We discuss our clients’ objectives and assist them in identifying their short-term and long-term estate planning goals. We will then prepare only those legal documents which are necessary to pass property to the people and in the manner desired, while reducing (or even eliminating) estate tax liability. We will also aid in and guide our clients through the probate process. Some of the estate and tax planning documents which we prepare include:
Medical Directives: To appoint individuals who will make medical decisions during times of incapacitation; to specify the medical treatment [not] to be administered in certain medical situations; to appoint individuals to serve as guardian during times of incapacitation; to specify organ donation.
Powers of Attorney: To appoint individuals who will make financial decisions during times of incapacitation.
Simple (I love You) Wills: To pass property to one or more family members outright; to eliminate unnecessary costs and expenses associated with probate; to designate guardianship over minor children.
Wills with Credit Shelter/Bypass Trusts: In addition to the standard benefits of preparing a will, to use a special trust which avoids estate taxes, but which may provide income and/or principal for a surviving spouse and/or named beneficiaries.
Wills with Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trusts (Qtip): In addition to the standard benefits of preparing a will, to use a special trust which provides income and principal for a surviving spouse and prevents anyone from defrauding the funds from a surviving spouse. Also allows for the ultimate distribution to named beneficiaries, thus providing security for children of prior marriages.
Wills with Generation Skipping Trusts: In addition to the standard benefits of preparing a will, to use a special trust which allocates funds in a manner which maximizes both the Unified Tax Credit and the Exemption for Generation Skipping Taxes, to pass the maximum amount of property to the named beneficiaries, while minimizing estate and gift taxes over two to three generations.
Revocable Living Trusts: To provide security in the event of incapacitaiton and to provide for the management and ultimate disposition of assets after death. These may be utilized in addition to or instead of complex Wills. If used instead of a complex Will, it should be used in conjunction with a Pour-Over Will. The Pour-Over Will provides all of the benefits of a standard Will, but then “Pours- Over” the assets, which are not in Trust, into the Revocable Living Trust, to be disposed of pursuant to the terms of the Trust.
Irrevocable Living Trusts: For the management of assets during life; to provide for the management and ultimate disposition of assets after death; to receive gifts during life, which reduce the size of the taxable estate prior to death, to receive assets after death for their management and ultimate disposition.