See the area of our expertise where we help clients with their estate planning and related matters.
For over 40 years I have been asked, “how much do you charge for a simple will?” to which I often reply, “do you have a simple life?” Without only a little further inquiry and discovery, life (and correspondingly death) appear much less simple. My follow up question is “do you want your estate planning to be simple in its creation, or simple in its implementation? We view estate planning as an extension of our client’s risk management portfolio. A comprehensive estate plan will include a Will, Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, HIPAA Authorization, Directive to Physicians, Designation of Guardians for Minor Children, Designation of Guardian in the Event of Later Incapacity, and Appointment of Agent for Disposition of Remains. The next level of planning may include an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust or Special Needs Trust. Estate Planning may also include a pre-marital or post-marital agreement, which I view as an estate planning document.
Probate is the process of administering the assets of a deceased person and ultimately distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. It can be a complicated, stressful, and misunderstood process. We help families navigate this public process that may involve the probate of a Will, probate without a Will and the determination of heirship, a Small Estate Affidavit, and other mechanisms to clear title to real property and vest title to assets in the name of a surviving spouse, children, or other heirs. Probate without a Will can be extremely stressful in a blended or dysfunctional family.
Related issues: succession planning.
Business Succession Planning
Many successful business owners and entrepreneurs do a great job of providing the services or products that define their business. They know their customers or clients well and create profits based upon maintaining relationships, well trained staff, and working many long hours. Unfortunately, little consideration is given the smooth transition of their business upon retirement, death, or incapacity, until it is too late. We provide focused planning that will sustain the value of your business and a smooth transition upon your sale, retirement, or death – maintaining family expectations and peace of mind. We also work with experts in the field of business valuation, which is important in drafting a buy-sell agreement, in determining estate or gift tax liability or planning, divorce, or sale to a third party.
Related issues: estate planning.
Insurance Review and Planning
We believe that all planning involves all risk management considerations. Our clients often focus on accumulating and building wealth, without full consideration that a separate tragic risk event in their life (automobile accident) could put their wealth at risk. We will review you full insurance portfolio and liability risks to minimize the risk of any protection gaps – including home and auto, personal umbrella, rental properties, commercial and business, life and other insurance needs. Life insurance can be a valuable tool in planning for blended families and business succession planning. We do not write insurance or have any vested proprietary interest in your insurance selection -we serve as trusted consultants with over 40 years of experience in all related insurance fields.