Estate Planning

Every family's situation is unique.  We recommend specific estate planning tools for you only after thoroughly exploring requirements and expectations. Our personalized estate plans typically include a Will, Health Care Directive, and Power of Attorney. It may also include a Trust or Real Estate documents to create the ideal plan to accomplish your objectives. 

 

Who needs estate planning?

Each person has an estate plan. If you don’t create your own plan, state laws determine what happens to your assets after your death. You have an opportunity to decide:

  • Who will receive your property;
  • Who will make critical decisions in the event of your death or incapacity; and
  • Who will care for minor children.

This is accomplished by taking time to establish goals for you and your family and then work with a qualified estate planning attorney to create a plan and documents that carry out your goals. While everyone does not need a complex estate plan, it is often-times discovered that state law does not match your goals and your family ends up burdened by unnecessary difficulties. 

Each client has unique circumstances: Are you single? Married with minor children? Blended family? Committed relationship but not married? Disabled family member? Charitable wishes? Modest or substantial assets subject to estate taxes? Wish to avoid probate? Own real estate in another state? Family cabin or other special property? These circumstances are all taken into account to create a plan that is right for you.

 

what is the process?

A typical process starts with completing an Information Form which provides BMLO with basic information about your family and assets, identifies goals and any special circumstances. The initial meeting is primarily education - we learn about you and your goals and discuss various options to achieve these goals. Together we select the appropriate plan. Once you have made the decisions involved in your plan, a series of documents are drafted and sent to you for review. At our next meeting we review each document together, answer questions, and make revisions. BMLO is with you every step of the way to ensure proper execution of the documents. This process can often be completed in two meetings, but additional meetings may be necessary when complex plans or difficult decisions require additional planning and discussion. If you have a financial advisor or other trust professional relationships, I encourage sharing of information and seeking their input to reach the best results.