Estate Planning

Estate planning is the area of law that arranges the transfer of your property either during your lifetime, upon your death, or after your death. The goal is to ensure that your assets are distributed to your chosen beneficiaries (which can be any living person, companies, organizations, or even charitable causes) according to your wishes in a fashion that mitigates outside legal challenges to your property, while also limiting any financial or tax liability associated therewith. Wills and Trusts are among the most common to transfer your property.

What is a Trust, and why should I have one?

Generally, a Trust is a right in property which is held in a fiduciary relationship (known as a “Trustee”) by one party for the benefit of another (known as a “beneficiary”).  Many trusts are created as an alternative to or in conjunction with a will and other elements of estate planning. Benefits of having a Trust include, but are not limited to:

  • Avoiding Probate Court
  • Avoiding costly Taxes and Court Fees
  • Keeping your personal and financial matters private
  • Transferring Property to your Beneficiaries while you’re alive
  • Maintaining control of your Finances and Property after you pass
  • Reduces Legal Challenges to your property
  • Avoiding a Court-Appointed Guardian or Conservator in the event you become incapacitated (i.e., power of attorney)

What is a Will, and why should I have one?

A will is the legal instrument that permits a person (known as the “testator”) to make decisions on how their property will be managed and distributed after their death. A will is the most common legal instrument used in the distributing of assets upon the death of a testator. Benefits of having a Will include, but are not limited to:

  • Avoiding the Laws of Intestacy (Where Probate Court determines who manages your estate and subsequently distributes your assets)
  • Expedites the Administration of your Estate
  • Ensures that your possessions will be distributed according to your wishes
  • Assigns the power of distributing and settling your Estate to a person of your choosing (also known as “Personal Representative”)

Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.