Basic Estate Planning
A basic estate planning package at a minimum generally includes
A basic estate planning package at a minimum generally includes:
- a Will,
- Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Proxy/Living Will
- HIPPA Authorization for the limited and appropriate release of medical information
- Standalone Guardianship for clients with minor children to protect not just in the event of parental death but also in the event of parental incapacity.
Basic planning also includes a review of your designated beneficiaries to ensure investment accounts, life insurance benefits and retirement benefits are passing as intended under the new holistic estate plan.
Living Trust Planning
Revocable living trusts are used in conjunction with the Basic Estate Planning to maintain control…
Revocable living trusts are used in conjunction with the Basic Estate Planning to maintain control and ownership over your assets while providing incapacity planning opportunities, especially important for families with minor children or children in college so that there is as little disruption in your family’s life as possible due to legal constrains while your family copes with the parental incapacity. Living Trusts are also excellent planning tools to avoid potentially complicated and lengthy probate and ensuring ease of administration at death, so families can focus on the emotional healing rather than on legal complexities.
Retirement Benefit Planning
Many of us have a significant percentage of our assets in our 401(k) or other tax advantaged saving accounts.
Many of us have a significant percentage of our assets in our 401(k) or other tax advantaged saving accounts. Retirement planning is necessary to ensure you don’t unnecessarily lose much of the value of your retirement savings to unnecessary income tax and to maintain the tax advantaged investment for as long as possible. Retirement planning with the use of a trust provides a level of asset protection that your beneficiaries could not achieve for these funds on their own. This is extremely important if you have minor children or young adult children who cannot responsibly handle larger sums of money in their pocket and who, due to our litigious society, could lose your hard-earned retirement savings to litigation, creditors, or simply the choices of youth.
Kids Protection Planning
Kids Protection Planning, often done in conjunction with the Basic Estate Planning
Kids Protection Planning, often done in conjunction with the Basic Estate Planning, is a full set of documents to protect your children in case of your incapacity or death. The cornerstone of Kids Protection Planning is standalone (meaning non-will based) guardianship to make sure your minor children are cared for during parental incapacity not just parental death. With advances in medical science, incapacity planning cannot be overlooked. With detailed instructions for your guardians about your values, family connections, faith, community involvement, and educational priorities, Kids Protection Planning ensures your children will be cared for by who you want AND in the way you want, passing on not just your assets but your value system. Such planning also affords the opportunity to document not only who should but also who shouldn’t be in charge of your children. Kids Protection Planning also includes health care proxies for your children in case of your absence or incapacity as well as short term guardian appointment if your ultimate guardian is more than 15 minutes away. This ensures that during the immediate aftermath of an accident or other trauma, you know who will be there to love and support your children rather than the police, the crazy cat lady next door or in the worst-case scenario, child protective services.
Full Kids Protection Planning
Single Parent Legal Planning
As single parents, we have unique concerns that need to be specifically addressed.
As single parents, we have unique concerns that need to be specifically addressed. Many legal documents have boilerplate that can suffice for a 2-parent family but is wholly insufficient for a single parent. Additionally, where there is a less than amicable relationship between you and your ex-spouse, special planning may be warranted to protect your assets for your children and from your ex-spouse who in most case will become the guardian of your children and, without proper planning, in charge of all of their inherited assets.
Blended Family Legal Planning
Many of us have unique family structures these days that may require special planning.
Many of us have unique family structures these days that may require special planning. Among other things, blended family legal planning includes consideration of naming guardians for half-siblings from different families while maintaining the blended family structure during incapacity. In many situations, it also includes ensuring your assets are not redirected to a new spouse’s children after your death unless intended.
We often hear people talking about estate planning related to death.
We often hear people talking about estate planning related to death. However, with advances in medical science, incapacity planning cannot be overlooked. Incapacity Planning generally involves:
- Standalone guardianship (outside of a will) to ensure your minor children are cared for by the right people and in the right way
- Powers of Attorney to ensure that the mortgage, college tuition, and other important expenses can be taken care of during the incapacity
- Revocable trust planning with robust incapacity provisions to ensure
Continuity planning for business owners
Pet Protection Planning
For those with pets, our pets are a part of our family. They depend on us and deserve to be protected.
For those with pets, our pets are a part of our family. They depend on us and deserve to be protected and cared for during our incapacity and at our death. We owe it to them to plan who will care for them and with what financial resources. Additionally, remaining with pets can provide much needed stability for minors in the case of a traumatic life event such as the death or incapacity of a parent. This requires pet protection planning in conjunction with Kids Protection Planning to ensure the named guardian can accommodate this request.
Charitable Gift Planning
Many of us feel strongly about supporting specific charities. If we choose to do so…
Many of us feel strongly about supporting specific charities. If we choose to do so at our death, there are numerous pitfalls to avoid and tax advantaged gifting structures to consider. Through the use of charitable trust planning and, in some cases working with the charity in the planning, we can ensure that the charity receives the most value for the bequest.
Medicaid and Special Needs Planning
As we – and our parents – age, we need to ensure that health care needs can be met without depleting all of our assets.
As we – and our parents – age, we need to ensure that health care needs can be met without depleting all of our assets. Additionally, many of us have children and/or siblings with special needs. Both situations require special planning to ensure that those needs can be met without depleting savings and inheritance.
Probate and Trust Administration
When a loved one passes away, you need to focus on your family and your family’s emotional needs.
When a loved one passes away, you need to focus on your family and your family’s emotional needs. However, someone needs to handle the legal piece. From filing deadlines to identifying appropriate advisors to assist with decision making where the deceased left flexibility to account for changing facts and circumstances, compassionate relationship-based legal guidance is your best bet.
Trustee, Executor and Guardian Advising
Many of us will find ourselves being asked to take on one or more of these roles for our loved ones.
Many of us will find ourselves being asked to take on one or more of these roles for our loved ones. What does it mean? What is involved? Whether you have just been asked or it is time to act, you need to be educated about the do’s and don’ts to ensure your own assets and planning are not affected and to ensure that you can meet the fiduciary and liability requirements that come with such designations. You don’t have to go it alone.