Estate Planning Attorneys
Estate planning is the process of directing the management and disposition of your property upon your death or incapacity. This requires careful analysis of your particular circumstances. Done correctly, it will minimize the expense and burden to your family and minimize disagreements among family members.
This is not an area to hire an attorney who dabbles in estate planning or advises everyone to have (and pay for) a pre-packaged estate plan. Every situation is different, and every situation requires thoughtful consideration.
A good estate planning attorney will save you and your surviving loved ones a lot of trouble and can provide significant value.
Whether you simply need a will or a comprehensive estate plan we can help you. Our estate planning attorneys will provide you cost-effective solutions to ensure that your loved ones don’t need to worry about loose ends and expenses upon your death or incapacity.
A poorly drafted will can result in significant legal expense and contention for your loved ones. If it works for you, there is plenty of online software that provides a one-size-fits-all solution to drafting a will. If you prefer to have the peace of mind knowing that your Will is properly done, we provide simple wills at a flat fee of $500.00 for individuals or $650.00 for married couples. For complex estates we generally suggest preparation of more comprehensive estate plan. If you previously had a Will but have since had a life changing event (such as a new child, divorce, marriage, etc.) it is important to re-visit the terms of your will.
There are many different types of trusts. They fit into two basic categories: revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust is a typical estate planning tool that is generally done where it is important for the grantor to avoid probate, make arrangements in the event he or she becomes disabled and is unable to manage finances, or to provide direction for the care of minor or disabled beneficiaries after the grantor’s death. Revocable trusts generally become irrevocable when the grantor dies. They do not provide asset protection for the grantor during his or her lifetime. An irrevocable trust is one that can never be revoked once created except under limited circumstances. Generally, the greatest advantage to an irrevocable trust is nearly 100% protection from all future creditors, if done correctly. Trusts can also be used for purposes such as enabling a beneficiary to receive distributions for certain purposes while also qualifying for public benefits such as Medicaid, holding guns, or for limiting estate tax liability. It is important to consult with an attorney when determining what type of trust, if any, should be part of your estate plan.
GUARDIANSHIPS & CONSERVATORSHIPS
Guardianships are done for those who cannot legally care for themselves. These individuals are called Wards. Wards are generally minor children and elderly or disabled individuals incapable of caring for themselves. A guardian deals with the personal care of the Ward. A conservator (also referred to as a guardian of the estate) manages the financial affairs of the ward. Often the same individual is both the guardian and the conservator. It is also possible for a conservator to be appointed when no guardian is needed. For example, in cases of diminished capacity, an individual may not need a guardian, but may need a conservator to manage his or her finances.