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Legacy Planning

No one likes to think about death. But many of us want to ensure that our loved ones are cared for after we’re gone. Legacy planning can help you prepare to pass your assets to your family and loved ones after death and ensure that it happens as smoothly as possible.


Why Legacy Planning?

Transferring wealth and assets can often be a complex manner. For estates or assets over a certain value, your estate may need to pass through probate, which is a court-directed process that can take months or even years. Through legacy planning, you can ensure that your assets pass to the people you intend and ensure that the process happens as quickly and inexpensively as possible. If you’re a business owner, legacy planning can also help set up a succession plan if you die or become incapacitated. At the same time, you can also consider any lasting impact you’d like to make on your community.


Elements of Legacy Planning

  • Will: Your last will and testament is only the beginning of legacy planning. You can set forth the various parts of your estate plan and create a binding document dictating the distribution of your property and assets.
  • Power of Attorney: A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf financially if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. You can select someone you trust and allow someone to step in without court action on your behalf.
  • Trusts: A trust can allow you to manage your estate before and after death, allowing you to avoid probate. A trustee you name will manage the trust after your death, but you can be the trustee while you are alive, allowing more flexibility. You can also use a trust for minor children who can’t legally inherit large sums without a trustee appointed by you or the court.
  • Medical Directives: A medical directive allows you to make your wishes known for end-of-life care in the event you can’t speak for yourself. You can appoint a health care proxy you trust to make these decisions.
  • Directed Beneficiary Designations: You can also avoid probate with directed beneficiaries for a life insurance policy, retirement account, or IRA. These funds can pass directly to your named beneficiaries without going through probate. You can also name a trust as your beneficiary to benefit minor children.
  • Charitable Gifts: Legacy planning is the perfect time to consider how you’d like to impact your community. Consider gifts to educational institutions, nonprofits, or foundations you’ve supported in the past. Or consult an experienced estate planner about creating and funding your own organization. 


Hire an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

When it comes to your legacy, within your family or your community, you need professional guidance to ensure that your loved ones will be cared for and that your family will know and honor your wishes. Whether you’re planning your living legacy or making plans for after death, Attorney Beverly Winstead can help. She is an award-winning tax and estate planning attorney with extensive experience helping people create lasting

legacies. At The Law Offices of Beverly Winstead, our skilled professionals offer a wide range of estate, business, and tax planning advice. Give us a call at 301-306-1234 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.


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