Most people think estate planning is about money. And, of course, protecting people’s property and avoiding the ravages of estate taxes are a big part of the process.
But that’s not what most clients talk about when they come to my office.
They talk about their son-in-law whom they don’t entirely trust, or protecting an inheritance for children of a prior marriage (or from a future remarriage), or their son whose three children need a college fund, or their special needs child who will need help for decades after they pass away, or their desire to leave a bequest to their church, or…you get the idea.
In other words, estate planning is not primarily about money. It’s about people, family, relationships. And, it’s about planning for, and coping with, change: changes that will take place within your family five, ten, fifteen years down the road; changes to your financial situation and physical health; changes to the law itself; all of which must be addressed when they occur for your plan to accomplish its goals and continue to protect you and your family.
We use a wide range of strategies and tools in designing and implementing the estate plan that is right for you. These can include all of the following, or just some of them, depending on your particular needs:
Whether it’s a smooth and profitable transition out of a business created over a lifetime (or several lifetimes), or capturing and passing on your legacy (in the form of values, goals, and work ethic), you can benefit from working with an attorney who focuses exclusively in this field to make sure that you have a plan that is crafted specifically for your family, and your wishes.
By creating a relationship with a trusted advisor, someone who can be your family’s personal lawyer, you can take great comfort in knowing you have the very best strategies in place to protect your loved ones, and that you have access to the advice of a counselor who can provide assistance to your family when you’re gone and — perhaps more importantly — to you, during your lifetime.