Probates, Trusts and Estates — Protecting Your Assets

Most people are living their lives, enjoying their loved ones and not giving much thought to what will happen after they pass. But at some point, we start to think about our assets — and the best way to transfer those to loved ones in the future. Doing this helps our family members avoid the lengthy, cumbersome and stressful probate process that plagues so many families. Probates, trusts and estates planning can help.

Trusts and estates planning ensures that your wishes are honored in the future and that whatever assets are passed on retain the greatest value throughout the transfer process.

At the end of life, assets are distributed and taxed. But how much they are taxed depends heavily on having a well-thought-out estate plan. So the first step in planning is asking the important question, “How would I like my assets distributed?”

Assets that are inherited can be subject to a variety of taxes, including federal, state and income taxes, and you need an experienced attorney to help you decide the best method for preserving the value of your assets.

For example, depending on your circumstances, your strategy may involve a trust, which is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, also known as a trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Or you may use gifts, powers of attorney, wills or other vehicles to effectively transfer your wealth to loved ones.

An experienced trusts and estates attorney can assist with creating a document that is not only flexible, but also can be modified should tax laws change, investment opportunities arise or your own personal circumstances take a new turn.

Do you need assistance with probates, trusts and estates planning? If so, we can help. For more information contact us today.