Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate. Estate planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses.
Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.
Estate planning involves the will, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership (joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety), gift, and powers of attorney, specifically the durable financial power of attorney and the durable medical power of attorney.
After widespread litigation and media coverage surrounding the Terri Schiavo case, estate planning attorneys now often advise clients to also create a living will. Specific final arrangements, such as whether to be buried or cremated, are also often part of the documents. More sophisticated estate plans may even cover deferring or decreasing estate taxes or winding up a business.
Trusts may be used to set up certain provisions for how minor children or developmentally disabled children will be distributed funds. For example, a spendthrift trust may be used to prevent wasteful spending by a spendthrift child, or a special needs trust may be used for developmentally disabled children.
By coordinating with our Seasoned Estate Planning attorneys, brokers, accountants and insurance professionals, we assist families through each phase of their financial development. This planning and the strategies employed are designed for accumulation, protection, and finally eventual passing of the client's estate to their chosen beneficiaries in an economical and efficient manner.