We view your estate plan as a gift to those that love you. A carefully drafted plan, along the services of a skilled attorney, can ease the burden and potential confusion for your family and appointed agents. We will provide you with estate planning documents that are practical, thorough, and address your unique needs and circumstances. A full estate plan will usually include the following documents.
- Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust – The primary purpose of these documents is to direct the distribution of your assets upon your death and nominate your Personal Representative and/or Trustee. However, your Will or Revocable Trust should also address the following if applicable:
- Nomination of a Guardian and Trustee for your minor children
- Trusts for beneficiaries with special needs, whether they your children, spouse, or another family member, to ensure the continuity of government benefit programs
- Tax planning to preserve estate tax exemptions for both you and your spouse
- Long Term Care needs, and how to best protect your assets from the cost of this care
- Testamentary trusts to address the dynamics of a blended family/second marriage
- The efficient transfer of real property, including out of state property
- The care of your beloved pets and/or service animals
- Durable Power of Attorney – The primary purpose of a Durable Power of Attorney is to appoint a trusted agent (either a family member, friend, or professional fiduciary) to handle your financial affairs and medical decisions if you are incapacitated in some way. By having this document in place, you can avoid the complications and expense of legal guardianship. If you have minor children, you can also appoint a person to make medical decisions on their behalf if both parents are unexpectedly incapacitated. To execute a Durable Power of Attorney, you must be at least 18 years of age and have the requisite mental capacity to execute the document.
- Advance Directives: The purpose of an Advance Directive is to make your wishes and preferences known regarding your healthcare if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. The person you appoint as your agent for healthcare by your Durable Power of Attorney document will use your Advance Directives as guidance when making decisions on your behalf. Advance Directive can address end of life treatment (Healthcare Directive or Living Will) and/or your values, treatment and care preferences regarding mental health or specific illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia.