Wills are powerful, legally binding estate planning documents that can protect your loved ones and your assets after you pass away while ensuring that your final wishes are carried out. Whether you have a small or larger estate or you are relatively young or are older, devising a will now is critical for the future.
The practice crafts comprehensive wills (and other estate planning documents) to meet clients’ needs, financial situations and wishes. While clients can always rely on the firm to provide them with customized solutions and personalized representation, they can also count on the firm to provide them the highest quality legal services for all of their wills and estate planning needs.
The wills-based estate planning services are focused on understanding clients’ needs, minimizing the potential challenges they (and their loved ones) may face and maximizing the possible benefits of establishing a will for their estate.
As wills are only effective upon death, the firm assists clients by providing powers of attorney and advance directives for health care that would be useful during a client’s life in case of mental and/or physical disability.
People with very substantial assets can manage this cost — and those with very little money can often take advantage of state resources. Families whose circumstances land them somewhere in the very large “middle” of this equation need counsel on their options.
Our Long-Term Care Planning practice take a consistently practical, cost-effective approach to problems such as:
- How to make sure you qualify for Georgia or North Carolina Medicaid should you need it to pay for nursing home care or other service
- How best to protect assets to fulfill your needs beyond what Medicaid provides and still pass on as much as possible to your heirs
- Whether insurance is within your means and likely to provide the security you are seeking
- What types of trusts may be useful for maintaining control of your assets and property should a major health issue arise
There are many reasons that establishing a living trust may be appropriate and beneficial for you. Not everyone needs a trust, but failing to learn and understand what a trust can accomplish is often a missed opportunity.
Depending on your specific circumstances, a trust may be the best solution for bypassing the probate process, avoiding excessive taxation, providing security for a disabled loved one or accomplishing other goals.
The total value of your assets is just one factor we consider in evaluating whether you should have a trust. Some scenarios and benefits include:
- Many types of trusts may keep your will out of probate court, allowing your family to keep asset distribution private, streamline necessary processes and reduce costs.
- A testamentary trust or contingent family trust can include stipulations for who manages assets until minor children reach a certain age.
- A special needs trust may be essential for preserving money for a family member who has a disability while protecting his or her eligibility for government funds and services.
As part of my estate planning practice, I automatically advise individuals, whether younger or older clients, on where their estate planning has issues pertaining to Income Taxes, Estate Taxes and Gift Taxes.
I have worked in the tax field for over 20 years and hold a LL.M. in Taxation as well.