Protecting Assets During Your Lifetime. Preserving Them For Future Generations.
Estate Planning: Strategic and All-Encompassing
To many people, estate planning means signing a will. In reality, estate planning is a comprehensive, strategic and all-encompassing undertaking that considers lifetime concerns – such as how to protect your assets from third parties, and who would make decisions in the event of illness or disability – as well as traditional estate and end-of-life matters – including who will inherit your assets, and in what manner.
Our approach begins with a complimentary consultation in which we conduct a thorough assessment of your unique situation. We discuss typical estate planning issues including estate tax and income tax minimization, wealth transfer planning, long-term care and nursing home planning, special needs and disability planning, and probate avoidance. We also consider issues such as the potential risk exposures of future beneficiaries, financial aid concerns for clients and beneficiaries, planning for higher education costs, and the role of family dynamics in the planning process. From that analysis, and with your personal and financial goals in mind, we design estate plans that ensure the financial security and success of you and your loved ones. From there, we work closely with you to create your unique estate plan documents, and complete the process by ensuring the plan is properly “funded”, which is a concept that involves analyzing and updating the ownership and beneficiary designations of all your assets.
We understand how challenging it can be for many clients to undertake estate planning. The distractions and responsibilities of daily life, coupled with the weighty decisions to be made, can make the process seem daunting. That’s why we have developed and finely tuned our estate plan process. Our team of dedicated and personable professionals will work with you throughout the entire process to keep things timely and manageable. We hear countless times from clients at the conclusion of the planning process how relieved they are to have done it, and how pleased they are with how much they accomplished. Our estate plan services include:
Our estate plan services include:
Core Documents Every estate plan, no matter how simple or complicated, requires a basic set of foundation documents:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Proxy
- HIPAA Release
- Living Will
Trusts There are as many different types of trusts as there are reasons to use them. Trusts accomplish key objectives during your lifetime while also protecting your beneficiaries after you’re gone. Following a consultation with an EPLO attorney, you will understand the type(s) of trust(s) that might be right for you, and why/how they work. These include:
- Revocable Trusts: for probate avoidance; marital estate tax planning; ongoing asset protection for beneficiaries; and more
- Irrevocable Trusts: for nursing home/long-term care protection; asset protection from third parties/creditors during your life; estate and gift tax reduction/elimination; and more
- Testamentary Trusts: for spousal nursing home/long-term care planning
- Supplemental Needs Trusts/Special Needs Trusts: to hold the inheritance of disabled/special needs beneficiaries
- Retirement Trusts: for protecting your pre-tax/qualified retirement accounts beyond your lifetime in the hands of your beneficiaries, while affording favorable income tax treatment
- Charitable Trusts: for lifetime and testamentary charitable giving and estate tax/income tax planning
- Nominee/Agency Trusts: for spousal planning, to hold assets jointly yet strategically positioned to fund trusts upon the first spouse’s death; to protect the privacy of you and your beneficiaries; and more
Special Planning Services
- Elder law/Medicaid planning
- Special needs planning
- Business entity planning, including corporations, partnerships, and LLCs
- Business succession planning for all types of business owners, including buy-sell agreements, disability planning and creditor protection
- Charitable giving strategies
- Planning for income taxes and transfer taxes
- Estate freezing and leveraging techniques
- Asset protection planning
- Marital planning including prenuptial agreements
Clearly, the estate planning process is complex and the laws that regulate it are constantly changing. It takes attorneys who have developed in-depth expertise in this field and who remain up-to-date with regulations – to help clients properly plan their estates and to ensure that their assets are protected during their lifetimes and preserved for future generations.
Our Practice Areas
- Estate Planning
- Asset Protection Planning
- Elder Law & Medicaid Planning
- Business & Corporate Planning
- Special Needs & Disability Planning
- Estate& Trust Administration
- Guardianships & Conservatorships
- Tax Planning - Corporate & Individual
- Charitable & Exempt Organizations
- Equine & Pet Trust Planning
- Veterans Benefits Planning
- Financial Aid Planning
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