses providing for our children’s college, retirement for ourselves and spouses, and passing on our accumulated wealth to our children and grandchildren.
How do I plan an estate in Connecticut?
To paraphrase Elmer Fudd, “Vewwy Cawefuwwy!” Sitting down to speak with an estate planning attorney is the first step and can involve many things, but the following serves to form the basis of a good start.
- The last will and testament, commonly referred to as a will, frequently serves as the total estate plan for many people and, in a pinch, will make things much easier for your loved ones. This does not mean that you’re done, though.
- A medical directive, or living will, is generally recommended to be completed as part of this process to protect your wishes and beliefs in terms of what happens with your end-of-life medical treatment. Commonly known as the “Pull the Plug” document, this informs the world, to include all qualified medical personnel who treat you, what your wishes are in the various medical scenarios that may arise.
- A power of attorney, whether general or specific, grants someone to act on your behalf if you are deemed to be incapable of caring for, or making decisions for, yourself. This can be invoked if you have suffered a debilitating disease or a stroke, are in a coma or are in some other way incapacitated.
- Many people create trusts to shelter wealth that will pass inter-generationally and to preserve such wealth from the impulsive or impetuous decision making of potential beneficiaries and grantees who may not be quite ready to see that such wealth can be grown to offer financial security for future generations.
When should I start to plan my estate in Connecticut?
As the old saying goes, there is no time like the present. For those of you who have some idea of what you want to do with your assets and resources, it is best to make those wishes known and to create a mechanism to enact those wishes. For those of you who have not thought it through yet, but you have assets and resources, as well as loved ones who could benefit from your having started a plan, it is vital to start thinking about what your plan should be.
Why does it matter if I plan my estate?
You’ve worked hard to get to where you are and to have achieved the quality of life you enjoy. Most of us want to make that possible for our children and grandchildren. A college education is so expensive that our children must either choose to be saddled with lifetime debt or forego a college education, altogether. Without a college education, it is increasingly more difficult for a person to enjoy any real quality of life. None of us want our children and grandchildren to have to work with no reasonable prospects of being able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Who should I see to plan my Connecticut estate?
I’m glad you asked! The attorneys of the Apex Law Firm are happy to meet with you to discuss your estate planning needs and concerns and answer any questions you may have about this topic. Please contact us in Hartford County at (860) 900-0900 or visit us online at uptonlegal.com.
Written by Attorney Tony Anthony