Failing to plan is often the biggest mistake.
Developing a well-designed approach for your estate is a personal process. It is grounded in the attitudes, beliefs and traditions that you consider important. Your estate will change as you progress through your life and incorporate different aspects of estate preparation.
Without any estate plan in place, federal and state laws dictate how property, personal items and assets are divided, with no regard to the individual's wishes. Conflicts due to family issues and legal problems often result, tying up the estate and slowing down the distribution of assets. Additional administrative expenses and taxes, which must be deducted from the estate, can also reduce its overall value.
Good estate planning looks for ways to preserve your assets and plan constructively how to pass on as much of your estate as possible to your heirs. I can help you understand some common estate planning tools, such as a will, trust, durable powers of attorney and gifting to help you achieve your legacy goals.
Dependents with Special Needs
As a parent or guardian of a person with special needs, it becomes especially important for an estate plan to be in place to understand the implications of how inheriting even a small amount of money could disqualify a person with disabilities from most federal benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, and from any state programs.
Special considerations include what kind of life would you like the person with special needs to have, how he or she will live without you, and what other requirements are important to your family — retirement, education funding, etc.
The legacy you leave will depend on the plan you prepare. Together, through careful thought and use of the proper tools, we can create a plan to leave your beneficiaries the estate you always meant for them to have.
Information in the Estate Planning section is provided for reference only and is not intended as legal or tax advice. Always seek the advice of competent legal and tax counsel about such matters.