Although many people think that estate planning is simply about providing for their loved ones in the event of their death, there are many other objectives to consider. From avoiding probate to minimizing estate taxes, planning for incapacity or provided for a family member with special needs, the best decision you can make to preserve your wealth and protect your loved ones is to consult an experienced estate planning attorney.
The Honerlaw Firm provides comprehensive estate planning services to our clients. We have a reputation for providing our clients with proven strategies to protect, hold, and transfer their wealth. When you work with our attorneys, you will have peace of mind knowing that your interests and your loved ones will be protected.
A well-designed estate plan takes into consideration important objectives such as:
While a last will and testament is a common way to plan for the distribution of your assets after your death, it must be probated. Probate is a court-supervised process that is lengthy, costly, and public. Further, assets passing through the probate process will be subject to the claims of creditors. We advise our clients on the advantages of a trust as a means of avoiding probate, and for tax planning and asset protection.
A last will and testament is the only way to designate a guardian to provide for the upbringing, financial and medical needs of your children if you become incapacitated. To protect your children, we recommend that you execute a living trust along with your will.
If you are unable to speak for yourself due to temporary or permanent incapacity, it is crucial to designate trusted individuals to manage your personal and financial affairs and make health care decisions on your behalf according to your preferences.
The Honerlaw Firm is dedicated to understanding your unique circumstances and tailoring an estate plan to best suits your needs. While some clients may only require a will-based estate plan, we provide advice and guidance on a variety of estate planning tools, including:
A properly structured living trust allows you to continue managing the trust assets during your lifetime, plan for incapacity, and provide instructions for the distribution of your assets after you pass away. Because the trust takes ownership of property that is transferred into the trust, the probate process can be avoided, which can save time, money and maintain your family’s privacy.
While execution of a trust helps avoid the cost and delay of probate proceedings, we also prepare a will for you to execute along with your trust. This “pour-over” will serves two primary purposes: (1) to name guardians for your children, if necessary, and (2) to ensure that if any assets are inadvertently left out of your trust, a court will have the power to transfer those assets into your trust after your death.
This document allows you to designate a trusted person to handle your personal and business affairs in the event you become incapacitated, such as managing bank and investment accounts, and paying debts or household expenses.
Also referred to as a Health Care Power of Attorney, this estate planning tools designates a medical agent to make decisions about the medical treatment you should receive in the event of incapacity, according to your preferences.
This document is another type of advance directive that conveys the type of life preserving or end of life medical care you wish to receive or have withheld if you become permanently unconscious or are terminally ill. It is an expression of your wishes and gives your medical agent more authority.
Without an estate plan, you will be leaving important decisions such as who becomes guardian of your children and receives your assets to the probate court. If you have old, outdated estate planning documents, they may result in unintended consequences contrary to your wishes. We realize that estate planning is not a once and done event. That is why it is important to regularly review your estate plan to make sure it considers changes over the course of your life – marriage, divorce, having children, wealth accumulation, and retirement.