WILLS & ESTATE PLANNING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

There are many legal strategies involved in estate planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health care documents. New clients often state they do not have an estate plan, but are surprised to learn that they actually do have a plan. In the absence of legal planning otherwise, their estate will be distributed after death according to New Hampshire's laws of intestacy. Of course, this may not be the plan they would have chosen. A properly drafted estate plan will replace the terms of the State’s estate plan with your own. Call the experienced New Hampshire Estate Planning Attorneys at Family Legal Services, P.C. for a Free Consultation to discuss your needs.

WILLS & ESTATE PLANNING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

No matter your net worth, it's important to have a basic estate plan in place.  Such a plan ensures that your family and financial goals are met after you die.  Your last will and testament is just one part of a comprehensive estate plan. If a person dies without a Will they are said to have died “intestate” and state laws will determine how and to whom the person’s assets will be distributed. Some things you should know about wills:

  • A will has no legal authority until after death. So, a will does not help manage a person’s affairs when they are incapacitated, whether by illness or injury.

  • A will does not help an estate avoid probate. A will is the legal document submitted to the probate court, so it is basically an “admission ticket” to probate.

  • A will is a good place to nominate the guardians (or back-up parents) of your minor children if they are orphaned. All parents of minor children should document their choice of guardians.  If you leave this to chance, you could be setting up a family battle royal, and your children could end up with the wrong guardians.

An Estate Plan Has Several Elements

 

An Estate Plan may include: a will; an assignment of power of attorney; and a living will or health-care proxy (medical power of attorney). And, for some people, a trust may also make sense. When putting together a plan, you must be mindful of both federal and state laws governing estates. This is where an experienced New Hampshire Estate Planning Attorney can assist you.

 

Taking Inventory of Your Assets is a Good Place to Start

 

Your assets include your investments, retirement savings, insurance policies, and real estate or business interests. Ask yourself three questions: Whom do you want to inherit your assets? Whom do you want handling your financial affairs if you're ever incapacitated? Whom do you want making medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them for yourself?

 

Everybody Needs a Will

A Will tells the world exactly where you want your assets distributed when you pass away. It's also the best place to name guardians for your children. Passing away without a will -- also known as dying "intestate" -- can be costly to your heirs and leaves you no say over who gets your assets. Even if you have a trust, you still need a Will to take care of any holdings outside of that trust when your gone.

Avoiding Probate

Certain assets can be set up to avoid the probate process and ensure your beneficiaries have access to the money or assets much sooner than if they pass through the entire probate process.  The experienced New Hampshire Estate Planning Attorneys at Family Legal Services, P.C. can advise you about such asset strategies during an initial free Consultation.