Wills, Trusts & Estates

Proper planning for the inevitability of death and the possibility of incapacity involves simultaneous analysis of multiple, complex legal and tax issues. We can design a plan that details how your assets are to be managed and to whom and under what conditions they are distributed after you and/or your spouse passes away, while eliminating or reducing any estate taxes to the legal minimum. A complete plan also addresses decisions regarding your health, your property and the care of those who depend on you, during any period of your temporary or permanent incapacity. Here are some of the issues typically addressed by a complete estate plan:

If I am temporarily or permanently unable to manage my affairs due to sickness or injury…

  • Who will take care of me and/or my spouse?
  • Who will take care of my minor children?
  • Have any resources been set aside to pay for this care and who will manage those resources?
  • Who will manage my business/property?
  • Who would be my second choice if the designated individuals are unable or unwilling to serve?
  • If someone must petition a judge to select a legal guardian for myself, my dependents or my property, can I have any say in that decision?
  • Would I rather have my business and property managed privately by someone of my choosing, according to my rules, outside of court?
  • What would be my rights and obligations with respect to my business partners?
  • Will my business be sold? Who will tell my employees what to do?
  • Is any power of attorney still valid and what can be done with it?

Upon my death and/or the death of my spouse…

  • Who will inherit my assets, in what form, when and under what conditions?
  • Who will manage any assets that I decide should be held back temporarily or permanently to protect my heirs from lawsuits or mistakes in judgment down the road?
  • Who will manage my business/property?
  • Who will go to court to administer my estate?
  • Who would be my second choice if the designated individuals are unable or unwilling to serve?
  • What are my estate’s rights and obligations with respect to my business partners when I die?
  • Will my business be sold? Who will tell my employees what to do?
  • If I have life insurance, who will get the check and will there be any strings attached?
  • What will be left after the payment of estate taxes? Will my business or any of my assets need to be liquidated to pay the tax bill?
  • What if my spouse and I die simultaneously?
  • What if my spouse remarries?
  • What if my heirs fall into debt or get divorced?
  • Who will take care of my child or parent with special needs? How can I set aside resources for them without disqualifying them for government benefits?
  • What if any of my heirs dies before me? Who gets their share?
  • What rights does my new or former spouse have if I don’t plan ahead? What rights do they have regardless of what I do?

Do you need help with wills, trusts, and estates?

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