Estate planning is essential for all Kentucky residents. No one wants to think about not being here with our loved ones, especially young children, which is why so many avoid or delay planning. Others think their spouse will care for things. In contrast, some think an estate plan is unnecessary without significant wealth. Tupper Butler Law helps you understand the importance of an estate plan and works with you to plan for your priorities, no matter what your family looks like, your financial status, or your age.
Understanding Estate Planning in Kentucky
The estate planning process starts with understanding your long-term goals and how to protect your assets. Tupper Butler Law will discuss which assets you wish to protect in your golden years and which you wish to pass down to loved ones. Every estate plan is strategically designed to meet your individual planning needs. At Tupper Butler Law, Michelle Tupper Butler can help you prepare the best legal documents needed to achieve your unique estate planning goals.
Common Estate Planning Questions
What Documents Are Part of an Estate Plan?
Your family is unique, and your estate plan should reflect your family’s unique priorities. Your plan will document your wishes and what you want to protect and pass to your loved ones after death. At Tupper Butler Law, we understand what essential legal documents should be used for your Kentucky estate plan. Some commonly used documents include a will, a trust, powers of attorney, living will, health care proxy, and a special needs trust.
A will instructs who receives your property after you pass away. This document can be a vital first step for an estate plan because it appoints an executor of your estate, who takes care of managing the estate, paying debts, and distributing the property as specified. Your will outlines the distribution of assets, but a will must go through probate court in Kentucky. A probate lawyer can help you navigate the process.
Compared to a will, a trust does not go through the probate process. Since probate court is public, time-consuming, and costly, some families wish to create a trust to avoid probate. Establishing a trust for your family in Kentucky can achieve that goal. In a trust, your property will move into the trust during your lifetime, and the trust will own the property according to your rules. After your death, your beneficiaries will receive the property without going to probate court. A probate lawyer also helps you find the best solutions to avoid probate.
Financial Power of Attorney
A durable or financial power of attorney is a critical part of an estate plan. A financial power of attorney designates an individual to act on your behalf as your agent in the event you cannot make decisions related to financial matters. The FPOA outlines how those decisions should be made according to your instructions. At Tupper Butler Law, we work with you to make sure you have an agent in place who carries out decisions you have made and preserved in a financial durable power of attorney.
A living will documents your wishes for end-of-life care. This document can include what life-saving treatments you would or would not like to have if incapacitated – and for how long. Your living will tells doctors what YOU want to do to prolong your life with machines or nourishment. A living will can take the stress of making those difficult decisions off family members and help keep peace in your family during emotional and challenging times.
A health care proxy is a document that gives authority to another person to make medical decisions on your behalf. This legal document allows you to name a person as an agent to make health care decisions if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself, whether or not the situation is life-threatening. As we do with financial powers of attorney, Tupper Butler Law works with you to name an agent and inform that person of your decisions in various situations, rather than simply naming a person to make those tough choices for you.
The Value of Estate Planning in Louisville, Kentucky
Proper planning for people living in Kentucky allows you to leave your legacy to your family and community, protecting much of what would otherwise go to the government, potential creditors, long-term care costs, or be lost to lawsuits. There are many legal options available to protect your assets, and the methods used will depend upon your unique situation, goals, asset values, and family makeup.
If you want to leave a legacy for your loved ones or protect the people you love from life’s most difficult decisions, then estate planning is a crucial step to take today. Start by working with an experienced estate planning attorney in Louisville, KY, like Michelle Tupper Butler at Tupper Butler Law, to help address your unique situation and leave a foundation for your family.
Avoid Common Estate Planning Mistakes
Tupper Butler Law is here to help you and your loved ones understand estate planning, long-term care planning, asset protection, and crisis care. Our Louisville, Kentucky law firm welcomes you to contact us and learn how we can help meet your estate planning goals. We serve the Louisville, KY, metro area, Jefferson County, and surrounding counties.
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