The Estate Planning Process


Planning Goals

First Step

  • Establish an RLT, DPOA, AHCD and more.

Avoid probate and ensure your end of life wishes are honored.

Second Step

  • Protect Your Assets

You may form an asset protection trust for yourself. This assists during your lifetime, but does not cover contingencies related to your beneficiaries.

Third Step

  • Help Future Generations

Establish trusts for your heirs and charities, while minimizing taxes.

Contact Us

If you're considering an estate plan, you may be wondering what exactly is involved. When you meet with our estate planning attorney, he will discuss your family and your financial situation, and will help you think through the estate planning strategies that are best for you. Here is a general outline:

Prepare: Before the initial meeting, you should think about yourself. For example, is asset protection only important during your lifetime, or should beneficiaries have their own asset protection trusts? Do you have minor children, a blended family or family business? Our questionnaire will assist you with these questions.

Consult: Don't be afraid to ask questions, both during the meeting and afterward. We want to make sure you understand every aspect of your estate plan. During this meeting we discuss financial concerns and less quantifiable concerns, such as the role of an Advanced Healthcare Directive and how to choose a trustee.

Execute: You and the attorney will work together to put your estate plan in place. This will likely include several different steps, from living trusts and asset protection trusts to preparing a Durable Power of Attorney. This step includes funding your trust (transferring property into a trust).

Maintain: Once the initial documents are created and signed, you'll need to periodically review your estate plan to make sure that it still meets your needs. Changes in your personal circumstances, like the birth of a child or the purchase of out-of -state property, can necessitate a change in your estate plan. Changes in the law can require an adjustment in your plan, too. We will assist with these changes when the time comes to ensure your legacy plan continues to fulfill your needs and the estate settlement process proceeds smoothly.

Your attorney will help fully explain topics such as the difference between a revocable and irrevocable trust, asset protection during your lifetime and how to avoid probate. These situations are covered to ensure an effective estate plan.