Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts

Though they are questions most would rather avoid, important questions need to be answered to ensure the welfare of your family and loved ones. It is important that you and your family analyze your estate planning needs:

  • Who will care for my children?
  • How can I provide for them financially after I am gone?
  • Who has the legal authority to make medical and financial decisions for me if I become incapacitated?
I can help you understand the issues involved and craft the documents needed to ensure your wishes are met. I tailor all documents to each client's unique situation and goals.

  • Last will and testament: This can address a wide range of personal and financial matters including the distribution of real and personal property and who should assume the responsibility of caring for any children or pets.
  • Codicil: This document amends an existing will.
  • Trust: A trust transfers assets to beneficiaries while avoiding probate and reducing estate tax penalties.
  • Living wills: This document records your healthcare decisions regarding terminal illness and life-support options. It is also known as a healthcare directive.
  • Durable power of attorney: This gives legal power to someone else to make healthcare or financial decisions on your behalf.
Is it Time to Review Your Plan?
It is advisable to review your estate plan anytime there has been a significant life event. If you have gotten married, divorced, had a new child, or acquired significant new assets then you should consider updating your plan.

It is also important to review your estate plan in light of changes to federal and state tax laws. Depending upon the value of your assets and the manner in which they are held your estate may be subject to sizeable federal or state taxes upon your death. Tools such as marital trusts and credit shelter trusts or bypass trusts, as well as irrevocable life insurance trusts can minimize or completely eliminate the tax burden on your estate upon your death.

Remember to always update your plan if there has been a change in beneficiaries.

Click here for answers to common questions, or contact me for a personal consultation.

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