Estate Planning

With each new estate planning client, we realize that every single family is unique, and thus, the planning process for each family’s estate is special and specific to their needs. We recognize that, in addition to preparing documents to support the estate plan, we must review the types of assets that make up the taxable estate, review relevant documents governing those assets, coordinate beneficiary designations, and sometimes recommend changes in the style of ownership on assets. The following questions commonly arise during our initial consultations.

Who Needs Estate Planning?

If you are over the age of 18 and of sound mind, you should have an estate plan in place. You are especially encouraged to put an estate plan in place if any of the following are applicable to you:

  1. Have minor and/or special needs children;
  2. Have a disabled or incapacitated spouse;
  3. Are married and have a net worth (including the face value of life insurance) of more than $1 million;
  4. Have a blended family; and/or
  5. Own your own business.

For most people, estate planning is a package deal, including the preparation of a will, durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and physician’s directive, and a HIPAA release.

What goals can I accomplish with my estate plan?
  • Make sure your wishes are carried out when you can no longer manage your affairs. It’s important to have both a power of attorney and a living will.
  • Preserve your wealth for later generations.
  • Donate to a favorite charity or cause through your estate plan.
  • Distribute assets with a minimum of legal hassle.
  • Minimize taxes that can go along with transferring assets.
  • Provide enough cash to cover all immediate funeral and probate expenses.
  • Protect your family’s privacy with an estate plan designed to prevent your will or trust from becoming public record.
Common Types of Trusts
  • Revocable Living Trusts (RLT)
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT)
  • Gift Trusts for children and grandchildren
  • Contingent Trusts in a Will
  • Lifetime Trusts for children
  • Charitable Leads Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Gun Trusts
  • Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT) for gifts to non-US citizens
  • Bypass Trusts (also known as Credit Shelter or A/B Trusts)
  • Supplemental Needs Trusts for beneficiaries with special needs