Introduction to Estate Planning

So what exactly IS estate planning? When I tell people that I am an Estate Planning attorney, the usual response is “oh that’s nice.” The after a pause, they ask, “So what is it that you actually do? What exactly IS estate planning?” The short answer that I usually give is, “I create Wills, Trusts, and help clients with Estate Tax Planning.” And that usually satisfies their polite yet fleeting curiosity. But for those of you who have stumbled across this blog, you are likely looking for a more in depth description of what an estate-planning attorney actually does. So, I will indulge you with a long answer. First of all, there are as many definitions of estate planning as there are estate-planning attorneys. And although there are more official resources, Wikipedia is easily accessible and where many go to get their information. So I’ll start there: Wikipedia defines estate planning as: “the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate during a person’s life. Estate planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses.” Say what? That’s a lot of fancy legal words. So to make it clear, I’ll break this definition down into three parts, all of which will be explained in three separate upcoming blog posts….