A proper Estate Plan is essential for anyone who values their hard work and family. An Estate Plan refers to the establishment of instructions in the form of legal documents providing for the administration, management, and distribution of property/assets in case of death or incapacity.
Failing to prepare a proper Estate Plan can result in significant and unnecessary risks, costs, and burdens for your family and future generations upon your passing; some of which are as follows:
- Your estate may be required to go through Probate which can result in thousands of dollars of unnecessary court costs and attorney’s fees;
- Your assets and property become part of a formal Probate process which is a public proceeding;
- There is an increased likelihood of family emotional burdens and conflict regarding the deceased’s assets;
- Much of your assets can not be transferred or distributed to your loved ones for months or longer;
- There is a significant likelihood your assets and property will pass to your family according to state laws and only when approved by a Judge;
- Increased potential for Estate tax and creditor liability for your family; and more.
Working with Waller & Co. will make your Estate Planning process simple and efficient. Waller & Co. will create a custom Estate Plan for you and decide what the most advantageous way to administer, manage, and distribute your property and assets in the case of incapacity or death is. Our Estate Plans ensure your loved ones receive as much money as possible and in the precise manner you wish.
Here is our Estate Planning Process:
- An initial consultation occurs to discuss the client’s questions, concerns, wishes, and financial and family situation.
- Waller & Co. then analyzes each client’s special circumstances to create an Estate Planning guideline and strategy.
- The guideline and strategy Waller & Co. develops is addressed with the client and any additional concerns or questions are fielded.
- Waller & Co. then prepares the necessary legal documents required for a full and proper Estate Plan. During this time, our attorneys correspond with the client if there are any additional questions or clarification is needed.
- A basic Estate Plan generally consist of the following legal documents:
- Last Will and Testament
- Living Will
- HIPPA Form
- Power of Attorney for Property
- Power of Attorney for Health Care
- Certificate of Trust and Trust Summary
- Bill of Sale
- Comprehensive Transfer Document
- Self Proving Certificate of Execution
- Specific Gifts Upon Death Form
- The Estate Plan documents are reviewed with the client to ensure all of the specific information is correct and the client’s concerns are properly addressed.
- All Estate Plan documents are executed in duplicate.
- The Estate Plan documents are placed in a well organized binder for the client’s safekeeping.
Contact us today to learn more about our Estate Planning services!
Here are some of the answers to our clients’ most frequent questions regarding Estate Planning:
I thought all that I needed is a Will? A Will is a necessary document everyone should have but it does not address preventing your assets from going through Probate, being made public after your death, possible tax saving and gifting strategies for your family, and many other Estate Planning techniques that will benefit your heirs and future generations. Our Estate Plans also entail Power of Attorneys, Living Wills, a HIPPA form, and more that all clients will benefit from.
Why do I need a Trust? A trust is an arrangement under which one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary. You can be the trustee of your own trust, keeping full control over all property held in trust until your death; at which time your successor trustee is appointed. Our attorneys can draft a trust to achieve a multitude of objectives. At its most basic level, however, a trust keeps your assets and property out of the costly process of Probate, avoids having your financial circumstances become public information, increases one’s ability to apply tax saving and gifting techniques after they pass, creates more protection from creditors and third parties, and overall more flexibility and predictability in how your assets will be distributed after your death.
What if my family or financial circumstances change? A change in circumstances can be resolved via an amendment to your current Estate Plan. If the change is more significant, new Estate Planning documents may be needed. Contact our offices to discuss whether an amendment or change to your Estate Plan is necessary.
I designated beneficiaries on my various accounts, isn’t that enough? Not necessarily, some of your assets must still pass through Probate before they can be distributed.
Who ensures that all my property and assets get distributed properly when after I pass? Our Estate Plan documents address whom you wish to appoint as the Representative or Executor of your Estate. We also name successor and alternative successor Representatives in the event your initial choice is unable or unwilling to fulfill his or her duties as Representative. We will also address appointing powers of attorneys for property and health care decisions in the event one becomes seriously ill or injured and unable to attend to their affairs.