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Estate Planning
Wills, Trusts, Durable Power of Attorney,
Living Will/Advanced Medical Directive
and Other Related Estate Planning Documentation

Effective estate planning facilitates the orderly transfer of assets to your beneficiaries while providing security and protection for your surviving spouse and children.   Comprehensive estate planning can eliminate or minimize the tax due on the transfer of your personal wealth or your business. For an exploration of some of these issues please go to our hypertext article entitled Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett: Estate Plan Wake Up Call.

As part of comprehensive estate planning the use of various gifting techniques are usually employed to tax advantage of various tax breaks.  For a discussion of the federal gift tax rules please go to the hypertext article entitled Gift Tax Rules and Gift Tax Returns

For business owners, providing for business continuity and succession of ownership is essential to the continued success of the business.  Business transition planning can minimize family discord after the death of the owner of such family business. For an interesting article exploring these isssues please go to our hypertext article entitled Gifting Shares of Stock In A Bad Economy

We can guide you through the complex process of getting your financial affairs in order.  It is imperative to properly effecuating your estate plan with the proper legal documents such as wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance medical directives/living wills.

Often overlooked is determining the proper beneficiary designations for life insurance, retirement plans, IRAs, Roth IRAs, and annuities.  Coordinating these designations with the overall estate plan and documents is an overlooked part of estate planning.  Our firm offers the experience and understanding as to how to best coordinate these diverse assets into an integrated, well conceived estate plan for the specific client's estate planning needs and goals.

Any solid estate plan includes not only the drafting of appropriate legal documents, but should also include an analysis of how assets are currently titled between family members.  As a result of such review, the realignment of assets may be required between spouses, or by making various gifts to family members or to charitable trusts, if appropriate, or by changing beneficiaries of life insurance, retirement plans, IRAs and annuities.

The implementation of the various aspects of the best estate planning strategy must be based on each family's particular or special needs.  All these complex considerations need to be blended and combined to create a well conceived, comprehensive, effective estate plan that will actually work.

Finally, changes to the family situation, finances and other events should trigger the review of the current estate plan.  For some of the events that should trigger a call to action and analysis, please see the legal guide entitled ESTATE PLANNING HOT BUTTONS. Please do not hesitate to contact us to assist you in updating your estate plan.  We are here to help you in this most important matter.

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