Estate Planning

Let me begin by saying that my small practice allows me to give you the individualized time and care you and your family deserve when planning for the future. Together we will review your families finances, home and real estate ownership, employment, investments, goals and business interests. With that knowledge my firm will be able to advise you on what estate planning strategies are best suited for you and allow you to make a well-reasoned decision for you and your loved one’s future.

Among the various estate planning options you may need:

The “Will”
A will is a legally binding document that describes how your assets should distributed upon your passing. Without a will, a person runs the risk of those assets falling into the hands of unintended persons.  A will, if properly executed, will be binding upon death so long as it is presented to the proper probate court within the time limits prescribed by state law.  A will may also allow you to designate whom would serve as guardian to your minor children. Such decisions should not be taken lightly and although many do not wish to face thier own mortality, those who do so are thankful and their family is better off for it.

Health Care Surrogate Designation
A health care surrogate designation is a document you sign now to specify the type and extent of medical and personal care you would want later should you become unable to make and communicate your own decisions.  This document provides authorization for named person(s) to view your medical records and discuss your care with medical providers in such an event. Everyone, ages 18 and older, should have this fundamental legal document signed, a copy on file with their physician, and a copy given to each of their appointed agents.

Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney
This is a legal document giving another person the legal authority to make decisions on business matters and other issues on your behalf. The exact scope of the power given is spelled out in the document itself. These powers cease when the maker passes away.

The “Trust”
Generally speaking, a trust is a legal entity with at least three parties: the creator of the trust, the trustee, and the beneficiary. With most “revocable living trusts,” there are all three parties. Depending on your circumstances, there could be advantages to establishing a trust. The most common advantage is your family possibly being able to avoid probate, a time consuming and sometimes expensive legal process needed after ones death. A trust can help streamline the process a direct a trustee how to use teh assets in the event of incapacity or death. A trust is also preferred by families as it doesn’t require your assets being subject to public knowledge. Some trusts may be formulated to protect trust assets from creditors.

 

Come In For a Consultation

I would be glad to consult with you about your estate plan. Because our most important and valuable advice comes in the initial consultation, we charge for that consultation and advice. Our consultation fee for one hour is $195.00, payable at the time of the consultation. We will advise you of the kinds of documents you will need to carry out your estate planning goals and will quote you a price for those documents before we begin to draft them. Contact me today and I will send you an estate planning guide/questionnaire to help define your goals in our consultation.