What Is An Estate and What Is Estate Planning?
February 18th, 2022
Estate Planning Attorney Ted Gudorf explains What Is an Estate and What is Estate Planning?
An Estate includes all the money - property that you own including homes, cars, collections & retirement accounts. It is a lifetime process, where I control my property while I'm alive and well, I take care of my loved ones if I become mentally disabled, I give what I want to whom I want, when I want and the way I want. And I do so with the lowest amount of professional fee's, that is lawyer fees, and court costs possible. Creating your estate plan is a crucial step to insure your all goals and wishes are carried out.
Hi, this is Ted Gudorf from Gudorf Law Group. Today I want to talk to you about what is an estate and what is estate planning. An estate is all the money and property that you own. It includes your home, your car, your collections, maybe you got a gun collection, or coin collection, all of your real estate, your investments, your bank accounts, don't forget those retirement accounts. So, an estate is everything owned by someone both during life and at death. So, estate planning, I describe it as a lifetime process, where I control my property while I'm alive and well, I take care of my loved ones if I become mentally disabled, I give what I want to whom I want, when I want and the way I want. And I do so with the lowest amount of professional fees, that is lawyer fees, and court costs possible.
You know, there's a couple of things about estate planning that I really want to focus in on. The first thing you need to understand is that this is a lifetime process. Now I know most of us really don't ever want to have to go see a lawyer. But if you do, you'd like to do it maybe just once. But think about it. That's not realistic. Let's say you're 30 years old, you had your second child, you and your spouse, go to see an attorney and you develop a will-based plan. And you don't do anything further until the day you die, and you die at 80 years old. And when you're at the plan you did when you were 30. You think that's going to work? Of course not. It doesn't work. Why? Well, because we know that things change. What are some of the things that changed during our lifetime that affects our estate plan? Well, sometimes our health declines, sometimes our wealth goes up, that's a good thing. Sometimes we get divorced, or we have more children, or we have grandchildren, or a child gets divorced, or we have financial difficulty, whether it be creditor issues, what have you. The point is that during our lifetime things change, and that affects our estate plan.
So, it's critically important that we understand that estate planning is not a one and done. If you're looking for a one and done where's the wrong law firm. Instead, if you're looking for somebody who can help you, during your lifetime, maintain your estate plan appropriately and properly through a maintenance program, then our firm is made for you, because we strongly believe that this is a lifetime process.
Point number two, I'd like to emphasize today as part of estate planning is critically important that we do mental disability planning. Far too often I see that mental disability planning is overlooked by many estate planners, here at my office, in part because of having gone through a unique situation with my own parents, my father had Alzheimer's. My mom died of cancer, and I ended up helping care for my father. I'm very sensitive to the need to do mental disability planning. Not only do we have to decide what will happen in the event of your incapacity who will care for you, but how are we going to pay for that. And there's only a limited number of ways to pay for mental disability.
Bottom line at the end of the day, we either got to qualify for government benefits, or we got to ensure the risk, or we got to pay for dollar for dollar which could result in you ending up broke. So, when we do estate planning, we want to answer how we're going to care for you, where we're going to care for you, and how we're going to pay for it. So those are critically important issues. If we can help you put together a comprehensive estate plan, please give Gudorf Law Group a call. We're more than happy to counsel our way through. Thank you very much