Estate Planning & Probate

Estate Planning

Estate planning is for everyone, not just the wealthy or the aging. Anyone can become disabled at any time and planning for this possibility is many times overlooked. Establishing an estate plan is one of the most loving steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of your death or disability. A well-designed estate plan provides for loved ones, including minor children or aging parents, in the event of death or disability, avoids probate at death, reduces or avoids estate taxes and minimizes costs of administration. Your estate plan can also provide for charitable organizations and causes that are meaningful to you.

We meet with individuals and families to review their personal and financial situation, their needs, concerns, hopes and goals. It is our job to teach our clients the fundamentals of the law in plain English and explain the options available to them to best achieve their goals. We believe that each estate plan should be tailored to the client’s individual situation. From there, we prepare the appropriate documents that may include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance healthcare directives. Once the estate plan is in place, our clients enjoy peace of mind knowing they have provided for themselves and their loved ones in the event of an unexpected crisis.

Estate Administration

Administering the estate of a family member can be time consuming and emotionally draining. Handling the details of an estate can be particularly difficult if you are grieving the loss of a loved one, or if there is disagreement within the family. We regularly represent clients who serve in a fiduciary capacity, such as trustees, executors, administrators and guardians, and assist them in navigating the complex legal requirements so that they may effectively and efficiently administer the estate.

Advanced Estate Planning

We assist affluent families and family-owned businesses with a myriad of tax and practical considerations. Closely held family businesses often face issues of passing control to the next generation or employees involved in the business. Many of our clients are concerned about their children becoming “trust fund kids.” We are very familiar with handling the emotional and technical aspects of these situations and bring a wealth of knowledge in serving the needs of the high net worth client.

Elder Law

Seniors and their families often face a myriad of legal and extralegal needs such as end-of-life decisions, unexpected incapacity, public benefit eligibility, or long-term care concerns. We strive to help our aging clients to preserve their assets and maintain the dignity of control as they grow older. This often requires a focus on planning for incapacity, asset protection and long-term care. We also represent clients in every phase of incompetency and guardianship proceedings.

Asset Protection

We assist clients in setting up and arranging their affairs in the most effective way so as to protect them from risks and creditors’ claims. Solutions range from “umbrella” property and casualty insurance policies to corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships. In some situations, preparation of irrevocable trusts that may be multi-generational in nature may be appropriate, including creation of these trusts in other states or foreign jurisdictions to optimize protection.

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