The 5 W’s of Estate Planning

By Jeremy A. Wechsler
Your Estate Planning Attorney

The questions who, what, when, where and why are the most basic questions we are taught to ask. Why not ask the same questions when it comes to estate planning?

  • WHO: All adults need to plan their estate. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Whether you are 18, 30, 50 or 90, you need an estate plan. Everyone will have a different estate plan. For example, a 30 year old with a newborn may be most concerned about guardians for her daughter. A 65 year old that is retiring with a significant IRA may be concerned about legacy protection for his children and grandchildren.
  • WHAT: Estate planning can mean different things to different people. These are some of the areas that an estate plan can cover:

Essential planning (Wills, Powers of Attorney)

Legacy Planning/Asset Protection

Long-term care planning

Small business planning

Retirement planning

Planning for incapacity

Special needs planning

  • WHEN: It’s never too late to start planning. The best way to start is by making an appointment with a qualified estate planning attorney. Also, review your plan every couple of years. As your life changes, your plan must change!
  • WHERE: There are online services such as LegalZoom, RocketLawyer, Nolo and others. However, there is no substitution for working with a qualified attorney. Remember, estate planning is a legal process, so you should have the best legal representation possible. Trying to “do-it-yourself” can cause unforeseen consequences and destroy your legacy.
  • WHY: Pause for a minute, and consider what or who is most important in your life. Most times, family will rank pretty high if not the highest to that question. If so, you owe it to your family to create a robust estate plan that protects their interests, squashes any conflict or discord, and helps efficiently deal with your affairs. Remember, if you don’t have a plan, the government has a plan for you (and you have no control over it!).

For a complimentary 15-minute no obligation chat with Jeremy, call (215) 706-0200 and get on the calendar. Together, we can build an estate plan that provides you with a legacy of which you can be proud.