Developing Effective Asset Protection And Estate Planning Strategies
Estate planning is an essential component of sound financial management. Estate Tax may be less important now, but most estate planning is non-tax driven anyway, with exemption per person exceeding 5M for most of us. NOTE, foreign spouses have special rules that must be addressed in advance.
It is more common than ever before to address a much broader variety of family arrangements. We must address multiple marriages, estranged but undivorced spouses, prenuptial agreements, step-children, children of unmarried couples, domestic partners, and same sex marriage. All are no longer the uncommon exception; likewise, providing for children with special needs, or children helping with parental care. We now incorporate roles of grandparents and other relatives. Assisting parents or others who need special care funded and or provided by others. Who should be in charge of the trust or estate affairs. Who decides what to sell/to whom/when, and when to distribute in lieu? What about deadlocks?
Even more in need of proactive estate planning are people who own large or even small parts of businesses, including Real Estate holding companies.especially where there are multiple owners and differing ages/ownership percentage/work efforts. If you own real estate in more than one state, a revocable trust can be very effective, especially to avoid probate expenses.
A Power of Attorney and “Living Will” are essential estate planning tools. A POA avoids guardianships, allows flexible estate planning (even transactions while you are alive), and allows for a much easier living arrangement. It allows a client to decide for him or her self how and when to legally stop life prolonging measures. It even can avoids fights about where and how remains of a decedent should be handled.
Provide yourself with peace of mind knowing your family is cared for, once the proper estate planning tools are used. Since 1978, attorney Elliot Mark Olen has been helping clients in Bucks County and throughout Pennsylvania achieve their estate planning needs; and where applicable including special factors applicable to business succession planning.
When you are ready to work with an estate planning professional to protect your family’s future, contact us to schedule a consultation with a Bucks County estate planning attorney.
A Range Of Options To Meet A Variety Of Goals
A cookie cutter approach to estate planning may work for people with few assets, 1 spouse and/or 1 child, mostly non-probate or non-trust assets. but for clients with significant financial and property assets or a family-owned business, a customized approach is essential.
Understanding your estate goals is the first step in crafting an appropriate estate plan. It is unlikely that a simple will is going to be effective unless you use a prototype approach – all to the other spouse (if any), the rest equally to the surviving kids. That rarely works when there are multiple marriages, step-children, single parent families. Often a combination of a will and trust is needed for post-death legal matters, and power of attorney (plus “living will”) provides pre-death flexibility. We can help with the drafting of wills and trusts, and these related documents. We guide clients through choosing who and under what circumstances they will yield a Power of Attorney.
There are many types of trusts available, depending upon whether you are seeking immediate tax advantages or greater control over assets during your lifetime, or you are addressing special needs of the beneficiary. Mr. Olen can explain the benefits of these and other types of trusts:
- Revocable and irrevocable trusts
- Irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs)
- Generation-skipping trusts (GSTs)
- Lifetime trusts (revocable and irrevocable)
- Qualified domestic trusts (QDT’s) – for non-citizen spouses
- Special needs trusts (for Medicaid planning purposes)
- Credit shelter and disclaimer trusts (for estates exceeding 5-10M, as the case may be)
Health and Financial Related Decision-Making
We can help you address the questions of medical care, medical decision-making, and financial decision-making before you become incapacitated. Attorney Elliot Mark Olen will work with you to document your preferences regarding power of attorney and “living will” documents consistent with your situation.
Additional Estate Services
- Estate and Trust administration: Our firm provides ongoing legal services to administer trusts and estates.
- Will and Trust/POA contests and other disputes: As an experienced Orphans Court litigator, Mr. Olen provides legal representation in litigation regarding POA’s, Wills and Trusts.
- Business succession planning: Make sure you have a workable plan in order. Remember an unforeseen event could happen at any time. What will happen to your business without your input while it is still available? Why wait? Contact our Fairless Hills firm today to get started.
Contact our law office today to begin the estate planning or follow-up process. We can be reached by calling 215-943-5343.