ESTATE PLANNING
Estate planning is the process of ensuring one's plan is set forth and individuals are appointed to carry out the plan when necessary. This includes planning for incapacity or death by setting up the transition of assets in the most efficient manner to minimize the expense of long term care or estate taxes.
After a death, a family has to make funeral arrangements and attend to personal matters. After that time, it is necessary to collect assets in the decedent's name and begin the estate administration process. This always includes an Executor and may include a Trustee and/or Guardian if the situation requires. The identity of the fiduciary varies from client to client. The Will also directs the disposition of assets at death.

The Durable Power of Attorney and Living Will and Health Care Proxy are two documents which name Agents to act on behalf of the Principal if the Principal cannot act for himself/herself during life. The former typically deals with financial transactions and the latter with health care decisions.

Additional facts may justify additional planning. This may include trusts to protect assets for minor or disabled beneficiaries, planning in a second marriage situation, or addressing estate tax concerns. Each plan is different. With proper guidance, the comprehensive plan will address all of the client's objectives.

Pellittiere & Jonsson PLLC will provide comprehensive guidance with respect to the entire estate plan. But it is guidance and not direction. The client sets forth the objective and the Law Office prepares and implements the steps and documents necessary to effectuate those intentions. Clients often ask "Can I _____??" and the answer is always "yes". And it is the job of a good estate planning attorney to make sure those objectives are attainable.
Implementation of a proper estate plan may include:
  • Creating a Last Will and Testament
  • Creating a Durable General Power of Attorney
  • Creating a Living Will and Health Care Proxy
  • Creating an Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains
  • Discussing the choice of Executor, Trustees, or Guardians for minor children
  • Determining agents under Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy
  • Planning for the disposition of IRAs, life insurance, and annuities
  • Implementation of Living Trusts
Addressing special concerns such as:
  • Creating a Last Will and Testament
  • Minor children
  • Spendthrift children
  • Disabled beneficiaries
  • Elderly beneficiaries
  • Second marriages and children by prior marriages
  • Beneficiaries with creditor problems
Minimizing Estate Taxes by utilizing:
  • Current Federal and State exemptions
  • Marital deduction
  • Use of trusts
  • Lifetime gifts
  • Charitable gifts, bequests, annuities, trusts
Incorporating trusts into the plan, such as:
  • Credit Shelter Trusts
  • Disclaimer Trusts
  • QTIP Trusts
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Medicaid Trusts
  • Supplemental Needs Trusts
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Charitable Trusts
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