What is Estate Planning?

Estate Planning means creating legal documents to assist individuals with their finances and health care during their lifetime, and to also create documents which specify how a person’s assets and debts are distributed upon death. Everyone has an estate plan according to the state they reside in that is mandated by statute. Without the creation of a will, your estate will be awarded to various heirs according to those laws. Creating an estate plan is an important part of adulthood and is recommended for all adults. There are three basic documents which should be considered when meeting with an attorney to establish your estate planning.


A Will is a document which spells out your wishes for division of your assets upon your death. You can make charitable donations within your will, and specify whom you want to handle your financial affairs upon your death. If you have minor children, you can designate people to control the money or assets you leave to your children until they reach a certain age, and additionally can state whom you would wish to raise your minor children in the event of your death. A Will further allows you to treat heirs and family members unequally or differently.

Financial Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney for finances is a document which allows you to name a person or persons to act as your financ­­­­­­­ial agent. This document authorizes your named agent to assist you with all your financial matters, including real estate transactions, taxes, banking, insurance claims, and many other financial matters. These documents can be utilized during your lifetime and are especially important to have as you grow older and when you may have difficulties managing your finances.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A  Power of Attorney for Health Care is also a document which should be considered when estate planning. Creating this document allows you to name a person or persons to act as your agent and make health care decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. You can specify your wishes on life support and other important matters within this document.

Any one of the compassionate attorneys at BASILIERE, THOMPSON, BISSETT, CASTONIA & SWARDENSKI LLP will discuss further reasons for estate planning individually with you, and will assist you in determining what estate planning documents you need, and will create documents that specify your particular wishes, at a reasonable price. Creating an estate plan will enable you to have peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in order in case you need help due to an accident, injury, aging, or upon your death.

For more information or to schedule a consultation please call us at 920 231-5050 or click here.

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