Essential Estate Planning focuses on just that, the essential planning you need for your estate. Don't be misled by the term "estate," everyone has one! It is simply the word used for everything you own, and the phrase "estate plan" includes vital decisions such as a guardian for your children and who will make decisions for you if you can't make them on your own.
A will is the most important, basic estate planning tool. It allows you to gift your property to specific persons or entities in the amount you desire, name a personal representative to handle your affairs after death and designate a guardian for your minor children. Without a will, all of these things will be decided by the State. A will also waives the requirement of a bond, which can be a costly expense for your estate.
As part of your plan, you will also receive a power of attorney and advance directive.
There are many varieties of trusts. The most common is the revocable living trust. This is a trust created during your lifetime and revocable by you at any time. Unlike a will, a trust can avoid the probate process assuming it is properly maintained. It also allows you to disburse gifts over time and according to certain terms set out by you. For more information on trusts and other estate planning tools, see My Article on the Resources page.
As part of a trust plan, you also receive a will, power of attorney, advance directive, and one deed to transfer real property.
As a personal representative or trustee of a loved one’s estate, handling the administration process can be a daunting task in a time when you are already experiencing difficult emotions. Working with an experienced attorney to help you navigate this complex process is essential in getting an estate settled efficiently. Whether your loved one left a will, a trust, or nothing at all, we can help you through the court procedures or administer the trust so you don’t face these tasks alone.
Not all trusts are created equal. Some are a few pages, others fill a large binder. Most often the selected Trustee is left bewildered. Essential Estate Planning can help. From a standard living trust to a complex tax planning trust, we will guide you through the administration every step of the way.
Starting and running a business is hard enough without having to think about legal implications. However, entity formation and maintenance is one of the most important tasks a small business needs to do. Working with an attorney to ensure you are set up and running properly to maintain your status and liability protection is key. We also help clients put a succession plan in place to preserve the legacy you have worked so hard to build.
If you have found yourself in a position with a loved one that has lost capacity and does not have a power of attorney or trustee in place, we can help here too. These are two separate roles, but often go together. Guardianship is implemented to take care of day to day activities and decisions, whereas conservatorship gives the representative authority to handle financial affairs for the protected person.
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