Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
The Wisdom of Planning Ahead
Whatever stage of life you are in, proper estate planning today gives you and your loved ones a legacy of loving memories, shared values, wise choices and diligent distribution of assets.
If you are a young couple with minor children, you can designate who will care for your children in the event both parents pass away. You can also designate the terms and timing by which your children will receive their inheritance.
If you are an older individual or couple with assets to protect, you can choose effective strategies for preserving your assets and minimizing exposure to estate tax liability. We have extensive experience helping high net worth individuals understand and utilize the protections the law affords.
Regardless of your situation, we can assist you with your estate planning needs.
The Importance of Making Your Wishes Known
A proper estate plan will provide for the orderly distribution of your assets after death, as well as the possibility of illness or incapacity during life.
At your direction, we will endeavor to create an estate plan designed to:
- Preserve assets
- Minimize estate tax liability
- Avoid disputes within the family after passing
- Ensure an orderly distribution of assets and payment of debts
- Avoid probate
- Avoid litigation, if possible
Helping You Make Informed Decisions
We will assess your family and financial situation, identify your estate planning goals and develop a comprehensive strategy to help you achieve them. We will listen carefully and explain all your options so you can makeinformed decisions. Estate planning tools to be considered include:
- Wills — Wills express your wishes regarding the disposition or transfer of assets after you die. You can also name a guardian to care for your minor children if both parents pass away
- Trusts — Trusts are a detailed set of instructions expressing your wishes for management of assets during your lifetime and transfer of those assets at your passing. When established and fully funded a trust may allow for the distribution of an estate without having to go through the probate process
- Term Trusts — Term Trusts allow you to postpone or distribute assets in stages to your heirs. These are useful where a beneficiary may not be old or mature enough to handle his or her own finances
- Special Needs Trusts — Special Needs Trusts provide for the financial support for a disabled child or spouse without losing his or her eligibility for governmental benefits such a Medicaid
- Powers of Attorney — Powers of Attorney allow you to designate a person to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf, in the event of your incapacity
- Advance Health Care Directives — Advance Health Care Directives, also known as living wills, allow you to express your wishes regarding end-of-life decisions and life-sustaining treatments or procedures
We also provide complete analysis of the tax implications of each option so you will have complete information to make confident decisions.
We also assist clients who face disputes arising out of poorly-worded or executed wills and defective estate tax plans and offer experienced guidance on reformation. To schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced estate planning lawyers, contact us online or call 401-455-3500.