October 18-25 is “National Estate Planning Awareness Week”

October 18-25 is National Estate Planning Awareness Week.

National Estate Planning Awareness Week was adopted in 2008 to help the public understand what estate planning is and why it is such a vital component of financial wellness.  The House of Representatives, in House Resolution 1499, named the third week in October of each year as the National Estate Planning Awareness Week.

Estate planning allows you to take control of your personal and financial affairs now and in the future. Regardless of the size of your estate, what you own, or what your family circumstances may be, a comprehensive estate plan is an essential tool for everyone. Estate planning can help you protect assets during your life, and provide a legacy to your family and friends. Estate planning is motivated out of love for family, friends, and others.

Clients often ask us about tools we use in the estate planning process and what each of them can accomplish. Here is a brief description of the most essential and frequently used estate planning tools.

Last Wills and Testaments

With a will, you can: (1) direct where and to whom your estate will go after your death; (2) make the administration of your estate much easier for your heirs; (3) choose the person to administer your estate and distribute your assets according to your wishes; (4) reduce estate taxes; and (5) appoint a guardian for your minor children.

Durable Powers of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available – even more useful than a will. A power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent to act in your place for financial purposes.

Advance Medical Directives

An advance medical directive allows you to: (1) give instructions to medical providers concerning your care if you are gravely ill, and (2) choose a medical agent to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.


A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary. By establishing a trust, you can: avoid probate; save taxes; protect property from creditors; provide for the continuing care of a disabled child or other relative; and, help to qualify for Medicaid or other needs-based public benefits.

Effective estate planning can include many other strategies and tools to accomplish a wide range of goals, but the above documents are absolutely essential in carrying out your wishes.

House Resolution 1499 (110th): Designating the third week in October as “National Estate Planning Awareness Week” is annexed here –  [gview file=”https://vanarellilaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/House-Resolution-National-Estate-Planning-Awareness-Week.pdf”]

For additional information concerning estate planning and administration, visit:

Estate Planning and Administration