Estate planning is a very large term, but I try to pair it down to: Estate Planning really is nothing more than the orderly transition of assets from one person to another. Generally, we see folks wanting to leave stuff obviously to their spouse and or to their children. Sometimes it’s step children or nieces or nephews, but estate planning in a nutshell is just how do we do that in an orderly way. We hope to do it in a way that doesn’t cost lots of money and hopefully, if we’ve done a good job, will optimize family harmony. Meaning that we will not have family dissension, family fights about assets, such that next Christmas people can get together and not be upset about things that might’ve happened with respect to an estate that had to be administrated.
We can get a little deeper into it by saying, of course there are wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, sometimes even family LLC’s – things of that nature. Everybody’s plan is different, for various reasons. But overall, Estate Planning really is nothing more than the orderly transition of assets from one person to another.