Wills, Trusts & Estates

It’s a misconception that estate planning is only for the wealthy or elderly. A personalized estate plan benefits everyone — new parents, business owners or recent college graduates. At our firm Berman & Asbel, LLP we strongly recommend a future plan to protect against the unexpected.

Estate Planning

No matter what your financial circumstances may be, the tax and personal consequences of not having a properly prepared estate plan can be devastating and expensive for your beneficiaries.

Wills and Trusts

It’s a misconception that estate planning is only for the wealthy or elderly. A personalized estate plan benefits everyone — new parents, business owners or recent college graduates. We strongly recommend a future plan to protect against the unexpected. 

Disability Planning

Proper planning can ensure you receive the care and attention you need if you become disabled anytime in the future. At our law firm we can draft disability planning documents for you so you can rest easy, knowing your needs will be taken care of, should the unforeseen occur.

Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

Working with an experienced estate attorney will enable you to create an estate plan that supports your unique needs and goals. You can control the distribution of your assets and make your wishes known, a kind and thoughtful gift to your family.Waiting until a crisis occurs may severely limit your options and, again, may be very costly. Tackle your estate planning needs today while you have the time, health and good judgment necessary for making important decisions.

With decades of experience across the spectrum of estate planning and related areas, we can help with the following:

  • Last wills and testaments
  • Probate and Estate Administration
  • Powers of attorney
  • Trusts
    • Irrevocable life insurance trusts
    • Testamentary trusts
    • Estate tax credit bypass trusts
    • Living trusts
    • Charitable remainder trusts
    • Other forms of revocable and irrevocable trusts
  • Understanding estate taxes and the legal options for minimizing them
  • Disability planning involving special needs trusts and other instruments to protect eligibility for Medicaid
  • Guardianships and guardianship litigation

Wills and Trusts

Tailoring Your Estate Plan to Your Unique Needs

Choose an attorney who will work closely with you to truly understand your circumstances, goals and expectations. By creating an estate plan that is specifically tailored to your particular needs and desires, you can feel confident that you have prepared well for the future. Possible topics of discussion might be: the transfer of assets to beneficiaries, whether you want to leave money for a charitable organization, whether you can benefit from estate tax planning and more.

Types of Wills and Other Estate Planning Tools

There are a variety of wills and trusts available to plan your estate, including:

  • Simple wills
  • Pour-over wills
  • Living wills
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Living trusts
  • Testamentary trusts
  • Irrevocable and revocable trusts and wills
  • Guardianships

These various types of wills and trusts can be used in specific ways to maximize the proceeds of your estate and to better benefit your estate’s beneficiaries.

For example, if you have minor children, it is crucial to designate their guardian. If you do not, the state will. You can also choose the guardian for your children to be immediately effective for 60 days while the guardian petitions to obtain a permanent court order by signing a Designation of Standby Guardian document.

You can ensure that any money you leave to a child will be used appropriately by establishing a trust. The trust can set aside money for education, housing and other items at your discretion. Trusts can be created as part of your will before your death or in a separate living trust — depending on which works best for your situation. Either way, you must put such arrangements in place while you are living. It will ensure your children are taken care of after you are gone, and it can also prevent excessive taxation on what you leave to your children.

Disability Planning

Seek Disability Planning Advice While You Are Healthy

Planning for the possibility of a future disability when you are healthy has many benefits. For example, asset transfers and trust instruments designed to protect your Medicaid eligibility work best when they are in place years before you need them. Additionally, elderly individuals can plan for in-home assistance or nursing care before this becomes an immediate concern rather than an abstract possibility.

Special Needs Trusts for Individuals With Long-Term Disabilities

It is not enough to leave behind money or make generous provisions to a family member with a developmental disability or other special needs. A better option for some families is to set up a special needs trust that will not only provide the resources your loved one will need over an indefinite period, but also protect the beneficiary’s eligibility for such benefits asSupplemental Security Income or Medicaid.

Special needs trusts can provide similar benefits for you as well as for third parties. If you are on any form of means-tested government assistance, but have an expectation of an inheritance or other nonexempt assets, we can show you how to protect your own eligibility while enjoying the benefit of these personal or family resources.

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