Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person's life, for the disposal of their estate.

Estate planning takes into account everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions, and more. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate. And, all adults should conduct estate planning to ensure it is passed on to loved ones or others, according to your wishes.

Planning for how you would like your assets to be distributed among your family or others will eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a probate. It can also help you maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses.

The most common documents you will need include: wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. Other documents may also be necessary to care for you and your assets, appropriately.

Knowing you have a properly prepared plan in place – one that contains your instructions and will protect your family – will give you and your family peace of mind. This is one of the most thoughtful and considerate things you can do for yourself and for those you love – at any age or time.

Wills

A will provides your instructions for beneficiary designations.

A Will leaves assets to a spouse, children, charities, or other beneficiaries. We draft the wills you need and want, from simple to complex. A will appoints a “personal representative” to carry out your wishes and may include a “testamentary trust” to distribute assets to beneficiaries over a number of years.

Durable Power of Attorney

A legal document that gives someone you choose the power to act in your place.

A Durable Power of Attorney appoints an attorney-in-fact as an agent to make decisions if one is incapacitated or unable to care for oneself. Powers of attorney are powerful and must be drafted carefully; we tailor durable powers of attorney to your specific needs.

Heath Care Directive

An important health related estate planning document.

A Health Care Directive informs your doctor and other health care workers whether you would want to be kept alive if you were diagnosed to be terminally ill or in a vegetative coma.  A POLST is a physician’s order concerning life support treatment, and it should be harmonized with the health care directive and with other health related estate planning documents.

Trusts

Trusts are used for many purposes.

We draft trusts to carry out your long term or contingent wishes. For example, some families prefer to form a revocable living trust instead of a willIt can avoid probate at death, prevent court control of assets at incapacity, bring all of your assets together into one plan and provide maximum privacy. And, it can be changed by you at any time. See also our section on Trusts.

Medicaid Planning

Another asset protection strategy.

Medicaid planning is sometimes needed for a people with a certain level of assets as an asset protection strategy. It is a method of organizing your assets and income so that they are inaccessible to you in order to allow you to qualify for medicaid coverage, while preserving assets to pass on to your loved ones.

Schedule a Consultation

If you need any of these estate planning services, or have questions about them, contact us to schedule a consultation. At the end of our discussion, we can tell you what our flat fee would be for various estate planning options. If no estate planning documents are needed, we will tell you and there will be no fee.

Estate Planning Flat Fees.

Depending on the work to be done, we specify our flat fee at the end of your first estate planning appointment.