Estate planning is the process through which an individual or family arranges for protection and care of loved ones and the transfer of assets in the anticipation of death.
A comprehensive estate plan must include both lifetime and at-death planning elements. This is done to prepare for the possible incapacity and the inevitability of death. Estate planning is a process not an event. The estate plans I design leverage legal strategies to address my clients’ concerns and help them achieve their goals.
My clients are often interested in addressing a family issue like planning for their minor children. They also want to make things easy for their families and preserve a legacy to pass to their loved ones. My clients are interested in avoiding probate, protecting their assets and tend to be focused on death (naturally).
When recommending a plan design my focus often centers on addressing required legal technical requirements, avoiding or saving on taxes, making things easy for the family, and avoiding probate. However, I take an expanded view and include incapacity and death and split my analysis into lifetime planning and at-death planning objectives. Lifetime objectives including providing for client’s care during incapacity, minimizing family conflict, coordination with tax or other legal planning strategies, providing smooth-succession of key decision-makers, and avoiding conservatorship/guardianship. At-death planning objectives include avoiding probate, efficiently handling after-death asset administration, preserving family harmony, protecting beneficiaries for as long as possible or as long as necessary, and allowing children to grow into their inheritances. Visit my estate planning page for more.
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