Estate Planning

“There is in the act of preparing, the moment you start caring.”

- W. Churchill

 

Estate Planning

Is no easy task.

Estate planning can be overwhelming. The complexities, the caveats, even the need to think about mortality—it may be tempting to just move it to next year’s to-do list. However, estate planning is never going to become less pressing or important as time goes on. The time to carefully craft an estate plan that’s right for you and your family is now.

Let us help you

simplify the process.

We’re here to help. Our attorneys and legal professionals are ready to assist you in navigating the processes and details of estate planning. You know the importance of protecting your assets and guaranteeing a secure future for your loved ones, and we can help you make certain that your wishes will be carried out. We'll help you carefully wade through the difficult choices to create a successful estate plan that fits your needs, objectives and circumstances. We place great value on building an ongoing relationship as you transition through the varying stages of estate planning.

We know that as your life changes, so should your plans. Our priority is to remain a valuable resource you can always depend on.

First Steps Toward a Secure Future - Choosing an Estate Planning Attorney

You need a practiced, skilled attorney who understands the nuances and processes of estate planning. Our attorneys use the most sophisticated techniques available to accomplish our clients’ estate planning objectives. Principal attorney Mark Perkins specializes in estate planning and elder law, and helped form our practice almost 20 years ago. The range of techniques that Mark Perkins and our other experienced legal professionals will apply to help you in your estate planning journey include:

We’ll help you carefully select and create a successful estate plan that fits your needs, objectives, and circumstances. We place great value on building an ongoing relationship as you transition through the varying stages of estate planning. We know that as your life changes, so should your plans.

Who Benefits from an Estate Plan

Estate planning is something that all adults can benefit from. As people age, they tend to be more likely to start thinking about estate planning. But the fact is, if you have assets that you want to have control over, regardless of your age, estate planning is for you.

If you have not carefully planned out what will happen to your assets, the gaps will be filled in using applicable estate and trust law principles. The defaults that will occur without an estate plan may not be what you would have wished; in fact, they could be the exact opposite.

The best way to ensure that your assets go to the people and things you care about the most is to set up a comprehensive estate plan. In this way, everyone benefits from an estate plan! You benefit by gaining the certainty and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your family will be provided for, and your family will benefit by being spared uncertainty and incorrect distribution of assets.

Commonly Asked Estate Planning Questions

Q: What is a trust, and what are the differences between different kinds of trusts?

A: Simply put, a trust is a legal arrangement that creates instructions for what will happen to a person’s property after the person passes away (or, in some cases, while that person is still living). A trust is different from a will in that a will provides instructions for permanent distribution of property all at once, while a trust continues distributing assets for a period of time. A trust is made up of:

·      A settlor, or the person who provides the property;

·      A trustee, or the person who administers the trust and makes certain that payments are made correctly; and

·      A beneficiary, or the person who the person who receives payments from the trust.

There are different kinds of trusts, and our attorneys will help you figure out which are right for you. For example, if you would like to set up a trust that will be operational during your lifetime, you can create a living trust. If you want assets to be distributed to charitable organizations or purposes, you can set up a charitable remainder trust. If you would like to leave assets to a younger person, you can set up a minor trust.

Q: Can I make sure that my assets go to particular goals, like paying for my children’s higher education?

A: Absolutely. Part of your role in setting up a trust will be specifying what the trustee should distribute payments for, how often, and for what purpose. Again, different factors will determine what kind of trust will be best for your needs, and the purpose of the trust is one of those factors.

Q: What happens if my assets change after I’ve finished setting up my estate plan?

A: Depending on the types of instruments used in your estate planning, you will be able to modify the distribution of your assets. Since wills and many kinds of trusts only become active at the time a person passes away, before that point there are ways to modify or re-execute plans. Our attorneys can help you set up a plan that leaves room for you to modify things if you would like to reserve that option in the future. Our priority is to remain a valuable resource you can always depend on.

Do you have follow-up questions or would you like to continue or start the process of personal estate planning? We offer free trust consultations. Call us at 877-TRUST-50 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys, or send us inquiries online.