As an estate planning attorney I have three fundamental goals when helping you plan your estate. First, I strive to ensure you and your estate is protected during your lifetime and any period of incapacity. Second, I work with my client to eliminate any uncertainty about what will happen to your estate after you pass away, and that your loved one are properly taken care of once you are gone if this is one of your major concerns. Third, I want to ensure that the most possible value is passed on to your family by minimizing taxes and other expenses associated with inheritance. By achieving these goals you can be confident in what will happen with your estate once it's no longer in your hands.
The most basic tools for passing your estate are also the most commonplace: trusts, wills, and gifts. A will -- technically a Will (which distributes real property) and Testament (which distributes personal property) -- is the 'direct' form of passing property. In a Will and Testament, you declare exactly how you want your property to be distributed, and in most cases, that's exactly what happens. We will work with you and educate you regarding the process and discuss important decisions like appointment of an executor or administrator of the estate.
Another tool commonly used in estate planning is called a trust. There are many different types of trust used by attorneys. Two of the most commonly known are the revocable and irrevocable living trust. Trust are basically a set of instructions of the (Grantor, person or entity creating the trust) which instruct the (Trustee, person or entity overseeing the administration of the trust) to take certain actions on behalf of the Grantor for the benefit of a (Beneficiary, the person or entity that is the benefactor of the trust). There are a lot of great benefits in using trusts in estate planning that would need to be discussed to determine if this is the right estate planning tool for a particular estate plan.
Gifts are portions of property, usually in the form of money, given to organizations or people that you have no legal interest in. Gifts can be given in trust or will form, and can have any number of conditions attached to them.
One special area that an estate planning attorney must be familiar with: living wills, or technically 'Advance Health Care Directives'. In these documents, you, while you are of sound mind and body, lay out specific instructions for how you want to be cared for should you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself. Like a 'normal' will, naming an executor to make health care decisions on your behalf is one of the best uses of a living will.
Some estates potentially face estate taxes which can eat into the monies that would have gone to your loved ones. Fortunately, there are several tools and techniques to eliminate or dramatically reduce your Federal Estate Tax obligations. As an estate planning attorney we can help you pass more value to your beneficiaries.
If you're considering what will happen to your survivors and your property, now is the time to start the planning. Call 888-459-3077 today and meet with one of Schmidt Law Firm's experienced attorneys – you and your family stand to benefit greatly and your loved ones will be grateful for your early planning.
The information gathered by this form will be used for our purposes only and will not be available to any third parties