Comprehensive estate planning covers nearly every aspect of life. It begins with protecting yourself and your personal dignity, and extends to protecting your loved ones and your hard-earned assets.
Fundamental Estate Planning
There are many legal strategies involved in estate planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health care documents.
Elder law is another aspect of estate planning, focusing primarily on the needs of families and individuals as they age. Issues of aging include senior housing and home care, long-term (or nursing home) care, guardianships and health care documents, Medicare and Medicaid.
Family businesses are the backbone of the American economy. From agriculture to services, technology and manufacturing, family businesses generate an estimated one-half of the U.S. Gross National Product and pay half of all wages earned in this country.
Probate & Guardianship
Probate and estate administration are the processes through which estate assets are transferred after death. Assets to be transferred under terms of a will go through probate. Assets transferred outside of a will, such as by operation of law, or those planned for in a trust are handled through an Administration process. Administration also refers to the process whereby assets are transferred by rules of the state when there is no will. We can help make the process easier, more efficient, and provide peace of mind during a difficult time.
Medicaid Crisis Planning
Finding and affording quality care on short notice can be stressful and draining. We can help you determine the best options for care and how to qualify for Medicaid to help finance them.
Asset protection planning involves making prudent decisions today to protect yourself, your business, and your hard-earned assets from loss due to lawsuits, creditors or bankruptcies.
Estate Tax Planning
Historically speaking, the federal estate tax is an excise tax levied on the transfer of a person's assets after death. In actuality, it is neither a death tax nor an inheritance tax, but more accurately a transfer tax. There are three distinct aspects to federal estate taxes that comprise what is called the Unified Transfer Tax: Estate Taxes, Gift Taxes, and Generation- Skipping Transfer Taxes. Legal planning to avoid or minimize federal estate taxes is both a prudent and an important aspect of comprehensive estate planning.
We encourage and assist the tradition of giving to charitable causes, including the employment of tax-advantaged strategies that maximize the value of your gift. We help clients make charitable gifts and practice good stewardship in the most tax-efficient manner.
Special Needs Planning
Special Needs Estate Planning focuses on providing for the special needs of our loved ones with disabilities when we are no longer there to organize and advocate on their behalf. Parents of children with special needs must make careful estate planning choices to coordinate all of the legal, financial, and special care needs of their children – both now and in the future.