Comprehensive Estate Planning
There are numerous benefits to creating a comprehensive estate plan. Advanced planning for the transfer of your assets ensures that your wishes are carried out. It also makes the transfer more efficient, less complicated and less costly. Our attorneys will meet with you for a free initial consultation for Estate Planning so that we can understand your needs and recommend options before you decide to work with us. The estate plan we ultimately prepare will be customized to your specific goals and your personal situation. If you have a trusted financial advisor, we will work with your advisor as a team to create a plan that is comprehensive and benefits from their experience and familiarity with your financial life.
Having a clear plan in place can also protect your loved ones from needless worry and expense. It can reduce transactional costs and allow you to avoid unnecessary tax liability. Our estate planning attorneys will work to ensure that your estate plan accomplishes your objectives and ensures that your wishes for the future are properly carried out.
Our attorneys want to help you make sure that you have a plan in place that will make your decisions known. We will work with you not only to create an initial estate plan, but will also continue to work with you as time passes and your circumstances change. We want you to be able to express your wishes as clearly as possible so that your family will not be faced with the costs and delays that occur when a plan is not in place.
Wills and Trusts
It can be difficult to think about the need for estate planning. At Cummins & Bonestroo Law Office, our attorneys are experienced in crafting wills and creating trusts that reflect the wishes and diverse circumstances of our clients. We work with all varieties of families, including blended families, farm families, traditional families, domestic partners and business owners.
Taking the time to create a will allows you to make decisions about how your assets are transferred at death, and even more importantly, who will take care of your children in the event of your death. A will allows you to control the disposition of your assets at death and also allows you decide the timing and the manner of the transfer of your assets.
Creating a will enables you to select the person responsible for carrying out your final wishes. That person, the executor or personal representative, will be responsible for ensuring that your wishes are carried out the way you wanted them. In your will, you can direct what property goes to which specific beneficiary and who will receive the remainder of your estate.
While each state has its own set of requirements that must be met in order to create a valid will, there are some common elements in the various state laws. You must have had the mental capacity to create a will. This means that you must have understood what property you owned and who you were leaving the property to. By signing the will, you are creating a binding document to dispose of your property at death. Your will must have been in writing, signed by you and signed by at least two witnesses.
By carefully determining which of your assets are bequeathed to which of your heirs, you are able to create a will that leaves your executor and beneficiaries with a direct and complete understanding of your final wishes.
Some clients are interested in avoiding the costs and delays associated with probate. For those clients, the most effective way to avoid probate is to create a Revocable Trust which holds title to your assets and controls their disposition upon incapacity or death. A Revocable Trust (sometimes called a Living Trust) allows you to avoid probate and also reduces costs by allowing you to appoint trusted individuals, or a corporate trustee, to administer your estate for less cost. Revocable Trusts also allow you to avoid the public procedure of probate.
A Revocable Trust is an effective planning tool for individuals who own property in more than one state. Having a Revocable Trust can allow those individuals to avoid additional probate procedures in other states where they own property. When we set up a trust for our clients, we also provide assistance in transferring your assets into your trust as a part of our services. While most attorneys only provide instructions or charge additional amounts for this service, we include this service for our clients because we want to be certain that a client avoids probate as intended.