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Wills and Trusts

Estate Planning (wills and trusts) is the process of planning for the passing of personal and business assets to beneficiaries at death. Heirs most often include your spouse, children and grandchildren, but could also include close family friends. The process of planning for your estate also includes planning for incapacity (or inability to make financial or medial related decisions on your own). Basic estate planning includes the following legal documents: The declaration of health care surrogate (or health care directive), living will, durable power of attorney, last will and testament and/or revocable living trust.

Depending on the size of your estate, it may be advisable for you to execute one or more irrevocable trusts in addition to your basic estate planning. Such irrevocable trusts may include the following trusts: life insurance trusts, defective grantor trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and irrevocable grantor trusts. Such trusts can name your family members as beneficiaries or could name other trusts as beneficiaries for an added layer of protection. Irrevocable trusts are great tools to reduce large estates, or protect your assets from personal creditors during your lifetime (although not the best asset protection tool) and distribute assets safely and under particular pre-designated guidelines, which are prepared by you.

Business succession planning is often used to distribute business interests after death without court supervision. Business succession planning is integrated with estate planning to allow family members to pass interests (stock and membership) in their family business to younger generations efficiently, conveniently and with minimum taxation. Business succession planning requires extensive and unique planning as well as the drafting of many business documents. You will also need to obtain a valuation of your business as well as purchase life insurance and disability insurance to fund the business succession transfer. You may have to work closely with other professionals such as financial advisors to ensure that all of the pieces are in place. Business succession planning should also be referenced in personal estate planning documents to ensure all loose ends are taken care of. Finally, business succession agreements and/or purchase and sale agreements may be necessary depending on the particular transaction. Since there are many steps in this process, having attorneys involved in every step of the planning is crucial.

Learn more about the different estate planning strategies:

Contact Capital Planning Law, PLLC for your complimentary consultation to discuss your business law and corporate transactions, estate planning, probate, guardianship and/or real estate needs.