You might think estate planning is reserved only for the wealthy who want to pass their assets to their family at death and minimize estate taxes. Estate planning is actually for anyone interested in protecting their hard-earned assets and preserving their family legacy and relationships. We have found that “wealth” is a relative term—whether a client has $50K or $50M, they care about keeping and protecting it, whatever dollar amount that happens to be.
While transferring wealth and taxation planning are some of the primary objectives in estate planning, a comprehensive estate plan will help anyone (regardless of the degree of wealth) accomplish much more than that. Effective estate planning offers an array of other benefits to you and your loved ones while you are alive, such as:
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Powers of Attorney
- Advanced Health Care Directives
- Special Needs Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts for Medicaid
- Irrevocable Trusts for Estate Tax Reduction and Asset Protection
- Structured Gifting/Transfer of Assets
- Family Limited Liability Companies
- Business Succession Plans (ESOP, GRATs and IDGTs)
- IRA Trusts & Inheritance Trust
- Trustee Representation
- Coordinating the Delivery of Information such as Copies of Trusts, Inventories, Accountings, etc.
- Assisting with Settling Debts and Creditor Claims
- Counseling Clients and Family Members to Avoid Conflicts
- Representing Parties in Negotiations, Mediations and Litigation
MANAGEMENT: you may retain full control over all of your assets;
PRIVACY & PROTECTION: you may protect your privacy and save assets from taxes, guardianships, probate, dissipation (waste) and high costs of nursing homes;
COVERAGE: you may obtain the proper medical care in the event you become incapacitated;
CONTROL: you may set up powers and authority to be able to transfer what you want, to whom, when, and in the manner you choose; and
LEGACY: you may create a legacy by passing your values on to family, future generations and the organizations that mean the most to you.
Having an estate plan will give you the opportunity to accomplish these goals and more. More importantly, you should have your estate plan designed by a reputable, licensed attorney who focuses on estate planning and wealth preservation.
Macanas Estate & Elder Law works closely with clients to strategically structure their asset ownership to maxmize enjoyment of their wealth during their lifetime and to protect it in the event of accident or disability. Macanas Estate & Elder Law shows clients how to best transition assets among their beneficiaries, such as to surviving spouse, children, grandchildren or charity, all with a planning perspective focused on minimizing estate taxation, expenses, delays, contention and the misuse or dissipation of family assets.
When a loved one passes away, families would like to hope that the estate and trust administration process will go easily and proficiently, avoiding conflicts and unnecessary delays. The responsibility associated with serving as a trustee can feel like an intimidating process. Oftentimes, those who are assigned the duty of administering a trust are still in the process of grieving the loss of their loved one. Trust administration is usually an on-going task that requires the assistance of a professional to ensure that the trustee fulfills their legal obligations to the trust beneficiaries, such as preparing inventories, maintaining the accounting, paying bills, filing taxes and distributing assets at the appropriate time. In our experience, success in this administration process can depend on the level of communication and fairness that is being exhibited as the trustee attempts to balance the interests of everyone involved.