Estate Planning & Probate

Individuals who are interested in preserving their wealth for posterity can benefit tremendously from creating a will or trust, either of which can form the cornerstone of a comprehensive estate plan.  Furthermore, if you wish to protect your family from legal complications in the event of incapacitation or some other unexpected event, you can take advantage of legal tools such as advance healthcare directives and power of attorney in order to guarantee that no matter what challenges emerge in the future, your dignity and financial stability won’t be compromised.  It’s easy to put off estate planning, but the price of doing so can be significant.  The families of individuals who die without having thorough estate plan in place often encounter unexpected consequences down the line, including the loss of wealth to fraud and superfluous taxation.

We handle most estate planning matters, including but not limited to:

  • Wills

  • Trusts

  • Power of Attorney

  • Advance Healthcare Directives

  • Probate Court

  • Tax Issues

  • Guardianship’s

  • Conservatorship’s

  • Affidavits of Heirship

Understanding Wills:

A will is the most common tool used in planning for your estate and outlines your wishes for the distribution of wealth and assets, designating guardianship of any minor children, and other important information.  A will that simply designates the distribution of assets is often known as a basic will. Wills can often take on more complexity to achieve a wide range of family-oriented and tax objectives. Wills can also be used in combination with a trust to designate property management and creditor protection. They may also leave assets to a pre-existing living trust, which is commonly known as a pour-over will.  Having a will alone will not protect your family from probate.  It will, however, most likely make the process faster and more efficient.

Understanding Trusts:

Trusts are an advanced tool in estate planning and have a number of advantages over wills.  They can help to minimize taxes and ensure that property and assets are distributed in line with your wishes.  Our expertise in estate planning can help you to determine if a trust is right for you and, if it is, exactly what form of trust to implement.  Some types of trusts include:

  • Charitable trusts

  • Irrevocable trusts

  • Life insurance trusts

  • Minor’s trusts

  • Revocable living trusts

  • Special needs trusts

Depending on your needs, we can give you a full understanding of the available trust options.  Trusts also maintain your privacy while a will is public record. They also help you to avoid the probate process, which can be long and expensive.