Estate Planning & Probate Litigation
Our estate planning practice is designed to help you formulate and execute a plan to alleviate your personal or financial concerns now and into the future.
As part of our process, we gather information about the client(s)’ (whether you are single, married, divorced or widowed) financial affairs, family, family assets, as well as, the client(s)’
Our attorneys then apply their skill, experience, and knowledge to put together a plan to coincide with your wants and wishes, aiming at putting your mind at ease and minimizing any future financial or emotional costs which might occur to you and/or your family.
Most clients want their estates to pass to beneficiaries with the least amount of emotional or financial expense. Helping a client organize his or her assets will ensure the orderly transfer of those assets to their beneficiaries.
Paying taxes can be burdensome and most would like to pay as little taxes as possible. Examples of taxes include personal property taxes, estate taxes, income taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes, as well as, death taxes. And although taxes are certainly a consideration in estate planning, the avoidance or reduction of taxes should not be the sole driving force.
For example, for high-net-worth individuals, it may be desirable for a client to make gifts to children to reduce the client’s estate and, hence, reduce death taxes. However, if those assets would have a detrimental effect on the children and their maturation process, those types of gifts should most likely not be made. Given the significant increase in the federal estate tax exclusion amount in recent years, gift-giving to reduce estate taxes has become less important than in previous years.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, doubled the previous federal estate tax exclusion amounts so that most Americans will not pay federal estate taxes at death. In fact, the 2017TCJA raised the exclusion amount so high that for many families, taxes are not the primary focus of estate planning. Instead, that focus is placed more upon the efficient and orderly administration of assets to one’s family members and other beneficiaries.
Following the death of a client, families are anxious to resolve and complete the administration of the deceased’s estate. Helping our clients understand the time required in that process will relieve some of their frustration. Some clients will have special problems that must be addressed, such as a disabled family member or a family member who is not capable of managing a substantial inheritance. Planning for a child with a developmental disability requires special considerations, including structuring the estate plan so the child does not lose any government benefits.
We are here to uncover these issues and help the client address them, explain the issues to the client and implement a plan based on what the client decides to do.