In today's complicated world, it is important to understand the legal and tax ramifications of your decisions, and how they impact on the value of your estate, on your life plan and on your obligations.
Numerous professionals are able to assist you to optimize your estate planning: a lawyer to provide guidance with the planning of your Will and Powers of Attorney, an accountant to help with tax planning advice, an insurance broker to help you ensure you have the appropriate insurance to suit your situation and an investment advisor for lifetime estate planning, to provide guidance with investment decisions.
The cornerstone of estate planning is the Will, and important adjuncts are Powers of Attorney for Property and for Personal Care. Your Will allows you to determine who will receive your estate after your death and who will make the important decisions surrounding your estate distribution (your Estate Trustee). It allows you to give specific instructions about distribution to your children and to set up trusts for beneficiaries who may not be able to handle those assets themselves. A guardian can be named for young children. Personalized tax planning may lead to dual Wills, with one Will dealing only with corporate assets that need not go through a court probate process.
Powers of Attorney allow you to name others to make decisions for you in the event you are not able to do so yourself due to incapacity. Continuing Powers of Attorney for Property cover decisions relating to your property, which includes bank accounts, real estate and investments. Powers of Attorney for Personal Care allow others to make decisions about your care, including your living arrangements, what you eat and, the biggest concern for many people, medical decisions.
I will take the time to learn about your family situation and your assets, as well as your intentions. I will then guide you towards the creation of a Will that will distribute your assets in the most appropriate manner for your unique situation. I will prepare Powers of Attorney that name the people you want to make decisions for you in the event they ever have to. I will ensure the most current tax, trust, estate and family laws are considered in light of your personal situation.