Estate Planning Services

Sage Legacy Counsel: Crafting Your Legacy in Montgomery

Don't Let Alabama Decide Your Legacy

Did you know that by not creating an estate plan, you're letting the state of Alabama make crucial decisions about your future and your loved ones? These decisions could include who inherits your assets, who manages your finances if you're incapacitated, and even who cares for your minor children. At Sage Legacy Counsel, we believe your legacy deserves a voice.

We Create Customized Estate Plans for Alabama Residents

Wills:

 It allows you to designate who inherits your assets and choose a guardian for minor children. However, a will has limitations. It doesn't provide control over your finances and care if you become incapacitated due to illness or injury. Additionally, wills go through probate, a court process that validates the will and distributes your assets. This process can be lengthy, expensive, and public, potentially causing extra stress for your loved ones. To ensure your wishes are carried out comprehensively, consider incorporating other estate planning tools.



Trusts:
 

Trusts are a powerful and flexible tool for managing your assets and ensuring your wishes are carried out after you're gone. They come in various forms, each offering distinct advantages depending on your needs.

Revocable Living Trusts: These trusts allow you to retain control over your assets while you're alive. However, the real benefit lies in bypassing probate after you pass away. This saves your loved ones from the time, expense, and stress of probate during a difficult time.

Irrevocable Trusts: Need strong asset protection? An irrevocable trust shields your assets from creditors, lawsuits, and even some long-term care costs.

Specialized Trusts: These can address specific goals, such as creating a secure fund for a loved one with special needs, while still allowing them to qualify for important government benefits.

We recognize that every family's situation is unique. Our experienced attorneys will work closely with you to determine if a trust is right for you and recommend the most suitable type (or combination of trusts) to achieve your specific goals and protect the well-being of your loved ones.


Power of Attorney:

A power of attorney is a legal document that empowers a trusted person, called your "agent," to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself. This can happen due to illness, injury, or incapacity. It's a flexible tool that allows you to tailor the authority you grant. Your agent can have limited powers for specific situations, like managing your finances, or broader authority encompassing even medical care decisions. Ultimately, a power of attorney offers peace of mind. Knowing your trusted agent can handle your affairs ensures your wishes are respected, and your loved ones are cared for during challenging times. However, choosing your agent wisely is crucial. Select someone you implicitly trust who understands your values and wishes. Finally, remember to keep your power of attorney document updated, especially if your health or circumstances change.

Taking Control of Your Future in Alabama!

By working with Sage Legacy Counsel, you gain peace of mind knowing your wishes will be respected, and your loved ones will be protected. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss how we can help you craft your legacy in Montgomery.

 

Old Folks

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10 Reasons to Create an Estate plan NOW!

 

Many people still believe estate planning is just for the wealthy or elderly. They might think they're too young or don't have enough assets to benefit. But as the following situations show, estate planning is crucial for everyone, regardless of age or net worth.

    1. Loss of Capacity: What happens if you become incapacitated and can't manage your affairs? In 2024, without a plan, the court will appoint someone. With a plan, you choose that person through a power of attorney.
    2. Minor Children: Who will raise your children if you die? Without a plan, a court will decide. With a plan, you nominate your preferred guardian.
    3. Dying Without a Will: In 2024, if you die without a will, your assets are distributed according to your state's intestacy laws, which might not align with your wishes. With a plan, you decide who inherits your assets and how they receive them.
    4. Blended Families: In today's world, blended families are common. Without a plan, children from different marriages may not be treated as you intend. With a plan, you determine what goes to your spouse and children from prior marriages
    5. Children with Special Needs: In 2024, without a plan, a child with special needs might lose government benefits if they inherit directly. With a plan, a supplemental needs trust allows them to keep benefits while using trust assets for extra expenses.
    6. Keeping Assets in the Family: Do you want your assets to stay within your family? Without a plan, your child's spouse or future ex-spouse could inherit your money. With a plan, a trust ensures assets stay in your family, potentially passing to grandchildren.
    7. Financial Security: Can your loved ones maintain their lifestyle? Without a plan and life insurance income replacement, they might struggle. With a plan, life insurance provides financial security for your family.
    8. Retirement Accounts: Have an IRA or similar account? Without a plan, your beneficiary might not be up-to-date, leading to unwanted tax consequences for your heirs. With a plan, you choose the optimal beneficiary.
    9. Business Ownership: Do you own a business? Without a plan, there's no named successor, potentially causing your family to lose control. With a plan, you choose who will own and operate the business after you're gone.
    10. Avoiding Probate: Without a plan, probate can cause delays, fees, and make your assets public record. With a plan, you can potentially avoid probate entirely.

Remember, estate planning is an ongoing process. Review and update your plan as your life circumstances change.