Estate planning is sensitive because it relates to death and dying. These are matters people tend to put off. Few like to spend time thinking about when they will no longer be with family and friends, but it is a reality that we all face. One of the most responsible things an individual can do is have their affairs in order so their family does not have to deal with difficult decisions alongside the grief they are already experiencing. An attorney can help you craft an estate plan for your particular situation.
There are many reasons individuals choose to begin planning, and frankly there are no good reasons not to plan. The younger you are the better. The younger you are the more your plan will focus on your current and future creditors. As you age, the focus will become responsible succession planning. Note, an important part of our estate planning is asset protection planning which you may learn more about here.
Estate planning is the process by which you make financial and other arrangements in anticipation of you no longer being here. Formal estate planning is often combined with business planning to provide additional benefits during your lifetime. After all, there is no luggage rack on a hearse - so you should try and maximize the benefits available to you while you can.
Our planning encompasses the calculable, e.g. tax savings, while providing a complication free means for handling decisions regarding the end of life and how beneficiries should be treated.
1) Avoid Probate: Probate is a court mandated process for those who didn't plan properly. In such cases, the court intervenes to decide how the estate should be distributed. The charge is a fixed fee of several percent of the GROSS estate and the proceedings are public record. All of our plans are designed to bypass probate. Learn more about probate here, revocable living trusts and how they are different from irrevocable trusts.
2) Reduce Taxes & Fees: A large portion of the inheritance can be lost through fees and taxes. Recent increases in the estate tax threshold mean most couples do not currently face an estate tax problem. However, the estate tax rate and threshold have been in flux since their inception. Our plans are designed to minimize any estate taxes in case of adverse tax law changes. Learn more about reducing estate taxes here.
3) Avoid Complications If you don't make your wishes clear, then you cannot reasonable expect them to be fulfilled. Worse yet, the vacuum left behind leaves room for family fighting and court interventions. Those are disastrous to wealth and family harmony. The gift you leave behind can be a blessing or a curse. An estate plan will avoid unnecessary family squabbles over who pays for what, who gets what and when they get it. These types of issues can pull an already stressed family apart and cause further pain and suffering that the deceased never would have intended. We have all seen or heard of families tying up an estate in court for years over petty disagreements. Learn about durable power of attorney here.
Learn what estate planning is about, from asset protection to planning your legacy.
Place your assets into a trust and outside the reach of creditors.
Increase privacy and reduce cost by forming your own trust company.
Learn various strategies for protecting your assets.