What is estate planning?
“Estate planning” involves the preparation of legal documents designed to control the distribution of your assets to your heirs or beneficiaries (e.g. a spouse, children, or a charity). Estate planning often involves more than merely preparing a simple Will. We plan carefully to create the right combination of gifting (where appropriate), Wills, Trusts (including revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts), Powers of Attorney for Financial and Health purposes, and other documents to ensure the intended distribution of your assets is realized.
Why do I need an estate plan?
Unfortunately, many individuals believe they do not need an estate plan because they are not wealthy or because they believe their family members will take care of matters when they pass away. As a result, an individual’s assets may not be distributed as he or she had hoped. Creating an estate plan provides you with the opportunity to do the following:
Plan for the division of assets between your current spouse and your children by a former spouse.
Determine who will care for your minor children or children with disabilities.
Establish mechanisms to pay for your child’s college, living expenses, medical needs, etc.
Determine who will manage money for your children until they reach a responsible age.
Plan for your own care in the event you become incapacitated.
Determine who will receive heirlooms or other special items of specific concern.
Formalize your wishes regarding your medical care and end-of-life wishes.
Provide for donations to charitable organizations.
Provide you with peace of mind.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution in estate planning; each person’s situation is different and requires particular consideration. We listen carefully to the needs of our clients, then work diligently to educate them about the pros and cons of their wishes and potential options. If minimizing federal estate tax is an issue, we collaborate with our clients and their financial advisors to develop a plan designed specifically to protect our client’s resources. Even after an initial estate plan has been developed, we establish a suggested schedule to meet with a client to review and evaluate his or her plan to ensure it continues to meet our client’s specific needs and circumstances.
How do we help our clients plan?
Prior to meeting with us, we ask potential clients to review and complete our Estate Planning Worksheet found here. We then schedule a consultation to discuss the information provided by you and outline a suggested estate plan. After we reach agreement on the specific estate planning strategy desired by you, we can then provide our range of fees for service.