How an experienced estate planning lawyer can help
You have spent your whole life working to save for a rainy day or to provide a better life for your children and grandchildren. Perhaps you have a charitable organization you really believe in and you think needs your help? If you died today, what would happen to the savings you worked so hard for? The Law Office of Jonathan W. Cole can help you determine the best way to transfer your assets after death to ensure that the people or organizations you want to get your assets, receive as much as possible.
Excellent and thorough services provided….highly recommend. – Wendy C.
Estate Planning Attorney
Contact us now for a free consultation and see how an experienced attorney can help you with your estate planning.
There are two basic types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust can be altered during the life of the grantor/maker. The assets held in a revocable trust at the decedent’s death are subject to the estate tax. Conversely, an irrevocable trust generally cannot be altered after you create it. The assets held in an irrevocable trust at the decedent’s death are not generally subject to the estate tax. For larger estates, our firm can use tax-advantaged gifting strategies allowed by the Internal Revenue Service to get more of your property to those who you want to have it.
Every estate plan should include a Will. If your estate is small, then a simple will may be all you need to transfer your assets. If the value of the estate is larger and includes real estate, it is probably better to transfer your assets into a trust and have a pour-over Will as a back-up. This can help avoid probate and lower estate taxes. If you die with assets outside of the trust, the pour-over will directs the assets to “pour” into the trust and be distributed in accordance with the trust’s directions. Additionally, if you have children under the age of 18, a Will can establish who would be their guardian in the event of your death.
Powers of Attorney
There are two general types of Powers of Attorney – Healthcare and Property.
Healthcare Power Of Attorney
A Health Care Power of Attorney will allow you to designate someone to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you cannot make the decisions for yourself. This could include end of life care or simply changes during an elective surgery.
Property Power Of Attorney
A Property Power of Attorney will allow you to designate someone to make property decisions with you. You may need them to sign for you at a bank, a home sale, or to appeal your taxes. With this document, they will be able to step into your shoes to assist you with these tasks. This is particularly useful if you are ill and cannot leave the house or if you are out of town.
Clients are surprised by how often they end up using the Power of Attorney for Property. For example, a wife may wish to change a joint account with her husband from a savings to a checking account. The bank requires the signature of all owners of the account, so normally, she would have to wait until they both can go to the bank in person. With our Power of Attorney for Property, she can sign both signatures herself and, saving her a second trip to the bank. This document is a time and convenience saver. We can create a portfolio of Estate Planning documents to make your day to day activities easier, freeing you up to live your life.