Smith Law, P.C.
Why Plan Your Estate?
Estate Planning is important, no matter what the size your estate may be. Through estate planning, you ensure that your assets will go to your intended beneficiaries. You also may save money on taxes, court costs and attorneys fees, and prevent squabbling among your heirs and financial confusion after your death. You can also avoid probate. In addition, you can protect your estate assets against your possible future mental or physical incapacity and the catastrophic costs of long-term medical and nursing home care.
Our Commitment: Comprehensive Estate Planning Services
Smith Law, P.C., is committed to helping you protect the assets you have spent a lifetime accumulating so that you can provide for your future financial needs and leave a lasting, fulfilling legacy to your heirs in years to come.
Can You Answer These 10 Questions?
If you can’t answer these questions, you should begin the estate planning process now.
The Estate Planning Process
One of the best ways to help assure that your assets will be managed for your family as you intend is to develop a comprehensive estate plan designed to meet your individual needs. The estate planning process typically involves working with your financial, tax and legal advisors to develop a customized estate plan. Many estate plans include the following:
Last Wills and Testaments
With a will, you can: (1) direct where and to whom your estate will go after your death; (2) make the administration of your estate much easier for your heirs; (3) choose the person to administer your estate and distribute your assets according to your wishes; (4) reduce estate taxes; and (5) appoint a guardian for your minor children.
Durable Powers of Attorney
The durable power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning instruments available. A power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent to act in your place for medical and/or financial purposes. You can make it effective upon execution or effective in the event of your incapacity.
Advance Medical Directives
An advance medical directive allows you to: (1) give instructions to medical providers concerning your care if you are terminally ill or in a vegetative state, and (2) choose a medical power of attorney to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.
A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a trustee, holds legal title to property for another person, called a beneficiary. The rules or instructions under which the trustee operates are set out in the trust instrument. Some advantages in establishing a trust are: avoiding probate; tax savings; protecting property from creditors; providing for the continuing care of a disabled child or other relative; and, helping to qualify for Medicaid or other needs-based public benefits.
As part of the analysis of your particular situation, it is important to make certain that your assets are titled correctly so they pass to your heirs as you intend.
For additional information regarding Estate Planning and Administration, call us at 719.276.0001 or click here to contact us online.