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What is an estate plan?

An estate plan details how to transfer the right property to the right people in the right way at the right time. This includes a plan for your assets like your home, cars, investment accounts, retirement accounts or pensions, insurance and any other important personal belongings.

Having an estate plan in place:

  • Assures that you and your spouse's affairs are handled the way you wish
  • Allows you to avoid probate court
  • Reduces estate taxes by placing property and other assets in trusts
  • Enables you to make provisions to care for and protect children and other beneficiaries
  • Protects your assets from unforeseen creditors or lawsuits

Trustee and Estate Administration Services

While many individuals rely on family or friends to settle their affairs, delegating these demanding and complex tasks is smart. Eliminate undue stress by assigning the responsibility to an experienced trustee or administrator.

As your trustee, we act as your fiduciary to carry out the terms of your trust exactly as you planned. We can act as sole trustee, co-trustee or successor trustee. We can also provide advice for all states of estate administration to ensure timely, specific execution of your estate plan.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not have a will when you die, the state, by law, dictates where your property goes. These laws are referred to as intestacy laws.

Without a Financial Power of Attorney, financial decisions cannot be made until someone (presumably a family member) retains an attorney and petitions the court to appoint a guardian of your estate.

Without a Healthcare Power of Attorney, healthcare decisions cannot be made for you until someone (presumably a family member) retains an attorney and petitions the court to appoint a guardian of the person for you.

A revocable trust is subject to change or amendment; an irrevocable trust cannot be amended.

Property owned by your revocable trust is not protected from your creditors, including a nursing home.

When you leave your property in a trust for your children, the trust can be designed to protect the property from your children’s creditors, including a divorcing spouse.

A family mission statement is a critical document to communicate your wishes and beliefs to key decision makers. It can help ensure that they will make the same decisions you would make if you were alive. Do you need one? No. Do you want one? Without question.