For some folks, Financial Planning is mainly concerned with how best to build a nest egg, and how to make it last through retirement. However, for many people there is a desire to ensure their Estate delivers benefits beyond their own retirement and produces a legacy for future generations. With an Estate Plan, outside interests such as your State of residence, the Federal Government, and individuals who do not have your interests in mind, could determine what happens to your Estate. If You want to guarantee that your Estate is handled in accordance with your directives, then having an Estate Plan is paramount.
WHAT WE PROVIDE
Our Estate Planning includes discussions about:
Powers of Attorney (POA): This is a foundational legal document that every client should have, even if You are married. It is designed to allow a legal representative to act on your behalf, in the event you are ill or incapacitated. A POA allows for your wishes to be fulfilled regarding decisions or financial transactions. Whether it is to manage specific assets, like your investments, bank accounts or real estate holdings after You are gone or full legal authority. It is also important to consider a Health Care Proxy, a type of POA to make health-care decisions, so Your wishes are followed.
Helping you understand the importance of a Will and possible use of a Trust: Your Will should be the corner stone of your Estate Plan. We can help You understand why and how you should structure this document so Your legal team can create a Will and/or Trust(s) that reflect how You want your Estate disposed via the probating process. Your selected attorneys will help you navigate through the complexities, so You do not need to stress over what is best for You.
Choosing Executors and Trustees: The Executors of your Estate and Trustees of your Trust wield strong powers that determine how Your Estate is finalized upon Your death. We will help You understand the importance of choosing the appropriate Executors and Trustees for Your Estate, and what criteria You should consider when appointing someone to discharge this all-important role – especially if minor children/guardians are involved.
Designating beneficiaries and considerations for dependents needs: If You do not choose beneficiaries for Your assets carefully, Your Estate assets might end up in the hands of individuals that You never intended to benefit from them. A well-thought-out Estate Plan will ensure that all the needs of Your dependents (be they minors, adult children, siblings, persons with special needs or aging parents) are taken care of in accordance with Your desires.
Tax planning considerations (minimizing Estate taxes and reducing probate fees): Without a well-thought-out Estate Plan, a considerable part of Your Estate could erode through taxes, fees, and other levies, and reduce what is received by Your beneficiaries!
Protecting your Estate and distribution of your legacy: Though You may no longer be here, many of Your assets – like your long-term investments, property, and other tangible assets – will likely need care, protection, and management until they are finally disposed per Your wishes. In the absence of an Estate Plan, Your assets will not receive the appropriate attention they require. A proper Estate Plan will ensure Your property is distributed properly.