Estate Planning

A good estate plan will avoid probate, minimize taxes, protect your assets for you and future generations, and ensure your wishes are carried out the way you want. Estate planning usually involves legal documents such as a Last Will, Power of Attorney, Patient Advocate Designation and sometimes a Revocable Living Trust.

If you would like to avoid probate, minimize taxes, protect your assets and ensure that your personal and financial affairs are handled as you desire, you need an estate plan. An estate plan generally involves having a Last Will, a Power of Attorney, a Patient Advocate Designation and sometimes a Revocable Living Trust. All of these documents must be tailored to your particular circumstances and needs. In addition, the ownership and beneficiary designations for all of your assets must be arranged to coordinate with your documents.

A well-drafted plan provides those closest to you with detailed directions if you become incapacitated, and upon your death, so that your financial affairs and health care matters are handled as you desire. Our goal is to assist you in understanding what documents are right for you and what actions you should take in order to ensure your plan is properly executed. We pride ourselves in timely following through to make sure our clients’ plans achieve all of their goals.

Upon completing your estate plan, you may rest assured that you will avoid probate and minimize taxes. Your financial affairs will be handled by whom you want and upon your death your estate will be given to or held in trust only for whom you desire. Your estate will be protected to the greatest extent possible. Finally, your medical decisions, including end-of-life care, will be made only according to your directions.

If estate (death) taxes are a concern, we may implement advanced planning to minimize them. We will identify your concerns for protecting your estate and make recommendations for the appropriate documentation to help preserve your assets for yourself and future generations. If you are saving money for education, we will assist in coordinating those savings accounts with your estate plan. Finally, if you have a second home or cottage, we will provide you with options on how to handle issues that might arise.

You must choose your estate planning attorney wisely. In choosing our firm, you will have seasoned experts assisting you with the entire process.

Revocable Living Trust

A Trust is a written agreement containing detailed instructions for how your money and property will be managed during your lifetime and at your death. A Revocable Trust can avoid probate, protect your assets and minimizes taxes.

Last Will

A Last Will is the most basic of estate planning documents. In most cases you specify who will handle your estate, serve as guardian for minor children and inherit your assets. However, having a Last Will does not avoid probate.

Power of Attorney (Financial)

A Financial Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you give another person authority to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to handle them yourself.

Patient Advocate Designation

A Patient Advocate Document (sometimes called a “Living Will” or “Medical Power of Attorney”) is a legal document in which you give another person authority to make medical decisions for you if you are not able, including end of life decisions.

Special Needs Trust

If you leave an inheritance to a person with special needs, he or she may lose his or her government benefits. A Special Needs Trust is a type of trust agreement designed to provide an inheritance for a special needs beneficiary so he or she may keep all of his or her benefits.

Asset Protection Planning

Most of our clients are concerned about protecting their assets. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to be rich or transfer your money to a Caribbean Island to protect your money and property. There are conventional ways to ensure your assets are protected from from lawsuits or other liabilities.

Cottage law

Many people have strong, emotion ties to their family cottage, regarding it on an almost spiritual level. So it is very common for owners to leave the cottage to the next generation hoping the “cottage tradition” will continue. Unfortunately, passing it on may be more complicated than you think.

Estate & Death Taxes

The federal estate (death) tax is imposed on the value of all the property you own when you die. Generally speaking, if you have more than $5.0MM your estate may be subject to it one day. With proper planning and enough time, you can minimize if not completely avoid the estate tax.

Divorce & Estate Planning

Many people marry later in life for the first time, or get divorced and then later considering getting remarried. People in this stage of life are often concerned that the new marriage may not last and that their money and property may be lost in a divorce. They also want to ensure that when they die their children or immediate family members will inherit some or all of their assets and estate.

Retirement Benefits and Estate Planning

Beneficiaries of inherited Retirement Accounts have options to minimize their income taxes but that depends in part upon how you set things up. An estate planning goal that many people have is to set up their beneficiaries so they leave as large a Retirement Account balance as possible and that their heirs pay as little tax as necessary.