Estate Planning 101

Tessmer Tips 2012 for February 6th through February 17th are focused on Estate Planning:

Day 1: 

You only need a will if you own a house or land, or a car, or a bank account, or have retirement benefits, or own jewelry, or have household goods….or want to have a say in what happens to your children ….

Day 2: 

If you die without estate planning in place (i.e. a will or trust), you give up the opportunity to decide who does and doesn’t inherit your property – the state decides for you!!

Day 3: 

If you have a will that is more than five years old, you should have it reviewed by an attorney for any changes that need to be made … kids grow up, assets change, people piss you off …

Day 4: 

Don’t put your will or other estate planning documents in the safety deposit box!  Keep it in an unlocked, safe, expected place … like the top drawer of your desk… Maybe even let your executor know where your will is stored…

Day 5: 

Don’t want to be kept on life support?  You need a living will!  Living wills allow you to spell out exactly what and when medical assistance is allowed.  Make sure you give a copy to your doctor …

Day 6: 

The Federal Estate Tax applies if the value of your property is over $5 million …. If this might be an issue, there are ways to make exempt transfers to reduce the value or your estate…

Day 7: 

Protect your Valentine with careful estate planning … especially if she/he is not your “first” Valentine ….When you have had more than one spouse, caution needs to be used in your estate planning to make sure your assets go where YOU want them to go!

Day 8: 

A Durable Power of Attorney is an important tool in the estate planning arsenal … You can appoint the person YOU want in case something happens and you are unable to make decisions/care for yourself…. It only goes into effect when a doctor certifies that you have become incapacitated.

Day 9:  

A writing on a napkin can create a valid “will,” but, to do it right, you really should have the help of an attorney … there are many pitfalls that can create more of a financial burden on your family if not addressed in your estate planning ….

Day 10:  

Are you getting a tax return in the near future?  Maybe it is time to protect your family with an Estate Planning Package, call Tessmer Law Firm, PLLC at 210-368-9708 to schedule a free consultation.