Maureen realizes that every individual has different estate planning needs and objectives. So she first takes the time to learn what matters most to the client. Her advice then takes into account the client’s personal wishes, family needs, any income and death tax ramifications and the types of assets involved.
Maureen compassionately counsels individuals as their personal and financial situations change. Most importantly, she realizes and appreciates that a person’s estate is the financial accumulation of a lifetime of work and, regardless of its size, is worth protecting.
Below are only some of the documents that she may recommend that you consider.
In the absence of a Will, upon your death, the law and the courts dictate who will administer your estate and to whom your estate will be distributed. Therefore, some of the important reasons why you must have a Will are to:
• Appoint the executor of your estate
• Name the guardian of a minor child
• Make specific bequests of your personal property, real estate and business
• Direct who will receive your property
• Allow for the creation of trusts for beneficiaries
Revocable Living Trust
By implementing a revocable living trust, probate can be completely avoided. A revocable trust works much like a Will because it includes the plan for the distribution of assets upon your death. In addition, during your lifetime, if you become incapacitated, your successor trustee can immediately step in to manage the assets in the trust for your benefit.
If your estate may be subject to federal estate tax or if you want to protect assets after entering a nursing home, you should consider implementing an irrevocable trust. However, you must carefully consider what assets fund the trust and how the loss of control over those assets will impact your life.
Financial Power of Attorney
A Financial Durable Power of Attorney names an agent to make all financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. The use of a Financial Power of Attorney avoids the need for a costly guardianship proceeding in the event that you become incapacitated.
Health Care Power of Attorney
A Health Care Power of Attorney names an agent to make all medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. A Health Care Power of Attorney also sets forth your feelings about life-sustaining treatments and measures. This document is an invaluable tool for your family, medical providers and physicians when making decisions regarding your health care.