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Estate Planning Tools and the Ones You Must Have

March 24, 2022 •  Legacy Law LLC
Like DMX and Prince, many Black Americans have failed to participate in the estate planning process.

When hip-hop star DMX died in 2021, he had no will and only a few liquid assets. His estimated 15 children are expecting a share of his estate, but the estate has been in the probate court for months. An estate also has to be established to manage any expected future earnings from his music. However, with no appointed administrators and legal costs, DMX’s estate will be dwindling until the proceedings are finalized.

In fact, some reports estimate that DMX's net worth was estimated to be $10 million. However, it fell to a perhaps even negative $1 million at the time of his death.

Finurah’s recent article entitled “Not Just for the Rich: Five Estate Planning Tools Everyone Needs” reports that the number of Black Americans who have completed a will has increased by 6.2% (from 25.9% to 27.5%).

Estate planning lets you stay in control of your assets, while contributing to your family’s generational wealth. Let’s look at five tools necessary to create a comprehensive estate plan.

  1. Will. A will establishes the distribution of your individual assets. A will is also important if you have minor children because it is the only way you can nominate a guardian of your choosing for them.
  2. Trust. A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that lets a third party (the trustee) hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trusts can be arranged in many ways and can specify exactly how and when the assets pass to the beneficiaries.
  3. Power of Attorney. This lets you appoint a trusted person to act on your behalf as your agent or attorney-in-fact. He or she will handle financial decisions on your behalf, such as real estate transactions, banking transactions, insurance and Medicare.
  4. Health Care Proxy. This document allows someone you have appointed to make medical decisions in the event that you cannot.
  5. Living Will. If you have a terminal illness or death is imminent, this document identifies the treatments or medications you would want administered, withheld, or withdrawn, allowing you to remain in control of your end of life. In short, this lets people know what you want and do not want.

Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney about a comprehensive estate plan that includes these five documents.

Reference: Finurah (Feb. 5, 2022) “Not Just for the Rich: Five Estate Planning Tools Everyone Needs”

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Bethany was amazing very helpful and kind. Made me feel very comfortable in a rough situation. Made sure I got what I wanted set up and took care of me and my family. Awesome job. I recommend her 100%.
Cari Covolo
December 22, 2021.
Bethany was professional, very knowledgeable, personable, and easy to work with. She made the daunting task of setting up a will easy and seamless.
Amanda Larson
October 21, 2021.
Bethany was great! She explained the details of probate and how it works in detail. Our purpose was to protect our children in the untimely event of both of us passing at the same time. The estate planning put our minds at ease. She encourages us to follow up with her periodically and make sure everything is still in order. This impressed us, she cares.
Dale Arey
October 13, 2021.
Bethany was great to work with! We highly recommend Legacy Law. Bethany was always well prepared and made things feel simple and easy to understand. She made a process that can feel overwhelming feel simple and manageable to do. She is very organized, professional and caring. She did an excellent job in preparing all the estate documents and helping us create a living trust!
Carey Larson
October 8, 2021.
Bethany was really helpful in getting our trust set in place; she answered all our questions thoroughly and we have peace of mind that our estate and affairs are in order. Highly recommend!
Paul Alvey
September 6, 2021.
I was pretty nervous/unsure about needing a will/ trust and decided to explore my options. I found an introductory video on-line from Legacy Law. From there I set up a meeting with Bethany and went in with a boatload of questions. My questions were answered patiently and with great expertise. I never felt pressured and came out feeling reassured and comfortable with my choices/decisions. This was all done professionally and in a very timely manner. To this day, if I have a question all I have to do is give Bethany or Brynn a call. It is without hesitation that I recommend Legacy Law and their services.
Patsy Christensen
August 31, 2021.
Thank you LegacyLaw Estate planning was a breeze with them .
Deborah Doak
August 21, 2021.
Bethany was great! Very professional and personal. She was always able and willing to answer our questions and come up with the best solution for our needs. I highly recommend her for estate planning and to navigate all the legal intricacies related to that.
Jeff Wilson
August 20, 2021.
Bethany was very professional, reasonably priced and very thorough when working with us on our trust. We highly recommend her for very individualized planning and attention to detail.
Robin Schamber
August 9, 2021.
Bethany was very professional and easy to work with. She answered all my questions and helped me put together a good living trust that I feel comfortable with. I would highly recommend her to anyone who is thinking about estate planning.
Steve Boyd
August 3, 2021.
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