Is Estate Planning more than just a set of documents? Yes, estate planning  documents are important , but just the beginning of the estate planning process.

Does anyone know your passwords? Do you have kids, pets, or loved ones dependent on you for financial support? Are your beneficiary designations up to date? Do you have a safe deposit box or a safe in the house? Do you have businesses or investment real estate? Do you have multiple homes in different states or countries? Do you have specific gifts, a personal items list, or a letter that you would like to leave to be read upon your death? This is all estate planning.

Estate planning is the process where an estate planning attorney assists an individual or couple in protecting their assets during their lifetime in case they become incapacitated and protects their loved ones, saving them both money and time, upon their death.

Does anyone know exactly when he or she will die? No, I have heard so many stories of young people dying. For example, I have dealt with probates where a young woman in her forties died leaving a teenage daughter after she choked suddenly. Another probate case involved a married man in his forties, who died of a brain cancer leaving two small children and a wife behind.

Probate is an expensive and intrusive court process that is needed if an individual dies with assets in their own name or if jointly owned, both individuals pass away. Probate court can be avoided by doing a proper estate plan. At Ally Glaser, PA, we do estate planning and also handle probate and trust administration matters. We are happy to help you during these difficult times.