Estate planning allows individuals to decide how they want to dispose of their assets after their death and to create a plan for distribution that meets their needs, maintains family harmony and minimizes tax consequences. While much of estate planning is focused on high net worth individuals, many people fail to realize that they fall into this category. Between their homes, retirement plans, savings, life insurance business interests and other assets, many individuals have assets that may be subject to federal or state inheritance or estate taxation.
We initially meet with clients to discuss their future needs and to assess the current status and value of their assets, including a review of their current will, if one exists. With this foundation, we prepare an estate plan, which may use one or more estate planning tools such as life insurance trusts, GRATs, qualified personal residence trusts, charitable trusts, family limited partnerships, retirement plan benefits, QTIP trusts and revocable trusts. We also prepare health-care proxies, living wills, HIPPA authorizations and powers of attorney, which allow clients to provide for the management of their personal affairs or care in the event they are disabled or unable to express their wishes.