Estate Planning & Elder Law
At some point everybody will be forced to navigate the many laws governing property ownership, transfer, and protection, as well as the intricacies of health-care and advanced directives. When this situation intersects with business ownership and governance, it can further complicate an already complicated situation. For a business owner, the business itself is often the best, and sometimes only, resource to get their loved ones through what can be a financially trying time. As such, it becomes extremely important that the business be disrupted as little as possible and that the transfer of ownership and governance go as quickly and smoothly as possible. For these results, it is essential that a plan be in place.
This plan can take almost any form and can have a number of parts. It can be complicated, simple, or anything in between. There needs to be contingencies in place for temporary or permanent incapacitation for not only the person and their family — but also the business. Often estate planning attorneys focus on the needs of the individual but may neglect the impact it will have on a business and its operation. Unfortunately businesses cannot be put on hold in these situations. When the individual is integral to the business, the business cannot wait for months while the future ownership and governance is resolved. Every family is different, as is every business, and there are no cookie-cutter solutions to these problems.
Edward Allen recognizes each client and their situation is unique. In addition to traditional estate planning, such as advance directives and final property disbursement, Edward Allen looks at how these situations effect your business, in addition to your loved ones. We work with you to determine what your wishes are and offer perspective on how a business can be made to continue to provide for your loved ones. Edward Allen will work with you to ensure that both your loved ones and your business are protected, no matter what happens.
A health-care advance directive informs doctors or other health-care providers of your wishes in the event of certain circumstances. It can also designate another person to make health care decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make them yourself. These directives are essential to proper planning for anybody. Yet they are often overlooked in estate planning and can cause immense friction where family members cannot agree on how to handle difficult medical questions. Edward Allen can help ensure that your wishes are observed by your health-care providers so as to make these situations as easy on your family as possible.
Creating an estate plan is one of of the most important things that a person can do. Estate plans vary widely depending on each client’s situation, but can include provisions such as: protecting minor children; coordinating insurance; dealing with government benefits; forming retirement plans to minimize taxes; maximizing asset protection; avoiding probate; protecting assets from creditors; and much more. When business ownership is involved additional issues can arise regarding not only the ownership of the business and its assets but also it’s governance moving forward. Edward Allen will work with you to help you protect your family and business. Our attorneys take the time to fully understand each client’s personal and financial goals as well as their situation, and then explain – in terms that are easy to understand – the different legal possibilities to best achieve those goals.
Estate and Probate Administration
Edward Allen provides a wide variety of estate administration services. We can administer a decedent’s estate, litigate will or probate claims, contests, and disputes, and provide nearly any other administration-related services.
Trusts are great mechanisms for achieving many different goals. At Edward Allen, we can help utilize trusts as part of an overall estate plan for many purposes, including: asset protection; avoiding probate; seamless asset transfers; minimizing or eliminating various taxes; providing for disabled family members, while not interfering with their government benefits; and more.
Executing a valid Will and Testament is essential to avoiding probate and ensuring that a person’s intended property distributions are adhered to after his or her death. A person’s will should almost always work in conjunction with some type of trust to ensure seamless property transfers, minimize beneficiary tax consequences, ensure the deceased’s wishes are carried out in full, and best protect assets from creditors. At Edward Allen, we can ensure that the stringent statutory requirements are met for creating a valid will, as well as ensuring that the client’s ultimate disposition goals will be met.