Estate Planning

55% of Americans die without a will or estate plan, and that is frightening because it means a lot of families are being set up for a chaotic roller coaster. Why does this happen? It’s because estate planning is commonly misunderstood. People tend to think it’s only about making a will, dying and “who gets my stuff”. That couldn’t be further from the truth or the reality. 

Estate planning affects nearly everyone. Specifically, it involves life, death, health, wealth, marriage, divorce, family, children, business, asset protection and taxes. Basic estate planning typically includes a last will and testament, power of attorney, health care surrogate and living will. It often includes revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts too. 

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Estate Planning

Advanced planning seeks to address many issues listed below: 

  • Complicated types of assets
  • Assets located in different states
  • Complicated family dynamics
  • Toxic family members that create drama, fail at relationships or fight for control 
  • Business succession planning for family businesses 
  • Estate and gift tax planning
  • Income tax and real estate tax planning
  • Children who are irresponsible or not financially intelligent 
  • Children with rocky marriages or relationships 
  • Children with special needs 
  • Children suffering from substance abuse or compulsive disorders
  • Goals of protecting assets
  • Goals of avoiding probate and guardianship
  • Concerns about subsequent spouses and relationships diverting assets after the death of a spouse
  • Priorities of keeping assets in the family
  • Priorities of keeping the right people involved and shutting the wrong people out 

Here’s how estate planning protects your family, assets, and legacy and keeps your family off the emotional roller coaster:

  • Control aspects of your lifetime caregiving needs and post-mortem wishes to both live and die with dignity 
  • Keep assets in the family for generations and out of reach of creditors and spouses
  • Maximize likelihood that your plan will be fulfilled and not challenged
  • Choose your beneficiaries and fiduciaries instead of a random judge
  • Minimize costly and explosive litigation which will destroy wealth and families 
  • Give more to your family or charities than the government by reducing taxes
  • Avoid uncontested costly court proceedings which are time consuming and unpredictable 
  • Control all aspects of how your estate transitions (time, amount, freq. conditions) 
  • Minimize the emotional burden to your family upon disability and death
  • Leave a legacy you can be proud of instead of a trail of chaos and destruction 

Like most things, there are different levels of complexity and thoroughness. You can do your documents yourself online but this is like self-diagnosing and prescribing medicine for an illness when you’re not a doctor, didn’t go to medical school and don’t spend every day practicing in this area. This is what we do for our clients every day so we’d be delighted to take you through our unique and proven estate planning process. Contact us to get started achieving your estate planning goals, protecting your assets and minimizing court, costs and conflict for your family later by calling or emailing us to schedule a consultation today.