Effective Estate Planning allows you to decide how your assets will be distributed after your death. This includes making a detailed plan on how your assets will be managed and used for the benefit of future generations and how your minor children will be cared for. Without an estate plan, state law will determine who inherits your property and a Judge may even decide who will raise your children. By executing a proper will and perhaps a Trust, you can make these decisions for yourself. Creating tax minimizing strategies can also be achieved through estate planning.
Estate planning is especially important for small business owners. A proper estate plan can ensure that your business continues to run smoothly following your incapacity or passing. If your goal is not for the business to continue, or if it will continue without the involvement of your loved ones, a proper estate plan can ensure that your loved ones will be fairly compensated.
Property left through a will goes through a Probate Court administration which causes delays and costs to beneficiaries. The Probate process includes appraising all of your property, paying all of your debts and distributing the remainder—but only after waiting periods are satisfied and court and legal fees are paid. By executing a living trust, your surviving family members or other beneficiaries can begin benefiting from your assets quickly and easily—generally immediately following your death.
Health Care Directives
A healthcare directive allows you to make important decisions about whether or not life-sustaining or “heroic” measures will be taken in the event you become permanently incapacitated as certified by two attending physicians.
Specific Estate Planning Services Include:
- Revocable “Living” Trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Proxies
- HIPAA Authorizations
- Income Tax Planning
- Estate, Gift, and GST Tax planning
- Family business succession planning
- Lifetime gifting strategies
- Trustee, Executor, and Guardian representation
- Trustee services