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What is an Estate Plan?

January 26, 2021

Video Transcript

Hi everybody. I’m Jessica Rafferty. I’m an attorney at Quatrini Rafferty and I focus my practice in the areas of estate planning and estate administration. This is Calvin because I’m shooting this from my house…so sorry about that, but anyway, welcome to legal tip Tuesday. I wanted to talk with you about what an estate plan is. I often get people calling the office and they say I need an estate plan but what is that? So I thought I would start this year off with just explaining what an estate plan is and then kind of walk you all through the steps of estate planning and then estate administration. And if you guys have any questions you know as we’re going just send me a message and let me know what those questions are or drop me a message down below and I’ll address those questions for you in the next video.

So an estate plan is really a plan that will deal with your assets and your health. Upon your death or your incapacity it can deal with an awful lot more. I have found and that’s why I’m really excited about this area because I actually think you can do more than that. But those are sort of the two basic things and a lot of people will say to me. I’m not doing an estate plan. I don’t care what happens when I die. I’ll be dead.

Okay, so you will be dead but your family and your loved ones are now going to be left with a mess. Quite honestly, not only is it going to be difficult for them to kind of figure out what to do with all of your things it actually can lead to a lot of conflict within families if you do not plan for that. The other thing is that when people say that you know, I don’t care what happens “I’m going to be dead” they’re not contemplating a situation where they become incapacitated at that point. You aren’t dead and I think you’re very much going to care about who’s making your decisions and what happens to you. And so the estate plan actually allows you to select that person versus relying on a judge to decide who will take care of your health care. And your financial decisions, so that’s sort of the basic framework of an estate plan. The things that it actually can do.

In addition to that it sets an example for your family. You know your family is going to know that you’ve done an estate plan because most of the time they’re going to be involved in it and they don’t need to know the details, but they do need to know that it exists and just simply knowing that it exists actually makes them kind of think about their own planning. So you’re setting an example, which is an amazing thing to do for your family. It also allows your family to stay out of court and out of conflict upon your death or incapacity, which is a tremendous gift to them.

So that’s sort of what an estate plan is meant to do and like I said throughout the year I’ll be walking you through other parts of the estate plan and more specificity and then the estate administration process, which is the process that would occur after someone dies. So I hope that helps and I look forward to going through this with you this year and again if you have any questions in the meantime, just let me know and I will talk with you soon again. I’m Jessica Rafferty for Legal Tip Tuesday. Hope you have a great day.