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Estate Planning

Our Expertise
Estate Planning

Maneuver Probate Court With Personalized Strategies To Preserve And Secure Your Family’s Future

As estate planning attorneys, we provide indispensable guidance to individuals looking to secure their financial legacy and protect themselves in case of incapacity. Our experience in drafting wills, establishing various forms of trusts, and preparing powers of attorney allows clients to effectively manage their affairs, care for dependents or other family members, and safeguard their health and financial affairs in the event of their incapacity. We work closely with our clients to create comprehensive estate plans that address each client’s unique concerns, whether that involves minimizing estate taxes, avoiding the delays and public scrutiny of probate, or providing for the continuity (or, alternatively, selling) of a closely-held business. Our role is to simplify the complexities of estate administration, crafting each plan to reflect the client’s personal wishes. By tailoring estate plans to the individual needs of our clients, we help protect not only their wealth but also the well-being of their loved ones and the causes about which they are passionate.

Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

Do I need a will?

A will is essential for directing the distribution of an individual’s assets according to his or her wishes and avoiding the default rules set by intestacy statutes. A will also allows you to select a personal representative or executor who is trusted with the marshaling, management, and distribution of assets post-death, and the nomination of guardians for minor children. Without a will, these important decisions may fall to the courts or state law, potentially leading to outcomes not aligning with an individual’s intentions. Please see our blog post for additional information about wills.

What is a trust?

A trust is a fiduciary relationship whereby a trustee holds assets for the benefit of a beneficiary or beneficiaries subject to the terms and provisions of the trust instrument. Trusts can specify exactly how and when assets pass or how assets may be used for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Trusts can be revocable (i.e., you may generally revoke or amend the trust at any time) or irrevocable (i.e., modification or amendment is limited or prohibited). We help clients establish trusts with various degrees of complexity, from simple revocable trusts designed for probate avoidance to complex irrevocable trusts designed to provide asset protection and/or to minimize taxes (e.g., estate tax).

Do I need a revocable trust?

A revocable trust may offer privacy through probate avoidance with respect to certain assets and how such assets are to be distributed or handled. A revocable trust allows for detailed asset distribution instructions and may be tailored for a client’s specific needs. 

A revocable trust can keep the provisions of your estate plan (e.g., the identity of beneficiaries or the amounts they may receive, as well as the timing and circumstances under which they are to receive the assets) private, unlike a will, which is generally a public record after death. The nature and value of assets passing pursuant to a will generally are available to the public via an inventory filed with the applicable probate court.

What if I have a complex situation?

For more complex situations involving closely-held businesses, hard to value/transfer assets, or potential estate tax exposure, we help clients by drafting irrevocable trusts for tax planning purposes and potential creditor protection. Properly structured and implemented, irrevocable trusts may provide estate/gift tax benefits as well as some degree of asset protection by transferring ownership of the assets to the trusts.

We draft a variety of irrevocable trusts to help clients with their specific situations. Examples include Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, 2642(c) Trusts (often called “Grandchildren’s Trusts”), and Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts.

Do I need a Power of Attorney?

Both the Durable Financial Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney are critical documents for comprehensive estate planning. The Durable Financial Power of Attorney enables you to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to do so, ensuring that your financial responsibilities are handled according to your wishes. Similarly, a Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to designate a trusted individual to make medical and other decisions regarding your physical person (not your financial decisions) on your behalf upon your incapacity. Together, these documents may help you avoid the need for a court-appointed guardian and/or conservator to be named in the event of your incapacity.

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Please feel free to contact us. We strive to respond to web-based requests within 1-2 business days.

Signs That You May Need Us

If you’re unsure whether you need an estate planning attorney, consider these signs:

  • Have significant assets, including life insurance
  • Want to minimize or defer estate taxes
  • Want to minimize capital gains taxes
  • Want to avoid probate
  • Want to leave assets to charity
  • Own a business and need to plan for successor(s)
  • Concerned about long-term care
  • Concerned about complex disposition of assets due to family dynamics
  • Have a second marriage and children from prior marriage(s)
  • Have descendants or other beneficiaries who are incapable of managing their own assets
  • Want to protect the assets you leave your descendants from creditors and divorce

How to Get Started

1Contact Us Our dedicated staff will listen to your needs and help direct you to the attorney that can best assist you.
2Schedule Initial
An initial consultation with an attorney will allow you to share relevant documents, family or business information, and personal concerns.

3Partner with Your Attorney

After your consultation, you will know both your next steps and the steps your attorney will take on your behalf to help resolve your current concerns or complete your estate or business planning.