ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE

What was true before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will still be true when it is finally controlled: none of us will get out of this life alive.  And when you die, your money, property and prized possessions will pass to others in one of two ways: (1) in accordance with the estate plan you establish; or (2) in accordance with the laws of intestacy enacted by your state’s legislature.  Which of those two options do you prefer?  

Our attorneys will help you create an estate plan which enables you to leave your estate to those you choose.  By doing so, you can give certainty and peace of mind to your loved ones when you have passed away. 

You’ve worked all your adult life in order to provide for yourself and your family.  In doing so, you have accumulated property (what the law refers to as an “estate”) which you can give to one or more persons of your choosing upon your death.  It might surprise you to learn that approximately one-half of all Americans do not have a will and as a result miss out on their opportunity to plan for the future well-being of their loved ones. 

Three Generation

Our job as attorneys is to help you design an estate plan that ensures that your legacy is managed and ultimately distributed according to your wishes.  In that regard, consider the following questions:  

  • Estate and Trust Planning – Who do you want to inherit your estate when you die?  If minor children are involved, who should manage the inheritance for their benefit?  Are there charities or organizations to which you would like to leave gifts? If you have an existing estate plan, how long has it been since you reviewed it?  Are you certain that it reflects your current intentions? Are there tax savings or advantages available which your current plan doesn’t incorporate? Should your assets be placed in a revocable trust, instead of passing through probate?

  • Business Succession Planning – If you are a business owner, have you prepared an ownership succession plan?  If not, what happens to your business if you die or become disabled? Are there family members or employees who might want to acquire your company when you are ready to retire?  Surveys indicate that most business owners acknowledge the need for succession plans, but don’t get around to actually preparing one. As a result, less than 10% of the family-owned businesses make it to the third generation.  We recommend planning at least five years in advance of a transition in order to maximize the odds of achieving a successful transition event. 

  • Wealth Transfer Planning - There are a variety of effective tax strategies to facilitate the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next, such as grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) and irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs). We can find one suited for your needs.   

  • Charitable Gift Planning – If you are inclined to give a portion of your estate to charity, we can help you structure your gift to maximize the benefit to both the charity and to you. 

  • Probate Estate and Trust Administration – We can assist you or your choice of fiduciary in administering your estate or trust.  We can handle the probate of a family member’s estate or litigate claims involving the estate.

  • Construction - Our team has represented homeowners, commercial building owners, contractors, and subcontractors in all aspects of the construction and renovation process, including the negotiation of AIA Contracts, subcontracts, financing, and dispute resolution.

  • Litigation - Issues and disputes invariably arise with the ownership or leasing of real estate.  Whether it is a property line dispute with a neighbor, disagreement with a lender, landlord, tenant or insurer, or problems relating to construction projects, we have a team of seasoned litigators with the experience and skills to represent you and defend your rights.

Enjoying a Meal

What sets us apart

We offer the equivalent experience and sophistication as the big firms coupled with personal service, value, and attention to your needs. We don't just draft cookie-cutter estate plans, but instead aim to understand our clients’ needs and then provide customized legal solutions that are integrated with complimentary services provided by other professionals.

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