Estate Planning

The term ‘estate planning’ can mean many things but we often use it to describe the process of organizing your thoughts and wishes concerning your estate and your legal and tax arrangements into an integrated plan. There are many tools and techniques that make up a well thought-out estate plan. These include some simple ideas and documents that most people should have in place as well as more complex documents and arrangements that will not necessarily be used by everyone. Here is a list of some of the concepts that are used in this process:

  •  Revocable Trusts
  •  Insurance Trusts and Other Irrevocable Trusts
  •  Trusts for Children and Grandchildren
  •  Special Needs Trusts
  •  Generation-Skipping Trusts
  •  Wills and Pour-Over Wills
  •  Durable Powers of Attorney
  •  Gift Planning
  •  Planning for Retirement Benefits (including IRAs)
  •  Family Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies and similar entities
  •  Advance Health Care Directives and other arrangements concerning health care

The goals of a good estate plan should include:

  •  Estate tax planning to minimize the cost and effects of estate taxation
  •  Considering lifetime gifting opportunities
  •  Avoiding or minimizing the need for probate proceedings
  •  Planning in advance for the possibility of poor health and incapacity
  •  Organizing and clearly expressing your thoughts and wishes for your estate
  •  Providing a clear line of authority for management of your estate
  •  Arranging the proper form of title for your assets
  •  Coordinating retirement plan beneficiaries

We have a great deal of experience in dealing with these and similar matters. Our estate planning attorneys are Robert R. Johnson and Denae L. Oatey and our trust and estate paralegal is Elizabeth Holihan.