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Estate Planning

 

If the details of your life have changed recently — new children in the home, a change in marital status, deaths, revised tax laws — and you are concerned about what will happen to your family or to your assets after your death, you should develop or revise your estate plan.

 

Many people avoid making plans for their estate because they incorrectly assume that the planning will be too complex, expensive, or time-consuming.  Others may believe that they don't have a high enough net worth.  Some hope that they will have time to plan "later".  In most cases, some or all of the assumptions may be wrong, and the need for prompt, thoughtful planning is critical.

 

I work to reduce perceived complexity and to make the process of estate planning as simple as possible.  In most cases, the process can be completed quickly - often with just two meetings.

 

My fees are fair, all-inclusive, and clearly communicated before any work begins.  There are no surprises. Just strong, thorough legal documents to enhance your control over what happens with you, your family, and your estate.

 

Simple & Complex Wills

A Will is a legal document that describes your wishes for the settlement of your estate after your death and that allows you to direct the distribution of your property in an effective and efficient manner.  A Will is part of the customized documentation that can facilitate the proper management, preservation and transfer of your unique personal assets.

 

Wills allow you to designate an executor, beneficiaries, a guardian for your minor children, and a trustee for any trusts created in your Will.

 

I can ensure that your Will and all other estate documents comply with legal requirements of form, language and execution. You should also consult with your CPA, financial advisor and insurance agent who can help provide valuable assistance in planning your estate to minimize tax consequences.

 

Medical Power of Attorney

A Medical Power of Attorney appoints an agent to make your health care decisions for you in the event of your disability or incapacity.  The designated agent may exercise their authority only if the attending physician certifies that you lack the capacity to make health care decisions.

 

Physicians' Directive/Living Will

A Physicians' Directive, also known as a Living Will, allows any competent adult to instruct their physician to withhold or withdraw artificial life-sustaining procedures if a terminal or irreversible condition is diagnosed and certified in writing by their attending physician.  This document can clearly express your end-of-life treatment intentions and preferences, which can reduce the decision-making burden on family members during challenging times.

 

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney appoints an agent to perform certain acts on your behalf if you become disabled, incapacitated, or if you otherwise wish for someone else to make your business and/or financial decisions.  You decide if the Power of Attorney becomes effective immediately or only upon your future disability or incapacity.

 

Declaration of Adult Guardian

A Declaration of Adult Guardian appoints an agent to manage all of your medical, business and financial affairs in the event of your long-term disability or incapacity.

 

Living Trusts

A Living Trust can dispose of your property after your death much like a Will, but you must transfer all of your property into the trust before you die.  You can usually control the property in the trust during your lifetime, but your estate is not fully protected if some of your property is not included in the trust.