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ESTATE PLANNING

Many people believe that "estate planning" is a complicated process, only for people who are particularly wealthy, have elaborate schemes in mind for passing their money to their heirs, or for people who are acutely ill and contemplating their death. This could not be farther from the truth!

Estate planning is for every husband, wife, mother, father, grandparent, business owner, professional - anyone who has someone they care about, are concerned about providing for, and for anyone who seeks to make a difference in the lives of others after they're gone.

Estate planning is not 'death planning'; it's 'life planning', and an essential and rewarding process for individuals and families who engage in it.


Many families will make a LIVING TRUST an integral part of their estate plan.  Your Living Trust can do as much, or as little, as you plan.  If you want, you can control the ways your heirs receive and spend your property even after you are gone.  For example, a Living Trust can be structured so that:

  Your assets can be protected even if you die first and your spouse remarries.  We have seen many cases where one spouse dies, and their assets are used by a new spouse - an avoidable result that was never foreseen by the first spouse.
 
Your children’s inheritance is shielded from their creditors.
 
You can have someone you trust manage your assets if you become sick or incapacitated, without court intervention.

●  The trust can protect against your children's mismanagement of your assets, provide for special needs children, and provide methods to prevent substance abuse using your assets.

●  Your children’s inheritance can be protected if they divorce from their spouses.  

 
If any children have health problems, your living trust can be structured so your children remain eligible for key government benefits, while still receiving the benefits of your life’s savings throughout their lives.
 
Your grandchildren, great grandchildren, and their children can receive education funds, gifts and benefits from your trust to encourage academic achievement for future generations.
 
Your children can take over the family business.

The ways a trust can be utilized to meet your goals are almost limitless.

 
THE PROCESS:

For most families, the estate planning process will require at least two meetings.   During the first meeting, our highly trained attorneys will lead you through an in-depth series of questions and counsel with you to uncover the hopes, fears, and expectations you have for those who are most important to you.  We will then make recommendations on the type of plan that fits your family situation and specific goals so you can make informed decisions that will work for your family's needs.   We will then prepare several sophisticated legal documents to implement your estate plan.

In your second meeting, your plan is reviewed with you thoroughly before you sign the necessary documents to protect your life's legacy.  Upon signing, your plan becomes effective,
but keep in mind that those documents themselves are not 'estate planning.'  Rather, planning is a process, represented by a complete strategy that is properly documented and maintained by a professional who has taken the time to get to know you, and who is committed to continuing to serve you.