The Law Offices of Eric S.T. Young prepares individually tailored estate planning documents designed to accomplish our clients’ goals while minimizing or eliminating potential transfer taxes and simplifying the estate administration process. Our areas of representation include:
- Revocable Living Trusts: We prepare living trusts and assist our clients in properly funding their trust with their assets. We prepare deeds and the accompanying documents required to transfer our clients’ interests in real property into the name of their trust. We also provide specific instructions for funding the trust with assets other than real property. We carefully coordinate beneficiary designations to assets such as retirement benefit plans and life insurance to ensure our clients’ intentions are fully carried out. We also offer trust administration services following the death of a trustor.
- Wills: We prepare simple wills for clients, as well as pour-over wills, which are wills designed to work in unison with a living trust. We also prepare wills with guardianship provisions for our clients’ minor children.
- Durable Financial Powers of Attorney: We prepare durable financial powers of attorney designating a person or persons to manage the financial affairs of a client in the event they become incapacitated.
- Health Care Powers of Attorney and Living Wills: We prepare advance health care directives allowing clients to designate a person or persons to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event they are unable to express their wishes with regard to health care, life support, and other important medical and end-of-life considerations.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
Life insurance is an important component of many estate plans, particularly for young couples who have not accumulated much wealth and are concerned about providing sufficient funds to raise their children. Life insurance may also provide liquidity to offset specific gifts being made to certain individuals, or to pay debts and taxes without having to liquidate business interests or investments. It can also be part of a comprehensive estate planning strategy designed to leverage the applicable exclusion for estate and gift taxes, replace wealth being transferred to a charity, or serve as an important component of a business succession plan. We prepare irrevocable life insurance trusts, which are designed to hold life insurance policies, thereby removing the insurance proceeds from the estates of our client and their spouse.
Tax planning is an inherent part of the estate planning process, and we advise our clients on strategies to minimize income, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes. We advise clients regarding gifting strategies, including use of the annual gift tax exclusion.
Planning for Possible Incapacity
Most people equate estate planning with death planning; they understand that estate planning documents specify who will administer their estate upon their death, and who will receive the assets of their estate. Many people do not realize that a comprehensive estate plan also provides a plan for incapacity- documents such as durable powers of attorney and advance medical directives allow a person to specify who will make financial and medical decisions on their behalf in the event of incapacity. In the event an incapacitated person has not created these estate planning documents, it may be necessary to petition the court for a conservatorship of the person and/or the estate.
Since the imposition of a conservatorship removes a person’s right to make decisions for himself or herself, it is viewed as an option of last resort and is only granted by the court when there are not any less restrictive alternatives available. For further information on conservatorships, see the probate and trust administration page.
Experienced Estate Planning Representation
Estate planning matters often involve complex tax issues and particular sensitivity to family dynamics. Eric S.T. Young has significant experience in estate administration and as a trusts and estates litigator, giving him insight into how to draft estate plans to minimize the likelihood of future problems arising. Contact the Law Offices of Eric S.T. Young for a complimentary estate planning consultation.