Good planning, whether the situation is simple or more complex, preserves family harmony, protects assets, eases administrative hassles, and can reduce taxes, fees, and costs. Many individuals feel that they do not have an “estate” to plan. However, that is more often than not incorrect. Virtually all individuals and families need an estate plan, although some people have a heightened need for planning, particularly those with a higher net worth, in a high-risk profession, who own a business, who live in a blended family, who have loved ones with special needs, who have minor children, or who have a significant charitable intent.
Our firm believes that this type of planning should be comprehensive, taking into account every aspect of the client’s life. We have experience in not only drafting basic estate planning documents, such as a will or trust, but also in asset protection, business succession, planning for individuals with special needs, and preparing for long term care and Medicaid. Planning ahead is crucial in keeping things simple for your loved ones after death.
A carefully guided and effective estate plan, as set forth through testamentary documents, can secure your legacy and save your family a great deal of difficulty beyond your passing. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to craft an individual plan for you and your family.
If you have an existing plan, it should be reviewed and updated every three years, or in the event of any of the following:
- Change in marital status;
- Birth of child;
- Change in state of residence;
- Significant change in the value or character of your assets;
- Change in intended beneficiaries;
- Death of a beneficiary;
- Death of a guardian, trustee, or personal representative named in your will; or
- A change in the tax laws affecting federal estate tax deductions and calculations.
Asset Protection Planning:
Proactive asset planning is a systematic arrangement of your assets to minimize the possibility of creditor or predator attacks. You may spend substantial amounts of money defending yourself from these unwanted claims. Due to an actively increasing concern for lawsuits, asset protection planning is becoming a necessity.
We provide guidance to individuals and families who face high-risk situations and then design effective asset protection plans to guard against future liabilities. With years of experience in estate planning, business law, and tax law, we are able to use various techniques to minimize the risk posed by potential predators and protect your privacy.
Special and Supplemental Needs Trusts:
Loved ones with disabilities who may not be completely independent as an adult should have some planning of their own to provide resources to fund a lifetime of care. Preparing for your loved one’s future ensures that the individual will not have to depend wholly on community and government support, which may be limited or even unavailable in the future. Your comprehensive estate plan can provide a set of instructions that makes the transition of your family’s resources as easy as possible when the time comes. Your plan can also preserve the disabled person’s eligibility for governmental benefits with the use of a properly drafted Special or Supplemental Needs Trust.