At the heart of every estate plan is what the client holds dearest: children, spouse, life partner, or friend; faith or community organization; even pets. Working around this, a successful plan considers the risks and challenges that may be faced, such as death or illness, and seeks to prepare for these.
When we help you with your estate planning, we create documents that convey your intentions for your assets after death, identify those responsible for settling any debts and distributing your assets, and express your preferences with regard to your care if you become disabled before death. Typical estate documents include wills, trusts, healthcare and financial powers of attorney, and living wills.
Too many people wait to establish wills and trusts because they simply don’t want to think about it. But it is so important to put your wishes in a legal document so that they can be carried out and not challenged. Frankly, if your wills and trusts are not set up correctly, you might as well not have done them. Often, people think that if they don’t yet have children, they don’t need a will. Everyone should have a will. You may have assets you don’t realize. If you die without a will, a court will decide how to distribute those assets. One quite common situation occurs when one spouse dies, followed shortly by the death of the surviving spouse. A simple will can make sure your assets go to whomever you wish. Trusts are also a vital planning tool. In many cases, trusts can save an estate a good deal of money on taxes. We can advise you on whether your estate and your goals warrant establishing a trust. Then we can draft a trust that will achieve those goals. We handle revocable and irrevocable trusts and living trusts. We also will administer trusts on clients’ behalf.