Without a well-written plan you lose the power to care for loved ones and choose who will care for you, your assets remain unprotected, your wishes undefined and your estate subject to a difficult settlement at death.
We guide you in accomplishing your family’s goals and protecting your life’s savings while minimizing taxes and expenses. We employ multiple common-sense strategies, trusts and plain English documents. Your beneficiaries will be protected by our Inheritance Trust™ approach.
Trusts are infinitely varied, serving many legal, personal, investment, and tax planning purposes. At the most basic level, a trust is an agreement between the trust maker and the trust manager to benefit the beneficiary. Oftentimes, all three parties are represented by one person or a married couple. In the case of a revocable living trust, for example, a person may create a trust and name themselves the current trustee to manage the trust assets for their own benefit.
Depending on the situation, there may be several advantages to establishing a trust, including managing assets during disability or old age and avoiding probate court to settle your estate. Certain trusts also may result in tax advantages both for the trust-maker and the beneficiary. Trusts may also be used to protect property from creditors, the nursing home, division of assets in a divorce and even irresponsible beneficiaries.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document giving another person the legal right to do certain things for you. A power of attorney may be very broad or strictly limited. All powers of attorney terminate upon the death of the maker and will also terminate if the maker becomes incapacitated if not properly drawn up.
Federal Estate Taxes
There are three distinct aspects to federal estate taxation: Estate Taxes, Gift Taxes, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes. Legal planning to avoid or minimize federal estate taxes is both a prudent and important aspect of comprehensive estate planning. These taxes apply to transfers in excess of $5m, under current law, indexed for inflation.