Happy New Year! Like most of you, I am looking forward to waving goodbye to 2020 and greeting 2021 with open arms.
As cliche as New Year’s resolutions sometimes feel — “exercise more” remains the perennial #1 resolution — in fact, new beginnings in our lives are especially good moments to pause, take stock, and take action.
For many reasons, people tend to put off addressing their estate planning needs — wills, trusts, powers of attorney, provisions for long-term health planning. However, the New Year is an ideal time to reflect and consider what you really want for your family, friends, and community. What will your legacy be?
It’s surprisingly easy to get things started. Ambrogi Law specializes in estate planning and elder law, and when we sit down with a client, our focus is to match the needs and desires of our client with an appropriate estate plan.
So, what are you trying to accomplish? What are your big goals? These are almost always the first questions I ask. Different goals will be served best by different types of estate plans. Your plan needs to support your goal.
For example, a couple might come in and tell me that their primary concern is making sure that their family is taken care of. In some cases, particularly if there are minor children involved, they will be best served by a plan that revolves around a revocable trust. That may not be the case if they have grown children, and all of their assets are set up through beneficiary designation. That might require a different estate plan framework.
Another important goal I often hear clients talk about is to make sure that there are no hassles for their family when they pass away. This typically means that a revocable trust will serve them well, especially a revocable trust that’s fully funded.
Other clients talk to me about protecting their assets. This is a more involved and advanced discussion that may (or may not!) require an irrevocable trust. While restrictive, irrevocable trusts serve certain goals very well.
Conversely, there are some clients whose goals are relatively straightforward and simple. They may have most of their assets arranged with beneficiary designations but they want to make sure that, for example, a specific piece of property goes to a particular child. In that case, a simple will combined with an updated deed may be the best way to serve them.
That’s a brief sampler. As you can see, there are a lot of different goals that clients come to us with. Your situation, your goals, your legacy are unique to you!
We are dedicated to making sure that the estate plan we develop is matched with your goals. Get started now. Think about who you wish to provide for and in what ways — from bequests of cash, jewelry, and property for the kids and college funds for your grandchildren to an endowment or legacy gift for your favorite charity. Then, let’s begin the conversation. We’ll help you clarify your goals and work to see that they are achieved exactly as you envision.
Here’s a resolution worth making. Happy 2021!