While we all want to leave an inheritance for our children, and maybe even our family, friends, or favorite charity, planning for that eventuality is one of the hardest tasks to force ourselves to do. There is a certain finality and uneasiness in deciding who gets what, when and how. It’s been said that the happiest person at a funeral is Uncle Sam, as he stands to gain the most while being the only one who hasn’t lost anybody.
In addition to the emotional aspects of estate planning, if not done professionally, it can be costly, time-consuming and expensive during both the planning and the distribution phases of your life. At an emotional time when it is hardest to deal with taxes and creditors, heirs contend with estate taxes, probate, funeral arrangements, estate sales and sometimes even family squabbling over possessions.
For so many people, a ton of questions arise leading to the most common outcome – failing to do anything.
Have any of the following questions come up in your mind?
- How can the estate planning process be simplified?
- How do I distribute assets fairly?
- How do I leave money in a way that it is not squandered?
- How do I take care of my special needs or young child?
- What if I live longer than I expect?
- Should I begin ‘gifting’ my estate before I die?
- How do I avoid the public and lengthy process of probate?
- I have a Will, is that enough?
- I have a Trust but is it complete and funded?
- Will my estate be hit by high estate or gift taxes?
- What if I set everything up, then change my mind?
- Can my Estate Plan be challenged in court?
A well conceived Estate Plan and a solid plan creation process can help you answer all of these questions, and many more; and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
While there can be many similarities between families, every situation is unique.
Our experienced estate planning experts can help you can help you figure out what’s important to you and your heirs, and take you through the whole planning process with little pain. Most importantly, you’ll have peace of mind that it’s done.
Our Estate Planning services will help you:
- Define your estate planning goals clearly.
- Work with a team of experts (law and taxes).
- Evaluate and recommend estate planning options.
- Prepare, organize and review your existing estate planning documents including current wills, trusts, health care proxy and power of attorney.
- Decrease, or eliminate, the problems, publicity and expenses associated with probate.
- Reduce the impact of estate taxes.
- Arrange for management of your estate in the event you are incapacitated.
- Draft a working plan for conserving and effectively managing your estate after death.
- Transfer the assets of your estate to heirs the way you want.
- Organize fair and adequate liquidation of your estate to cover taxes and other expenses.
- Amend your plan as needed.
You will also get help with:
- Living Wills and Trusts.
- Lifetime Family Wealth Transfers.
- Family partnerships and other business relationships.
- Leaving money to charities.
- Identifying and mitigating potential estate and trust tax issues.
While there are costs associated with properly planning an estate, those costs can often be much less than you expect. Additionally, proper planning can save a family from fighting, which can be priceless.
In the end, there is much more than money at stake.