Estate Planning and Asset Protection
Don’t procrastinate. Everyone needs an estate plan regardless of current health or net worth. By planning in advance of a health crisis — what we call “proactive planning" — you get to make the decisions, remain in control and protect your hard-earned assets. Your loved ones will be grateful for not having to make tough decisions for you, perhaps during a stressful time, not knowing your wishes. If you fail to plan, and become incapacitated, your loved ones will be forced to create a plan for you. This is what we call “crisis planning”. At that point, you are not the decision maker, you are not in control and you cannot protect most of your assets. And, in the worst case scenario, your loved ones may be forced to ask a judge to appoint a legal guardian to make the decisions for you, and it may not be someone you know or trust.
Estate planning isn’t synonymous with tax planning. Due to the current high federal and state estate tax thresholds, the avoidance or minimization of taxes isn’t a concern for most of us. However, we all have loved ones and assets which require protection during our lifetimes and upon our passing. So estate planning is about protecting yourself, your loved ones and your assets from potential predators and creditors, including nursing homes, in-laws, judgments, lawsuits and taxes. Effective estate planning requires necessary conversations about you, your family, your assets and your unique needs, goals and values. With your input, we can create customized legal documents including revocable and/or irrevocable trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, living wills and personal care plans. Depending upon your goals and needs, these documents will allow access to your property, keep you and/or your family in control and protect your assets should you become incapacitated. This access, control and protection can continue after your death and extend to your spouse, children or other relatives for their lifetimes.
Your estate plan is your personal rulebook. We also call it your set of instructions which will be followed during your lifetime and after your passing. By creating your rulebook, you guarantee that your family stays in control and makes the decisions, rather than relying on unnecessary intrusive, expensive, and time-consuming court proceedings.
Please watch our animation about Trusts.
I wanted to thank you and your staff for the professional and accurate work you completed in my estate plan for my wife and myself. There were many items that had to be included and you were very dilligent and helpful in explaining them to us. The items were neatly placed into a hard cover binder and indexed for easy access. I was very pleased with the presentation and the results. You came highly recommended and I can see why. I would not hesitate to recommend you to my friends and family, in fact I have already given your card to a very close friend whom I have known for over 50 years.
~ Luke and Grace Zabbia