There are a variety of reasons why people decide to meet with estate planning attorney and create an estate plan. The following are some of the most popular reasons.
1. Avoiding Probate
Avoiding probate is by far the most common reason why people seek out the advice of estate planning attorney. While many have never even dealt with probate, they know one thing… they want to avoid it at all costs! Whether from the stories told by her family, friends, business associates, or neighbors; or from the horror stories surrounding the deaths of celebrities, told to us by the media, the vast majority of people feel that avoiding probate is a very good thing. Luckily, creating an estate plan can be easily achieve.
2. Reducing Estate Taxes
Significant loss of A person’s estate to the payment of state and or federal estate taxes, or state inheritance taxes, is a great motivator for many people to put an estate plan together. Through the most basic planning, married couples can reduce or even possibly eliminate estate taxes altogether by setting up various trusts as part of their wills or other trust instruments. In addition, a variety of advanced estate planning techniques can be used by both married couples and individuals to make the estate tax bill less burdensome or make it completely go away.
3. Avoiding a Mess
Many clients seek advice of an estate planning attorney after personally experiencing, or seeing a close friend or business associate experience, a significant waste of time and money due to a loved ones failure to make an estate plan. Choosing someone to be in charge if you become mentally incapacitated; and after you die, to decide who will get what; when they will get it; and how they will get it after you’re gone, will go a long way towards avoiding family fights and costly probate court proceedings.
4. Protecting Beneficiaries
There are generally two main reasons why people put together an estate plan focused on protecting their beneficiaries:
- Protecting minor beneficiaries; and/or
- Protecting adult beneficiaries from bad decisions, outside influences, creditor problems, and divorcing spouses.
If the beneficiary is a minor, all 50 states have laws that require a guardian or conservator to be appointed to oversee the minor’s needs and finances until that minor becomes a legal adult (age 18 or 21, depending on the laws of the state where the minor lives). You can prevent family discord and costly legal expenses by taking the time to designated guardian and trustee for your minor beneficiaries. Or, if is already an adult but is bad at managing money, or has an overbearing spouse or partner who you fear will squander the beneficiaries inheritance or take it in a divorce, then you can create an estate plan that will protect that beneficiary from their own bad decisions, as well as those of others.
5. Protecting Assets from Unforeseen Creditors
Lately, asset protection planning has become a very important reason why many people… Including those who already have an estate plan… Our meeting with their estate planning attorney. Once you know or even suspect that a lawsuit is on the horizon, it’s too late to put a plan in place to protect your assets. Instead, you need to start with a sound financial plan and couple that with a comprehensive estate plan that will intern protect your assets for you’re benefit during your lifetime, and for your beneficiaries after your death.
At Del Vecchio & Pacor, LLP, we combine the basic tenets of holistic ﬁnancial planning with strategies specific to Elder Law, so as to create our Estate Planning Model. So, let’s translate:
The foundation of a good Estate Plan starts with proper ﬁnancial planning; and the foundation of good ﬁnancial planning is income and asset protection. It does not matter how good the Estate Plan is if the ﬁnances are not available to fund it. When we meet with a client, we think it is best to inspect the foundation and work our way up.
As we all grow older, our needs and goals change…along with our personal and ﬁnancial status. It is important to have a plan that grows with us, and provides for the changes that we may experience.
Whether you accept the above as being true or not, one fact is indisputable – you need an attorney willing to listen to you about your situation, and who is responsive to your needs and goals.
At Del Vecchio & Pacor, LLP, we have spent over ﬁfty years in the practice of law – listening to the needs of others.
Every plan starts with a process, and the process always starts with a simple conversation. We need to learn about you, and you about us – we’ll bring the coffee. Our initial client meeting usually lasts for about a half and hour, at which time we will listen what your goals are. If we can help, we will say so…if we cannot, we will say that, too. If we agree to work together, we will outline the next steps that we must take, and move forward from there.
In the unlikely event that you do not want to engage our services, we urge you to speak with another attorney…or several. We may not be the right ﬁt for each other, but the importance of proper planning is too great to put off.
We could continue writing…and you could continue reading, but we think it easier if you just give us a call: 914.607.7900