Estate Planning

I meet with individuals and couples to advise them regarding their estate planning, with a goal to provide for future probate avoidance, the legal minimization of estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes, and appropriate provisions for the future distribution of their assets to their chosen beneficiaries.  In all cases, it is my objective to communicate effectively with my clients, often with the use of diagrams, to be sure that my clients are participants in the formation of the estate plan, know the choices that they have, and understand the documents that I prepare for them.In most cases, the revocable living trust is the core document in the estate plan. I prepare deeds and assignments of other assets to the revocable trust and advise and assist my clients regarding the transfer of title of other assets to the revocable trust to eliminate or minimize the future need for a probate administration.  In addition, I advise clients and assist them in the completion of tailor-made beneficiary designations for retirement and pension accounts and life insurance policies.  Where appropriate, I will recommend the creation of an irrevocable trust for life insurance policies or other assets.

Careful attention is not only given to the tax aspects of the estate planning documents, but also to the “people” aspects of the estate plan, after I listen to my client’s specific concerns.  In estate planning, it is often the case that, for example, two couples with the same net worths, the same number of children, and the same ages of their children, will make different decisions about the future disposition of their assets, because of different  family situations,  philosophies, priorities, and values.