The attorneys at Hillman & Lucas, PC, provide sound advice and representation in a range of estate planning and administration matters. We advise individuals, couples, and families concerning the transfer of wealth to future generations and the management and preservation of assets in the event of incapacity. Our services include the drafting of customized, tax-sensitive wills, living trusts, irrevocable trusts, and durable powers of attorney. The firm also provides specialized planning for farmers, ranchers, and other business owners.
The will is the traditional method by which people pass their property on to their heirs. While a variety of trusts have gained popularity as the favored vehicle for transferring property while preserving and maximizing wealth, the will remains an important tool for many purposes, such as making specific bequests, naming a guardian for one’s children, and even for making sure that assets not included in a trust will pour over into the trust at death.
Whether a revocable living trust, irrevocable trust, or more exotic instrument is best for your particular situation depends on a variety of factors, including the size and complexity of the estate, the beneficiaries involved, and the specific reasons for creating the trust.
Estate planning involves more than just deciding how property and other assets will be distributed upon death. Another important component involves planning for the event that a person becomes physically or mentally incapacitated and incapable of caring for his or her own affairs, or even communicating or expressing wishes in that regard to another. Without adequate planning, a family member or court-appointed guardian or conservator may be left to guess at the person’s wishes and make important decisions as they see fit.
These issues can be considered and addressed while the person can still make those decisions. Once executed into a properly-drafted document, the person can be assured that his or her wishes will be followed in the event of an accident or illness that renders the person incapacitated. Living wills, advance directives, and durable powers of attorney are all different ways to address these topics, from the administration of financial affairs to end-of-life decisions.
It is never too early to begin estate planning. For advice and assistance regarding wealth preservation and wealth transfer, contact Hillman & Lucas.