PCWA partners with individuals and families today to build a legacy for tomorrow.
With the help of a team of trust attorneys, CPAs, and other estate planning specialists, we guide you through the common pitfalls to ensure your goals for the transfer of your wealth are realized and uncertainties are eliminated to maximize the value of the estate via reduction in taxes and other expenses.
Five Documents you need to share your intentions and protect your family:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Advanced Medical Directive
- Last Will and Testament
- Trust Documents
- Letter of Instruction
A Durable Power of Attorney, naming a trusted person as your power of attorney helps insure that your finances and personal financial affairs will be managed if you are unable to do so. It is important that the power of attorney is a “durable” power of attorney, designating a person that can continue to make decisions on your behalf if you become physically or mentally unable to do so.
Having an Advanced Medical Directive is your voice in the event that a medical event, accident or situation prevents you from being able to communicate your own wishes. This document outlines which medical procedures or support you want, or don’t want and relieves your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions. Historically, there have been disagreements and even legal action among family members who cannot agree on what may be best. These disagreements put family members against one another in situations where they really need to love and support each other. Having the documents eliminates these situations and unites your family during difficult times. Having the documents in place is a must.
Last Will and Testament. Your will, again is your voice, when you are not here to share your intentions. It provides a clear and legal guide of how your assets will be distributed upon your death. Your will allows you to be specific about a favorite possession or allows you to leave a legacy naming a specific cause or charity that is important to you. If you do not leave a will, State law will determine how your assets are distributed as they see fit. Additionally, beneficiaries named for certain accounts such as retirement accounts, override your will, so it is important to keep you beneficiary designations updated and coordinated with your estate planning documents.
Trust Documents can minimize estate tax, help you achieve detailed goals and give specific direction. Trusts allow you to provide a roadmap in spelling out your intentions and can protect your assets and property giving you greater continuity over the disbursement of your estate and assets. Many trusts name a corporate trustee to insure the assets are professionally and expertly managed and so that the trust documents and your intentions are followed to a T.
Lastly, a Letter of Instruction, a private letter to your family and heirs explains your thoughts behind your will and trust. It can reduce misunderstandings by articulating your final decisions and directions.
We work closely together with third party experts to help our clients put in these five key documents in place when appropriate. The documents are kept in a safe place and are reviewed and updated regularly. It is important to compile a full list of key documents, details around accounts and contacts how they can be accessed and where they can be found.
Private Client Wealth Advisors does not offer legal or tax advice. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your individual circumstance.