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Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Estate planning is unique to every individual. The purpose, however, is essentially the same for everyone. That purpose is to create a tailor-made plan that carries out your vision to ensure you and your family’s financial stability and future well-being. Carter Law has developed, and continues to develop, relationships with financial planners, accountants, tax attorneys, and insurance brokers that care about their clients. At times, we engage these professionals to assist us in creating the best plan for you. This plan may include any of the following:

Advanced Directive

This document allows you to appoint an Agent to speak on your behalf in case of incapacity. It also allows you to predetermine your medical treatment under certain circumstances, such as a terminal illness.

Last Will & Testament

Creating a will allows you to appoint a guardian for your minor child; name a personal representative to oversee your estate; identify the loved ones or charitable organizations whom you wish to benefit from your estate; and declare how certain taxes shall be paid. Keep in mind that all wills are not created equal. Some wills are simple and others are complex; it all depends upon your goals and needs.

Trust

There are multiple types of Trusts (Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Tax-Reducing Trusts) these tools allow you to define how your assets will be managed and distributed and by whom (“Trustee”), name the parties benefiting from the trust (“Beneficiaries”); avoid probate; and indicate how and when the trust will terminate.

Special Needs Trust

This type of trust can provide supplemental resources for a loved-one relying on government benefits for a variety of needs without disrupting or disqualifying them for these benefits.

Power of Attorney

This document allows you to give someone else legal authority to act on your behalf, particularly as to your finances. The Agent whom you appoint may have broad or limited powers—you decide.

Life Estate Deed

This document allows you to decide who can occupy your home or land, be it you, your spouse, child, or someone else for the term of their life (“Life Tenant”), while simultaneously naming the person(s) that shall own the entirety of the property upon the death of the life tenant. *This tool can be extremely helpful when planning for long-term care. Contact our office to speak with one of our Elder Law Attorneys for more information.

These are some of the common tools used in creating an estate plan. Creating an effective estate plan, however, requires an in-depth session wherein I listen to your goals and ask the necessary questions to learn who and what matters most to you, such as whether you need to elect a guardian for minor children; provide for an elderly or disabled loved one without disrupting their benefits; avoid or reduce estate taxes; or shield your legacy from your beneficiaries’ creditors. Whatever the goal, together we will create a plan that fits your needs.

Furthermore, keep in mind that your estate plan should be reviewed every few years, especially after certain life events such as the loss of a loved one named in your estate, marriage or divorce, and the birth or adoption of a child.

Estate planning is not necessary for everyone, but it’s extremely helpful for most, and when done correctly, it provides peace of mind that is invaluable. Know that The Carter Law Firm is here to serve you and cares about what matters most to you.

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