Comprehensive Estate Planning
At Fedele and Murray, P.C., our attorneys offer an expansive variety of estate planning services, including the drafting of wills, living trusts, irrevocable insurance trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills and many other related documents. We also offer advice on planned gift-giving, including charitable giving, and we prepare the appropriate documentation, including charitable remainder trusts and charitable foundations.
Our Approach To Estate Planning
Each estate plan is designed specifically for each client with a broad number of factors, including the client’s general wishes regarding the disposition of assets, the potential estate tax ramifications, and the desire to minimize administrative costs.
In general, estate planning involves summarizing how you want to distribute your assets upon your death. If you fail to make appropriate decisions now, your estate may pass in unintended, and perhaps, undesirable ways.
Estate planning also entails preserving your wealth. If your estate is large enough to be subject to a state estate tax and perhaps even the federal estate tax, your estate plan must provide the means to minimize the taxes your family will pay and, at the same time, maximize what passes to your family.
A Will Is Only A Start
Your will is the basic starting point of your estate plan. The will governs the ultimate distribution of assets that you own at death. However, your will should only be part of your estate plan. To be truly effective, your estate plan should be more comprehensive than a simple will.
The disposition of your estate also will be affected by the ownership of your assets. For example, jointly held assets pass directly by right of survivorship and not necessarily under the terms of your will. Additionally, other assets (such as life insurance, Individual Retirement Accounts, pension plans, etc.) will pass according to the beneficiary designation. Therefore, addressing the proper ownership of your assets and the beneficiaries of your assets is a critical component of any proper estate plan.
Trusts and Other Elements
Trusts are also an important part of any estate plan. For larger estates that may be subject to estate taxation, trusts can be an effective tool in reducing taxes. Trusts can also be very effective in providing for the disposition of your assets, often avoiding the need for any type of probate administration upon your death. Avoiding probate can save your family significant administrative expenses and expedite the distribution of your estate.
Your estate plan may also take into consideration charitable giving. This may take the form of outright gifts upon death and/or some form of trust that can provide income to you for a lifetime with your favorite charity receiving the principal at your death.
Plan for Incapacity
Not only should your estate plan address the management of your assets upon your death, but also should direct how your assets should be managed in the event of a disability. Documents such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies (living wills) also should be included as crucial documents in your estate plan.
Fedele and Murray, P.C., can help you evaluate all your estate planning needs, including the issues only briefly touched upon here, as well as many other issues that may affect you. Each estate is unique, and we strive to personalize each client’s estate plan to both minimize taxes and follow the client’s wishes regarding the disposition of his or her estate. Call us and we can work with you on your estate plan.
Estate planning encompasses many issues and multitude of alternatives are available. Listed below are a number of relevant articles on some of these issues.
- Marital Deduction Planning
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
- Dynasty Trusts
- Avoiding Probate
- Other Documents
- Estate Planning Updates
Contact Us For Estate Planning Assistance
While comprehensive estate planning provides benefits, an inadequate plan or one that is outdated, can create unintended consequences for the beneficiaries of your plan. With more than four decades of service, Fedele and Murray, P.C., is uniquely qualified to help you create a plan to avoid many issues which might otherwise exist without a well-drafted plan.