When it comes to estate planning, it can be hard to know where to start. There are many moving parts to an estate plan, and each one is unique because it’s crafted specifically for you. Common estate planning questions we receive are often about legal terms, what type of power of attorney people need, and how our law firm works.
At eLegacy, you can create an estate plan from the comfort of your home. Our law firm will draft all the legal binding documents you need, and you’ll work with a full-time eLegacy attorney. You’ll have a team at your disposal, but only one point of contact that is devoted to you.
We’ll offer you legal advice along the way, and do everything you can to make sure your estate is secure. To help get you started, here are some of the questions we get asked the most.
1. What is an estate plan?
While most people already know the answer to this by the time they come to us, it’s still a good place to start. At eLegacy, our trust based estate plans include the following documents:
- Revocable Living Trust
- General Durable Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
Whether you have a lot of assets or not, you need an estate plan if you want any say over what happens to your assets when you pass away.
2. What’s the difference between a will and a trust?
A will is legally binding, and protects your spouse, your children, and whatever assets you may have when you pass away. A trust, on the other hand, is created while you’re still living. It allows your successor trustee to step in quickly after an unexpected death, illness or accident.
One of the biggest differences is that if you have a will, your estate will have to go through probate court. With a trust, it doesn’t.
3. Do I need a power of attorney?
It depends. If you include a trust in your estate plan, the answer is yes. There are three main types of powers of attorney. A medical power of attorney gives an appointed guardian the right to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. A durable financial power of attorney appoints someone to make financial decisions on your behalf for the same reason. A limited power of attorney gives a person the right to act on your behalf only in certain situations, like signing documents or selling stocks. The benefit here is that you appoint a person of your choosing, rather than the courts.
You’ll probably include a medical directive in your estate plan, which can include a power of attorney, a health care proxy, and medical instructions.
4. What is the process like to set up an estate plan virtually?
When you choose eLegacy, you’ll work with a dedicated attorney that will advise you on what all should be included in your estate plan. At no point will you be on your own. You won’t have to waste any time sifting through documents or deciding which ones to include. We’ll use our experience and expertise to guide you through the entire process.
You’ll start with a complimentary consultation, followed by a design meeting. For a step-by-step guide to our process, you can read more here. We’ll quote you a flat fee for your customized plan before you commit to working with us.
No matter where we are, we can work together through video conferencing. You can join on virtually any device – phone, laptop, desktop. We use Zoom software for our video conferences.
Many states differ when it comes to estate planning laws. We’ll work with you on a customized plan that is in line with the laws of whatever state you’re in. Our staff and attorneys are located all over the country, so we can always work within the time zone that works best for you.
5. Do I ever need to make changes to my estate plan?
In the future, you have every right to make changes to your estate plan. For example, if someone in your will trust passes away or you no longer wish to include them, you can remove them.
Things that could trigger changes in your estate plan include:
- Divorce or death of a spouse
- A change in tax laws
Schedule a time today and let’s get the conversation started.