Securing the Future for You and Your Family
Many people think that they don't need an estate plan. Sometimes they think this because they don't feel like they have many assets, everything is titled in joint tenancy, or for some other reason. The truth is that just about everyone needs an estate plan. You may have noticed that I used the term "estate plan" rather than saying "will" or "trust". I do that intentionally, because an estate plan is much more than a simple will or trust. An estate plan charts a path for both incapacity and death. In fact, even the most simple plan my office offers includes a will, a financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, an advanced directive, and other documents.
When life happens, you want to make sure that your family isn't stressed, and you will want to try to keep costs as low as possible. Having a clear path about what happens in the event of death or incapacity is critical. Advanced planning can save your family the trouble of going to court if medical decisions need to be made, can give them peace about your wishes during a medical issue, and give clarity to your wishes after death.
Isn't estate planning expensive?
It doesn't have to be! Obviously, the more complicated your needs are, the more the plan can cost. Some law firms charge by the hour for estate planning, but my office gives you a flat rate for what you need done. In other words, we don't try to hide the ball - you will know how much the plan will cost before you start the process. Some firms in town charge three to ten times our rates (feel free to call them and ask, we aren't afraid of a little competition), which may make you wonder why we are able to provide the same service for such a reasonable rate. The answer is simple: we limit our practice groups to what we know best. This means that we don't have to spend time learning things again every time we do a plan. Beyond that, we leverage advanced technology to help draft our plans. This means that our plans are able to be tailored to a client quickly. That specialization saves you money.
Is the process complicated?
The process isn't going to be done in twenty minutes, but it isn't anything to be worried about. We start by collecting some basic information about you like the members of your family, your assets, and any special concerns you have. Then we can discuss what you want to happen to you, your family, and your stuff in different scenarios. Then we draft the documents and go over them with you to be sure you understand what they are and how they work.
If you're worried about time or traveling, you can rest assured that my firm is built for the 21st century. Almost all of the process can be done remotely! In fact, the only time you'd need to meet in person is to sign the final documents, and if that is a problem, we can come to you (within a reasonable distance). But, if you want to do things the old school way, that is fine too! We have office space and are glad to meet with you in person at any point in the process.
Most of our plans are completed in less than a month, but if you have a more urgent need, please contact us by phone for more immediate assistance.
What kind of people do you work with?
I have clients across the planning spectrum. I do plans for singles with and without children, married couples with and without children, blended families, small business owners, seniors, members of the LGBTQ+ community, individuals with special needs, and even individuals who are concerned about what happens to their pets after their death. I am happy to talk with anyone about estate planning-- no case is too big or too small. Unless I have a conflict based on the rules every attorney must follow, I would be glad to discuss your needs with you.
What kind of Estate Planning Can You Do?
My office does the entire range of estate planning. Our most common plans are Last Will and Testaments and Revocable Living Trusts, but we do much more. Some of the documents/plans we can help you will include, but aren't limited to:
- Last Will and Testaments
- Pour-Over Wills
- Personal Property Memorandums
- Durable Power of Attorneys
- Medical Power of Attorneys
- HIPPA Authorizations
- Living Wills/Advanced Health Directives
- Nominations of Guardians for Minor Children
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Beneficiary Deeds
- Special Needs Trusts
- Certificate of Trust
- Affidavits of Trust
- Assignments of Personal Property
- Remembrance and Services Memorandums
- Trustee Affidavits
- Community Property Agreements
- Separate Property Agreements
- Agreements to Sever Joint Tenancy
- Trustee Resignations and Replacements
- Revocation of Trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts
- Section 2503(c) Minor's Trust
- Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
- DAPT Solvency Affidavits
- Family Bank Trusts
- Gifting Trusts
- Health and Education Exclusion Trusts (HEETs)
- Inheritor's Trusts
- QTIP Trusts
- QPRT Trusts
- Retirement Trusts
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
- Grantor Retained Unitrusts
- Grantor Retained Income Trusts
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Charitable Lead Trusts