Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning
Providing for your family’s future is an important responsibility. Without the right plan in place the government can take your assets through excessive taxation and the courts can dispose of your property in ways that you would never choose for yourself. At Kirk Drennan Law we believe that you should decide these things for yourself so that you may protect the future for the people you hold dearest.
Everyone has the opportunity to plan to ensure that your intentions are strictly followed and that your assets are protected from excessive waste and taxation. Whether you have a particularly large estate or whether your assets are modest, they are yours and you should decide on what should be done with them. No matter how much or little you may have there is a plan for you that will maximize your control and minimize your exposure to wasteful costs and taxes. While few would say, “I want the courts and the government to decide who gets my property and other assets when I die and to decide who will raise my children if I die before they are grown,” this is exactly what will happen without the proper planning.
For these reasons, developing a comprehensive plan for you is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. We help each client walk through their specific situation and consider each and every objective when creating an individualized estate plan including leaving one’s spouse financially secure, securing education for children and grandchildren, protection of assets from creditors, charitable contributions, asset management, and gift and estate tax consequences.
Our knowledge of current laws related to estate planning allows us to thoroughly analyze your estate and determine the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones. Additionally, estate planning often involves consideration of estate taxes, generation-skipping transfer taxes, gift taxes, income taxes on retirement benefits and capital gains taxes. Tailoring an estate to fit your individual needs while minimizing tax consequences is our priority.
Another consideration you must consider, is what happens in the event of your incapacitation. While this is a difficult thought, as we live longer lives than ever before, it is becoming a reality for many Americans. The attorneys at Kirk Drennan Law can help plan for the management of affairs in the event of incapacity through general powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, advanced directives for a natural death (living wills), and HIPAA Authorizations. We also represent clients regarding court-appointed guardianship matters.
Estate planning isn’t simply about drafting wills, trusts and other instruments. It provides the basis for identifying, expressing and securing your most meaningful personal objectives that would otherwise go unfulfilled.
Your last will and testament provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. If you die without a will, the court will apply state law to determine how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your animal companions—making decisions that might not reflect your desires. We will work closely with you to draft valid wills that ensure your intentions are honored.
A Trust is a legal document that provides for the management and distribution of your assets both during your life and after you pass away. Having a trust in place at your death allows for the immediate transfer of assets without court interference. There are many different types of trusts, which can be tailored to your individual needs and situation. With a properly funded Living Trust, there is no need to undergo a potentially expensive and time consuming public probate process, allowing loved ones to administer your estate privately, with more flexibility and efficiency.
At Kirk Drennan Law, we are prepared to utilize more advanced tools such as:
- Life insurance trusts
- Family limited liability companies
- Grantor retained annuity trusts
- Qualified personal residence trusts
- Private foundations
- Charitable remainder and charitable leads trusts.
At Kirk Drennan Law, we can ease your concerns by answering questions and concerns, and helping you establish an individualized estate plan tailored to fit your needs. Please contact our office to set up a free consultation to speak with one of our attorneys.