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Ronald J. Williams and Kenneth W. Schroer, Retired

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Boilerplate estate plans won’t fully protect you or your legacy

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2021 | Estate Planning |

There are certain things about estate planning that are universal. You want to create documents that will pass your property on to the next generation and protect those who are dependent on you. You will likely also want to include documents that protect you if you have some kind of medical emergency.

However, there are numerous different methods and documents for accomplishing the same goals. Your unique medical situation, family circumstances and personal holdings will influence the right approach to your estate planning goals.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for estate planning that offers optimal benefits for every situation. The best estate plan will be highly customized to address your wishes and family circumstances.

Copy and paste documents don’t really protect you

Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier for people to find a basic template for a last will or power of attorney. Some people will quickly fill in names and dates on those forms and then think that they have adequately protected themselves.

Unfortunately, generic documents will be broad and won’t necessarily address your biggest concerns. Drafting unique documents give you more control over what happens to your property when you die and what people do on your behalf if you experience medical incapacitation. Truly unique documents will also be hard for others to challenge or undermine when you can’t speak on your own behalf.

What are the estate planning issues that matter to you?

Do you want to make sure that your child with special needs will have the right guardian after your death? Do you want to reduce the estate taxes that will consume some of what your loved ones receive from your estate? Would you like to let family members live in your home but have the property actually pass to a local historical organization after their deaths due to its age and community value?

In order to create an estate plan that reflects your values and protects what you care about, you have to identify your wishes and the challenges your executor might face in carrying them out. From including clauses that disinherit someone who unnecessarily challenges your estate to naming multiple people as co-trustees, there are likely unique ways to carry out your wishes.

Committing to the creation of a detailed and custom estate plan will benefit you and your loved ones.