Estate Planning

Estate Planning

We work closely with our clients to ensure that their affairs are in order and their assets are protected in the event of incapacity or death. We craft an estate plan that suits our clients’ specific needs and concerns: our clients range from 30-year old newlyweds with small children to a 95-year old widow who wishes to revise her existing Will.

Planning considerations to be addressed:

  • Estate tax planning

  • Planning for disabled, minor, or spendthrift children

  • Avoiding probate

  • Distribution of qualified retirement plans or IRAs

  • Planning with life insurance

  • Protection against creditors

Advance Directives

Advance Directives are legal documents wherein the person signing the document appoints an agent to act on their behalf in financial or healthcare matters. Even the simplest estate plan consists of Advance Directives – these documents can be crucial – and we draft each document to our client’s specific circumstances.

  1. Powers of Attorney and Statutory Gifts Rider: appoints an agent to manage financial matters.

  2. Health Care Proxy: appoints an agent to make healthcare decisions.

  3. Living Will: provides specific instructions regarding end-of-life decisions.

Last Will and Testament

We draft Last Wills and Testaments to provide for the distribution of assets upon death. Generally, without a Will, a person’s assets are distributed pursuant to the law of the state where they last resided instead of according to their specific preferences.

Depending on the client, we draft Wills to address their needs and the needs of their beneficiaries. Our Wills often contain Testamentary Trusts to protect against the dissipation of assets due to taxationspendthrift beneficiariesdisabled beneficiaries, and minor beneficiaries. Testamentary Trusts allow the testator (person who makes a Will) to have a degree of control over their assets after they pass.

Types of Testamentary Trusts: Disclaimer/Credit Shelter Trusts; Supplemental Needs Trusts; Minor Trusts; trusts for individuals who are in need of protection from creditors or have addiction/abuse problems.

Wills are also very useful and practical for appointing a guardian for minor children.

Trusts (Revocable and Irrevocable)

In addition to Testamentary Trusts, our client’s needs often call for the use of “living” trusts, which provides for their assets to be owned by such a trust during their lifetime.

There are two categories (although many types) of living trusts: Revocable Trusts and Irrevocable Trusts.

  1. Revocable Trusts are typically used for clients who seek to distribute their estate assets and avoid probate (the legal process through which assets are distributed when there is a Will).

  2. Irrevocable Trusts also avoid probate, but they can also be crucial for sheltering assets from estate taxes, for protection against creditors, for long-term care planning/protection, among many other reasons.

Powers of Attorney and Gift Riders

Healthcare Directives

Last Will and Testaments
with Testamentary Trusts and guardian appointments

Revocable Living Trusts

Irrevocable Trusts

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts

Creditor Protection and Medicaid Trusts

IRAs and Retirement Plan Beneficiaries