Areas of Practice
A Revocable Living Trust is the most effective and efficient way to avoid the unnecessary expense, time and hardship of probate. Unlike other transfer mechanisms, Trusts are custom designed for each individual’s particular circumstances. The following are some of the unique features which can be provided by a custom designed Trust:
- Provide for and protect beneficiaries with poor spending habits;
- Provide beneficiaries with incentive for education;
- Provide for a current spouse and children, while securing inheritance for your children from a previous relationship;
- Reduce or eliminate Federal Estate Taxes;
- Provide for disabled loved ones while preserving his or her eligibility for government benefits;
- Restrict beneficiaries from cashing out an IRA, and require “stretch benefits” (continuation of tax deferred plan with annual distributions).
Probate – Real property not held in Trust or joint tenancy must go through probate before distribution to the heirs of the deceased owner. Money and assets exceeding $100,000 in value, that is not held in Trust, joint tenancy or covered by a beneficiary designation is also subject to probate. Probate is the court proceeding in which the court either verifies a Will, or determines disposition of property according to State law. A simple probate lasts approximately 6 months.
Property Deeds and Affidavits
Forms needed to transfer your property into your Trust, such as real property deeds; corporate stock assignment; assignment of partnership interest; and transfer of sole proprietorship interest.
Marital Agreements – An agreement made by a couple either before or after marriage that concerns financial issues such as control, possession, division and distribution of separately owned and jointly owned property and assets in the event of divorce or death. A martial agreement is an important planning tool, especially for couples with children from previous relationships.
Special Needs Planning
TSpecial Needs Planning – Outright inheritance can disqualify a disabled individual from eligibility for government benefits. Special needs planning will protect a disabled individual’s eligibility for government benefits, while providing for his or her ongoing needs.
A Last Will & Testament allows for the disposition of property to intended beneficiaries. A Pour-Over Will transfers assets held outside of a Trust into the Trust.
Appointments of Guardianship
Appointment of Guardianship for Minor Children – The most important decision parents can make is who would raise their children in the event that the parents could not. If the parents do not make this decision, the State will. Without a nomination of guardian, family and friends may disagree about which would be the best guardian for the child or children. Such disputes result in high legal costs and family feuds that never heal. Children may even be placed in foster care until the dispute is resolved or the appointment of a court appointed guardian.
Allows self-determination regarding finances and health care decisions.
- A Durable Power of Attorney allows a person to designate an agent or agents to handle financial matters, such as the payment of mortgages, utilities and medical bills in the event of incapacitation and circumvents appointment of a court appointed conservator.
- An Advance Health Care Directive allows a person to direct medical personnel regarding the continuation or withdrawal of artificial life sustaining machines and treatments, if desired, in the event of terminal illness or injury. This form also allows designation of an agent or agents to make health care decisions in the event of incapacitation
Buy-Sell Agreements - A lifetime contract protecting business owners in the event of retirement, disability or death. A buy-sell agreement also provides for the transfer of a business interest, such as in a corporation, partnership or limited liability company to surviving owners, while providing heirs with the cash value of the interest.
Domestic Partnership Agreements
Domestic Partnership Agreements – An agreement that explains the legal rights and responsibilities of each partner when a couple decides to form a long-term committed relationship, including same sex couples. A domestic partnership agreement addresses issue concerning separately owned and jointly owned property and assets.
Additional Legal Services
Accumulation and Maintenance trusts
Credit Shelter Trusts
Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
Federal Estate Tax Planning
Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT)
Living Wills (End of life choices)
Marital Property Agreements
Powers of Attorney
Qualified Terminable Interest Trusts (Q-TIP)
Small Business Planning
Trust Transfer Documents