Our firm assists clients with a variety of estate planning needs. We welcome clients with estates and needs of all sizes.
Having a will is the only way to determine what you want done with your property after you are gone. Without a will, the Intestate Succession Statute decides for you.Many clients with modest size estates need basic estate planning services. It is important for these clients to receive the estate planning services they really need, without unnecessary complexity or expense. For example, parents with growing children need wills, even if their estates are small, so that they can nominate a guardian to raise their children in their absence and a trustee to manage any inheritance the children receive. Without a will, the court makes these decisions.
Married couples have special estate planning needs. Including a renunciation trust in a will (at no additional cost) assures that the surviving spouse has a tax-saving option available if it is needed.
Wills should coordinate with other non-probate assets, like life insurance and retirement plan death benefits, so that your overall plan is consistent.
Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney allow someone you choose to handle your financial and business affairs, in the event you are unable to handle them yourself. They are an important part of estate planning because they avoid the expensive alternative of a guardianship proceeding in court.
Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney
For persons having a strong preference not to have artificial means of life support administered, living wills provide mandatory instructions accordingly. Health care powers of attorney appoint someone to make medical decisions for you, in the event you are unable to make those decisions yourself. These tools are important, to prevent having to obtain court orders to discontinue undesired treatment.
Trusts allow a beneficiary — typically minors, young adults, or disabled adults of any age – to have the financial benefit of property without having legal title to it. Legal title is held for the beneficiary’s benefit by a trustee, who manages the assets and disburses money for the beneficiary’s use or benefit. Trusts can be included in wills for minor, young adult or disabled beneficiaries. A simple trust in a will is essential when minor children may inherit, since the law does not allow minors to own property in their own name. Trusts can be established and funded during one’s lifetime to accomplish other planning goals.
Our firm’s objective is to answer your estate planning questions and help you make and implement decisions you are comfortable with. We don’t believe that estate planning should be intimidating or unnecessarily expensive. Many clients’ needs are met with moderate expense. We do believe estate planning should be kept as simple and as straightforward as possible.
- Succession Planning for Business Owners
- Are Retirement Accounts Protected from Creditors?
- How to Make Vehicle Transfer Easier When Someone Dies
- Making Good Use of Your “PODs”
- Estate Planning 101: Tools in the Toolbox
- What are”Living Wills” and “Health Care Powers of Attorney”?
- What is a “Power of Attorney?”
- How can a “renunciation trust” help avoid estate taxes?
- As the parent of a growing child, why do I need a will?
- What is a “trust”?