Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney in Harlan, Iowa

While many think of estate and succession planning as simply the creation of a Will, a thoughtful and effective plan involves securing your own personal situation, passing assets in a meaningful way, reducing costs and taxes, and considering your thoughts and wishes. As your attorney, our goal is to help you consider options, make smart decisions, and establish your confidence and trust.

Estate Planning Process

Our goals and philosophies in developing an estate plan include:

  • Financial Security for You and Your Family
  • A Fair and Equitable Disposition of Assets to the Next Generation, Based on Your Judgment
  • Prevention of Family Fights
  • Minimize Administration Costs and Taxes
  • An Efficient and Orderly Administration
  • Provide You with Control and Protection, as Desired
  • Simplicity, to the Extent Possible

Comprehensive estate planning involves the consideration of your goals and wishes, an examination of your assets, liabilities, and expenses, communication with other professionals such as your financial advisers and life insurance agents, and finally, the creation of a package of documents consistent with these background discussions and work.

All of our estate plan packages include the following:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Durable Power of Attorney, for financial and property decisions in case of an accident or other incapacity
  • Advance Healthcare Directive, for healthcare decisions and directives, in case of an accident or other incapacity

Wills and Revocable Trusts

Using only a Will presents some disadvantages, as assets often must pass through probate. Probate requires a longer administration, court costs, higher attorneys fees, and less privacy.

To counter the disadvantages of probate, we advise many clients and families to create and fund a revocable living trust. Like a will, a revocable living trust is a legal instrument that provides instructions on who receives assets after your death, who is in charge of handling the administration of your assets, and how the administration should take place. Unlike the use of a will, creating and properly funding a revocable living trust avoids probate, provides for management of property and debt during incapacity, and promotes flexibility in administration.

Costs of Estate Planning

For a single individual, a basic estate plan normally costs between $200 and $350, depending on the time and complexity required. For married persons, a basic estate plan costs between $300 and $500.

The creation of a revocable trust in conjunction with an estate plan generally costs between $750 and $1,500 for either single individuals or married persons, depending on assets involved, research required, and the complexity of the plan.

To get started with the development of your estate plan, please contact us for a phone call or appointment.