Estate Planning

It's something that you probably don't really want to think about, but someday your estate will need to be dispersed. The only real question then is how will it be dispersed and who will get what?

While most of your planning during your life is focused on the accumulation of wealth, without some careful planning the disposition of that wealth may be left in the hands of those that would displease you the most. As a matter of fact, your heirs may get very little of your estate.

In addition, the right estate plan can give you some reassurance knowing that your future wishes are carried out. Without an Estate Plan, you leave all the options open for the courts to decide who your beneficiaries will be, and possibly even your children's guardians.

At a time when your family will be grieving your loss, why take the chance of creating possible legal problems and tax burdens for them to deal with. Consider this, most Americans haven't made even a simple will, to say nothing of a more comprehensive plan to avoid probate or save on estate taxes. No surprise here. We all have things we'd rather do and talking about or planning for our death is just not one of them. The good news is that depending on your age, health and wealth you may not need to do very much at all in the way of estate planning. And even if you do decide you need a will or a trust, it does not need to be a very difficult process.

Items to consider in meeting your estate planning objectives should include: your age and the ages of your family members and other beneficiaries, the needs of those beneficiaries, the value of the assets in your estate (as well as other assets your beneficiaries may have) and last but not least, how will your beneficiaries handle the additional financial responsibilities (do you need to build in some protection for them?).

With a clear idea of what your wishes are for your estate we, can provide you with the tools to make it all possible. We can help you sort through the various instruments and tools available which might include some of the following:

  • Wills
  • Trusts - Funded, Unfunded, Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
  • Insurance and Irrevocable Insurance Trusts
  • Generation-skipping Trusts
  • Grantor Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Charitable Lead Trusts
  • "Income Maximizer Trust" and the "Wealth Replacement Trust"
  • Life Insurance
  • Close Corporation Agreements including Buy-Sell agreements
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • Beneficiary Designation forms
  • Important document location forms
  • Estate-Reduction techniques
  • Split-dollar arrangements
  • Business Succession planning
  • Estate Freezing techniques
  • Retained-Interest Gifts