Estate Planning & Administration

Without proper estate planning, you are allowing someone else to decide how your estate will be handled.  If you die without a will, state law will dictate how your assets are divided and a judge may very well decide who will raise your minor children.  Also, if your estate is large enough that the federal death tax is implicated, the federal government may share in your estate without proper planning. The goals of effective estate planning are to alleviate these concerns and permit you to decide today, how your affairs will be handled when you are not here to control them. Thinking ahead, you may want to focus on the following issues:

  • Provision for the supervision and control of one’s minor children, including their education and support needs
  • Distribution of precious items or family heirlooms
  • Distribution of assets
  • The avoidance of unnecessary taxation
  • The avoidance of unnecessary probate expenses and challenges
  • Protection in case of incapacity
  • Clarification of your intentions on “end of life” issues, including the preparation of a living will

An estate plan may address some or all of these issues depending on your needs. A well drafted estate plan may include the following:

  • A will
  • An insurance trust
  • Other intervivos (lifetime) trust(s)
  • Trusts for the care of minor children
  • Trusts for the care of children with special needs or that are incapacitated
  • Guardianship provisions for minor children
  • Power of attorney
  • A life prolonging procedures declaration or living will

To prepare your estate plan, please contact our office today.