Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate. Estates are comprised of all property, both real estate and personal items, that an individual may have an ownership interest. Estate planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of an estate prior to a loved one passing. With a properly drafted estate plan, guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in the event the primary caretaker becomes unable to do so themselves.
When people hear the term “Estate Plan”, two incorrect assumptions regularly come to mind; first, many believe that only the wealthy need estate plans and second, the term refers only to a will or a trust. Estate Plans are needed for almost everyone and one does not need to be wealthy to need an estate plan. Your typical estate plan encompasses a Last Will and Testament, a Trust, a Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Healthcare Surrogate, and a Living Will. The Will, Trust and Power of Attorney are intended to enable family members of an ill or deceased loved one to transition ownership of their assets without a hitch and in accordance with the loved ones wishes. The Designation of Healthcare Surrogate grants the authority to make medical decisions to a family member of an incapacitated or terminally ill loved one in the event that person is unable to do so.
The drafting of an estate plan requires an attorney that has an intricate knowledge of Wills, Trusts, and Probate Law, as well as real property. Precision is the key when drafting an estate plan that will later be called upon to convey a person’s wishes once they are incapable, or in the event they have passed on. We have helped many clients understand just how important an estate plan is and hope to have an opportunity to speak with you.
Key Person Life Insurance
Protects your business against the financial loss that may occur at the untimely death of an individual whose expertise is vital to the success of your business. Your business is the owner, beneficiary, and payer of the life insurance policy.
Establishes the sales price of your business, obligates the buyer to buy and the seller to sell the business in advance. Protects the value of your business and provides for an orderly continuation of the business at the owner’s death, disability or retirement.
Life Insurance as Credit Protection
Cash value life insurance owned by a business can be pledged as collateral should the business need to obtain a loan. In addition, should an emergency strike, the business can access the accumulated cash value through loans and/or withdrawals.
An essential part of every estate plan. It determines, in writing, to whom and in what manner your property will be distributed after your death. State law determines how your estate is handled if you do not have a will.
Probate fees and estate taxes can be reduced or avoided by the use of one or more properly established trusts. Also, life insurance owned by a trust company can provide funds to pay your estate fees.
Your business is a valuable asset that needs to be protected.
Executive Bonus I.R.C. Section 162
Your business pays a bonus to a key employee or business owner that is used to purchase life insurance.
Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation
Your business utilizes cash value life insurance to fund an agreement providing specified benefits payable at a future event, such as retirement, death or disability of a key employee.