Estate Planning Shouldn’t Be a Near-Death Experience.
Estate planning is the final gift we leave to our families, friends, loved ones, and the world. It’s not just about dying. It’s more about living and giving: living the way you want for as long as possible, and giving to others, either along the way or at the end.
Estate planning starts with you teaching us about your life, your family, your assets and your values. We work with you on a life plan that will ensure your affairs are managed as you direct for your lifetime (regardless of disability or incapacity). We will teach you about various legal options and tools available to make sure your wishes are carried out during your life.
We will also work with you on an inheritance plan to ensure that your estate goes to the people or institutions you want it to go to, in the manner, and with the timing you want. For those worried about the care of children or the management of their children’s inheritance, we can teach you how to guide your children gently, even after your death, with trusts and other legal instruments.
We use wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, and more complex instruments, such as charitable remainder trusts and irrevocable insurance trusts, to carry out your wishes. Our goal is to accomplish your goals in an economical and tax-efficient way.
Once we set up your estate plan, we don’t leave you in the lurch. Our office follows up to make sure your living trust is funded and that assets are properly titled. After the initial set-up, we’ll contact you periodically to let you know of changes in the law that might affect your estate plan, and to ask you about changes in your life that might require revisiting your estate plan. (An example of such a change might be a divorce, remarriage, birth of a child, death of an heir, etc.)
When a loved one dies, we are faced not only with our grief and loss, but with a bewildering array of duties and responsibilities. For most of us, the first time we are asked to handle the estate of a loved one is a great honor and a tremendous chore. There are so many rules! There are taxes, bills, relatives asking for things…. It can be very stressful.
We can make you comfortable from the beginning as we explain your duties and all the ways there are to fulfill them. We’ll make certain that everything is taken care of, as quickly and efficiently as possible.