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Estate Planning and Management

There are 5 components to effective estate planning:

  • Distribution
  • Administration
  • Management
  • Income
  • Taxes

When we work with you, we discuss the options available to you, putting together a memorandum for the attorney that will provide not only the names of the various beneficiaries, trustees, and executors. But a clear road map of your concerns. We will then read through the estate document drafts with you, to see how well the documents address your concerns:

Distribution deals with who gets what, when, where, and how;

Administration who you will appoint to be Executor, Trustee, Trust Protector, or Trust advisor;

Management deals with whatever assets you leave behind that require ongoing management, like investments, real estate, or a business, and who you have appointed to do so;

Income - planning for the surviving spouse to receive an income, either a percentage or an absolute value, paid in what increments and for how long, and whether to apply a cost of living adjustment. Then, determine whether your beneficiaries will receive income or an outright distribution; and

Tax concerns are about what your documents do to freeze, reduce, or eliminate the income and estate tax liabilities resulting from your death.

Case Study: Estate Planning

We helped an unmarried couple develop an estate plan by getting them to deal with issues about death, disability, and marriage. Neither of them had a will, despite living together for ten years. As legal strangers, should one of them get hurt, the other would have no rights to find out the other’s condition. And if one died, the other would not be able to live in the house they shared.

We wrote a memorandum laying out everything they want, under every condition, so they could go to an attorney fully organized. This enabled the attorney to prepare the documents

Estate Planning

Estate taxes can significantly shrink the size of your estate. We provide advice on issues including property ownership, distribution strategies, estate tax reduction techniques. We help you prepare for your meetings with attorneys and with the subsequent work involved in implementing your estate plan.