Wills, Trusts, Asset Protection & Probate

Shield your family’s estate from taxes and creditors.
Every person can benefit by having an estate plan in place.
The process doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
Doing nothing could leave your family a probate nightmare.
Don’t put it off; it’s easy to get started!

What Is It?

Simply put, our wills, trusts, asset protection, and probate services help you safeguard your wealth during your life and distribute it economically after your death. In the context of a larger estate plan, these items can help you control how your estate is managed, minimize taxes and fees, and avoid uncertainty about final medical and financial decisions. This is accomplished through contracts and documents, ranging from very simple to extremely complex, that we customize to achieve your unique goals.

Is It for Me?

Absolutely! For anyone who owns real or personal property, the tax savings, flexibility, and peace of mind that come with good estate planning are too great to ignore. At a minimum, everyone should designate another person to care for them and make important medical and financial decisions on their behalf, in the event of emergency or incapacity. Additionally, regardless of the value of your estate, you can save your family a lot of frustration, headache, and expense after your death by having your affairs organized.

What Is Involved?

Good estate planning is a process of exploration. We need to know your goals and desires, and you need to be informed of all your choices and options. From our discussions, we create a strategy to achieve your objectives. Then, we draft all the necessary documents to carry out that strategy. It’s a process that can last a few hours or a few weeks, but to be done well, it can’t be rushed. Additionally, we work with you on a regular basis to review your strategy, updating it as needed when your life changes.

What if I Do Nothing?

It depends—and that’s the problem! By having these items in place ahead of time, you have the peace of mind of knowing who will be making decisions on your behalf and how your estate will be administered. Without these items in place, state law controls. Critical decisions about your medical treatment and finances could be left to a relative, attending doctor, or court-appointed guardian. The property you leave behind could be distributed much differently than you would want it to be. Further, before your family can receive any of your property at all, they will have to probate your estate, a time-consuming and often expensive process. All of this can be avoided with a minimal amount of estate planning.

Can I Do It Myself?

Basic wills and revocable living trusts are not very complicated documents. If you’re looking to do the bare minimum to avoid probate, you can probably purchase a kit or use an online service to meet your needs. Naturally, if you have a complex estate, or want to have a large degree of control over it, you’ll need to have a qualified attorney prepare your estate planning documents. It is worth the investment to ensure that everything is done right.

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost is dictated by the complexity of the estate and the intricacy of the strategy we develop to carry out the goals of the estate plan. At the low end, a very basic estate plan could cost as little as a few hundred dollars. At the high end, sophisticated trusts designed to reduce the size of your taxable estate could cost tens of thousands of dollars. A general rule of thumb is to invest $1,000 in estate planning for every $50,000 of assets you own. Thus, the majority of clients can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $3,500-5,000 for a comprehensive estate plan.

Where Do I Start?

Browse our website and read our articles and resources to get informed on common estate planning issues and strategies. Then, take a few minutes to write down the things that matter most to you—who you would trust to make important decisions on your behalf, how you would like to benefit your family and favorite causes, and what kind of legacy you would want to leave behind. Once you’ve made your list, give us a call at 704-325-9325 to schedule a consultation. We’ll listen to your goals and desires, and design a strategy for your estate that satisfies your needs and gives you peace of mind.

Author: Nathan Workman