Legacy Planning

Legacy planning is the process of planning for the disposition of your estate both while you are alive and after you have passed on. This usually includes the services of a good estate planning attorney to draft up the proper documents such as wills, durable power of attorney for health and assets and trusts (revocable and/or irrevocable).

From experience we know that not all estate planning attorneys are the same, neither in philosophy, competency, pricing nor practice. We have learned that it is not necessarily a good idea to have your estate planning documents drafted for the cheapest price. If you do not have a relationship with a good estate planning attorney we suggest you interview at least three before you make a decision of who to work with. We can help provide referrals.

For those of you who already have your estate planning documents we often suggest you consider getting a second opinion from another estate planning attorney. Why? It has been our experience that many estate planning attorneys do not keep in touch with their clients after the initial documents are drafted. There are times when your documents need to be updated due to changes in the law or changes in your financial or personal circumstances.

The normal transitions that occur in life (new jobs, lost job, births, marriage, divorce, illness, death, new business, sold business, etc.) often require updating your estate planning documents.

We also suggest you consider the notion of doing a ‘dress rehearsal’ of your passing with, if possible, all of your family members present. It is especially important to have the agents, executors or successor trustees of your estate at this meeting. We offer to meet with you, your family and your attorney at your attorney’s office to do a simulation. This entails what you need to consider if you or your spouse first pass away, or if you should pass away simultaneously.

What needs to be done after a spouse passes away? What needs to be done by the successor trustees after both parents have passed on? What does the healthy spouse do when the other spouse becomes incapacitated? What do the agents for the durable power of attorney need to be aware of should one or both of their parents become incapacitated?

Some clients have more than enough money to meet their own needs and they want to pass along as much money as possible to their children in the most tax efficient manner. We assist families with tax free legacy planning so that the beneficiaries pay no tax when they receive their inheritance.

Click here to arrange a meeting to discuss your legacy planning needs.