A customized estate plan can not only save time, legal expenses, and taxes it can also put a person at ease knowing their spouse, family, friends, pets, and/or charities will be provided for effectively.
An estate plan is essential for anyone who is concerned about what will happen to their loved ones once they are gone. Estate planning is NOT just for seniors and those with health issues. A custom estate plan can provide a wide range of services including naming guardians for minor children, designating a health care proxy in case you are unable to make your own decisions, and providing for disabled family members.
Basic Estate Plan (Will, Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney)
A basic estate plan consists of a will, financial power of attorney, and a health care power of attorney. A will must be probated but it can effectively dispose of assets titled solely in the decadent’s name. A will can also name the preferred future guardian for minor children. A health care power of attorney will allow a designated person to make health care decisions for you in case you fall ill and are unable to decide for yourself. A financial power of attorney will allow a designee to access your funds in order to pay bills or provide for your care if you fall ill.
Trusts can help avoid the expensive and time consuming process known as probate. By devising a custom trust, your loved ones will have access to your estate sooner and will not be burdened by the cost of probate administration. The settlor of a revocable trust can amend the trust at any time and can also add/remove assets from the trust at will. Trusts can also add privacy to families as a trust is not a public process like probate administration. Trusts can be used to ensure your assets are used for your desired purposes. Trusts can be drafted so beneficiaries only receive shares when they reach a certain age or when the Trustee decides funds are needed for the beneficiary’s health, maintenance, support, or education. We work with you to draft a custom trust that ensures your assets are used for the purposes you desire even if you have passed.
While not as flexible as revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts have the potential to protect assets from nursing homes as well as federal and state taxes. Like revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts retain the features of privacy and efficiency. Irrevocable trusts are a key tool in tax and medicaid planning.
Advanced Estate Planning
The Law Office of Joseph Tudino also provides advanced estate planning options such as Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs) and Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) for those concerned with tax and medicaid planning.