Estate planning is the process of planning for the management of your assets during your lifetime and at death. Whether you realize it or not, everyone has an estate plan. The question is whether you’ve made the decisions or left the decision to the state using its laws of intestacy.

To many people, having an estate plan means executing a will or establishing a revocable trust, which is often just one piece of the puzzle. A complete estate plan covers virtually all possible contingencies, including disability, the death of both spouses, the needs of a minor or disabled child and business succession planning. Additional estate planning tools may be called for to provide you with more control, protect assets, minimize or eliminate estate, gift and transfer taxes, lessen the expense to your heirs, and provide quicker administration after your death. While you may be able to generate your own will or trust using internet forms or software from your local office supply store, only competent legal counsel can effectively create a plan especially for you that considers all these factors.