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Estate Planning

Estate Planning

We help plan for the two most important things in our clients’ lives: everything they own and everyone they love. Our clients share their hopes and dreams their values and goals. We listen and then work with them to design a personalized plan that will meet their needs not only for today but in the years to come. Our plans promote harmony within the family and a lasting legacy that will continue to reflect their values and ideals for generations.

Our clients are motivated to provide the best possible planning for their families to minimize the burdens of incapacity and death. They are seeking the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they have the most comprehensive estate plan possible. We strive to help you understand that the real value of a comprehensive estate plan is not just tax dollars saved, but the passing of your legacy to your loved ones.

Comprehensive estate planning covers nearly every aspect of life. It begins with protecting yourself and your personal dignity and extends to protecting your loved ones and your hard-earned assets. Services we provide include:

Wills,

  • Living trusts,
  • Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
  • Insurance trusts,
  • Charitable trusts,
  • Family limited partnerships,
  • Foundations,
  • Health care directives,
  • Durable powers of attorney,
  • Administration of trusts and estates,
  • Probate, and
  • Preparation of state and federal estate tax returns.

Asset Protection

Asset protection planning involves making wise decisions today to protect yourself, your business, and your hard-earned assets from loss due to lawsuits, creditors, or bankruptcies.

Business Succession

Family businesses generate an estimated one-half of the U.S. Gross National Product and pay half of all wages earned in this country. Your business is your life’s work, and we can help to protect it.

Charitable Planning

We assist in the tradition of giving to charitable causes by employing tax-advantaged strategies that maximize the value of your gift. We help you determine the best method to make charitable gifts and practice good stewardship in the most tax-efficient manner.

Elder Law

Special considerations need to be made as you age. Issues of aging include senior housing and home care, long-term (or nursing home) care, guardianships, health care documents, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Estate Tax Planning

The federal estate tax is a tax that occurs on the transfer of a person’s assets after death. There are three distinct aspects that is called the Unified Transfer Tax: estate taxes, gift taxes, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Legal planning to avoid or minimize federal estate taxes is an important aspect of comprehensive estate planning.

Probate and Estate Administration

Probate and estate administration are the processes through which estate assets are transferred after death. Assets to be transferred under terms of a will go through probate. Assets transferred outside of a will, such as by operation of law, or those planned for in a trust, are handled through an administration process. Administration also refers to the process whereby assets are transferred by rules of the state when there is no will. We can give you peace of mind by making the probate and estate administration processes easier and more efficient.

Special Needs Planning

For families with children and other loved ones with special needs, great comfort can come from an estate plan that focuses on providing for the needs of these individuals with disabilities when we are no longer there to advocate on their behalf. Parents of children with special needs must make careful estate planning choices to coordinate all of the legal, financial, and special care needs of their children–both for now and in the future.