Estate Planning

No matter your age or situation, it is never too late to consider starting your estate planning process. From the young family wishing to ensure their young children will be supported and cared for to someone simply wishing to tie up loose ends, our knowledgeable firm can help you through executing the necessary estate planning documents to achieve your goals.

Estate planning is more than just a Will. It is also about planning for the incapacities you may experience in your lifetime, creating powers of attorney to avoid guardianship proceedings, reviewing and managing your assets to avoid probate, as well as leaving a lasting legacy for your family.

The Assurances of a Will

A Will provides your family with certainty after your passing and names the people in charge of administering your final affairs, distributing your assets, naming the individuals who will receive your assets, and providing for the guardianship of minor children. Although passing away without a Will is not necessarily a hardship, but passing without a Will leaves it to the Courts to decide who your heirs are and who will administer your estate, making the probate process more expensive and burdensome on your family.

Additional Protections Using Trusts

Trusts can help in a variety of ways in estate planning. Trusts can help to maintain your family’s privacy, ensure some assets avoid the probate process, limit your estate tax exposure, or provide the necessary expertise and support to a beneficiary who is not equipped to handle the preservation and management of an inheritance. Whether created in a Will or in a standalone document, a trust might provide you with the extra care your estate plan needs.

Probate Avoidance

You may wish to avoid the probate of your Will all together in order to maintain the privacy of your family’s situation and to provide a quick and easy transition of assets to your loved ones. Through the use of trusts, transfer on death and lady bird deeds, and proper designations on your financial accounts, we can help you with this endeavor. As an additional consideration, if you own assets in multiple states (such as real estate), without proper planning, you may have to go through the probate process in each state.

Preventing Guardianship

By having medical and financial powers of attorney in place, you will have the tools necessary to assist you in the future, should the need arise, but which will also help to prevent any potential guardianship actions in the event you become incapacitated or no longer capable of managing your own affairs. Court involvement in the management of one’s own affairs will always be invasive, cumbersome, and not cost efficient.

Estate Taxes

Although taxes on our estates are not a concern for the vast majority of people due to the large exemption amounts available, this may not always be the case due to the politicization of this issue. If you have any concerns regarding potential estate taxes, please reach out to us to discuss these concerns.