Who needs an estate plan? The short answer is: “everyone.” Well, almost everyone. If you have assets (personal property, real property, bank accounts, retirement and/or investment accounts, vehicles, etc.) then you should seriously consider preparing an estate plan so that whatever you own will be passed down to the persons to whom you want.
The two main types of estate plans are Wills and Trusts. Most people have heard these terms but generally have only a vague idea of what they are or how they differ from each other. This is where we come in. Our job is to listen to our clients, assess their needs and educate them as to what type of plan would be the best fit based on their circumstances.
In addition to a Will or Trust, a comprehensive estate plan should include a Power of Attorney (to appoint somebody to handle your assets) and an Advance Directive (to appoint somebody to handle your personal and health care) so that a trusted family member or friend can be in place to manage your affairs during your lifetime, if needed.
Managing another’s assets after their death can be a difficult and emotional experience. Most often, when you are doing so, it means that you have lost somebody you love. If you are in such a position, we extend our condolences. We also realize how important it is to have competent assistance to meet all the legal needs of this occurrence.
Whether you need to administer a court probate estate or conduct a private trust administration, we can help. Even though terms like “probate” or “administration” may sound somewhat scary and disconcerting, do not fear. These simply mean that some process must take place to ensure that final affairs are wrapped up and that assets are distributed to the correct people.
Our job is to remove as much burden as possible during this difficult time and to help manage the process from start to finish as efficiently and effectively as possible. We make sure that you are understanding of your legal obligations as administrator and ensure that you stay on time and on track.
There may come a time when you need to assist another – perhaps a parent or sibling – with the management of their finances and healthcare due to the onset of incapacity.
Being responsible for another is a challenging thing to do, both on a personal and on a legal level. There are many legal responsibilities to consider when assisting somebody who is no longer fully able to care for themselves, including making sure that their finances are used wisely and they are receiving an appropriate level of care. Don’t go it alone. In addition to helping you through the process, we do everything we can to ensure success.
If the person whom you are caring for has not prepared a Power or Attorney or an Advance Directive, you may need to begin a court process called a protective proceeding, either a conservatorship, a guardianship or both. Being appointed as somebody’s conservator means that you are responsible for handling their assets and finances. Being appointed as somebody’s guardian means that you are responsible for handling their personal and health care.
You have assets. Or you are looking to acquire assets. Either way, your assets — or acquisition of assets — should be legally protected. We can help.
We work with small businesses. Our clients include sole proprietorships, “mom & pop” shops and small family companies and corporations. We love and understand small businesses because we ourselves are a small business. We can help with contracts, leases, buy/sell agreements, purchase and sale contracts and other legal documents, and we are also happy to provide ongoing legal counsel.
We also help people with real property transactions. While we do not list and sell real estate (we leave that to the realtors), we do assist with deeds, seller-financed real estate contracts and securities such as promissory notes and trust deeds. We can also help with non-residential foreclosures in most instances if a contract goes bad. Our job is to make sure that you have maximum legal protection for your investments.
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