Estate planning provides for how assets will be distributed upon death or during life. A properly executed estate plan will ensure that your assets pass on to the individuals and organizations of your choosing. Another important function of estate planning is to minimize federal and state taxes on your estate. We can assist you in determining what type of estate planning is right for you.
In addition to preparation of a Will and/or Trust, our estate planning includes a General Power of Attorney, Durable Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will Declaration, and Statement of Last Wishes.
We are also able to assist in review and determination of the optimum designation of title to your assets and for beneficiary designations on any applicable accounts or insurance policies.
A Will provides a road map for distribution of your assets upon your death, and requires filing of a probate in order to carry out your wishes, except for small estates. For small estates with less than $75,000 in personal property, we can assist you in preparation of a small estate affidavit in order to collect bank accounts, final paychecks, or even change title to a car. For estates with less than $100,000 equity in real estate (assessed value less recorded liens), we can assist you in preparation of an affidavit of collection of real property in order to re-title real estate in the name of beneficiaries without the time or expense of filing a probate. Please note there is a six (6) month waiting period in order to use this affidavit procedure and additional limitations apply.
A living trust, also known as a revocable living trust, is a useful mechanism to avoid probate while ensuring that your assets are controlled by a person of your choice and distributed to your designated beneficiaries. A living trust is especially useful in certain situations where a probate contest is likely or for individuals with complex estates, including ownership of real estate in multiple states.
During our initial meeting, we will examine and evaluate your situation and make appropriate recommendations to attain your goals. We will assist you in establishing proper documentation to carry out your wishes, avoid probate if possible, and provide you and your loved ones with peace of mind.