Estate planning is an important part of planning for the future. The main goals are to protect and provide for family members, ensure your wishes are fulfilled, and preparing for care in the event of incapacity. Effective estate planning allows you to direct how your property will be passed along on death. Without a will, your assets will be distributed based on the state’s intestacy scheme. While it’s still a plan to pass things along to your family, it’s probably not the plan you had in mind. Estate planning can involve a variety of strategies from wills and trusts to powers of attorney and healthcare directives. At the Collins Law Firm, we help clients plan for the future in the following ways:
Wills & Trusts
Wills are the most common way to decide what happens to property after one passes away. Otherwise, the state determines what happens to your property. Wills allow a person to take care of friends, stepchildren, grandchildren, charities and others who may not have a claim under state law. Wills also allow the designation of a guardian for minor children. You will also choose who will administer your estate and direct how it will be managed.
Wills are important, even for those who are not wealthy. Without a will, you won’t have any input about what happens when you pass away. Our lawyers have experience drafting everything from simple reciprocal wills between spouses to more complex plans with testamentary trusts.
It is very important to make sure your will is written clearly. It’s also important that the process is followed correctly. We have experience drafting wills and litigating probate cases. This means that we are able to help clients anticipate problems and address them before they arise.
A trust is an arrangement where one holds property for the benefit of another. Trusts are often associated with complex tax planning but can be used for many purposes. They are often used as part of an estate plan to prevent a young person from gaining access to funds until they reach a more mature age. They can also be used as part of an estate plan to prevent an ex-spouse from having access to the minor children’s money in the event of death. Trusts can also be useful to provide for children or other relatives with special needs.