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Asset Protection for your Family: Now and the Future

Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning



You have worked hard all your life and desire that the results of your efforts go to the individuals that you wish to receive the benefit of that hard work. There are a variety of estate planning techniques that may be used to ensure that your desires are fulfilled. Let us help you achieve those goals.

WILLS are legal documents that can be a very simple three pages or a sophisticated document containing 100 or more pages. For most people, their will is somewhere in between. Wills provide not only for the disposition of property but, other matters. A guardian or trustee may be needed for minor children. An executor or administrator needs to be selected so that there is not a court battle as to who is to handle the decedent's affairs.
Wills may authorize a separate writing in the testator's own handling for the disposition of certain tangible personal property, such as crystal, jewelry, or furniture.

Wills need to be coordinated with accounts that are joint, payable on death, or transfer on death. An individual's intent when executing his will may be totally destroyed if title to bank accounts, stocks or real estate is not properly setup.

TRUSTS come in a variety of types and descriptions The term living revocable trust is used described a trust that is created during the individual's lifetime. As the name states, it is revocable and its terms may be changed any time. The individual usually serves as guardian for his own trust for as long as he is able. Upon disability another person becomes trustee. This is frequently a family member. The trustee is obligated to handle the trust assets for the benefit of the individual who created the trust. These living revocable trusts are popular because the assets don't have to go through probate or the required court accounting that is required of a will.


  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Medicaid Trusts
  • Revokable Living Trusts
  • By-Pass Trusts
  • Life Insurance Trusts
  • Family Trusts

Thoughtful writing of a revocable living trusts may provide estate tax relief for married couples and keep the family wealth in a form (the trust) that allows adult children (as trustees) or a trust company to provide assistance for the surviving spouse. One of the key features of these trusts is the ability to obtain estate tax savings for married couples while, at the same time, keeping the financial benefits of all of the family wealth available to the surviving spouse (and children) for health, support, maintenance, and education. This can be done without having everything taxed again when the second spouse dies.

There are three essential players in every Trust:

  • The Grantor (Creator)
  • The “do-er” (The Trustee who has duties to perform); and
  • The Beneficiary (the one who receives benefits from the Trust)

Of course, there can be more than one grantor, trustee, or beneficiary in any Trust

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Elder Law Answers




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