Planning to transfer wealth and assets to loved ones of an individual during life and at death is an important consideration that requires efficient, thorough and personalized planning. This involves determining the appropriate amount and type of assets to be transferred to family members or beneficiaries and the proper method by which to transfer those assets. The purpose is to safeguard not only those assets but the overall well-being of each loved one involved.
The attorneys in Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP’s Family Wealth & Estate Planning Practice Group take pride in guiding our clients through the important process of protecting their families and their assets.
Once your estate plan is created, its important to review your plans after certain key life events, including marriage, the birth of a child, divorce or the death of a spouse, and a significant increase or decrease in assets. Download our checklist below, to ensure all your ducks are in a row.
Ready to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys? We strive to be mindful of your time, download our estate planning questionnaire before your first meeting.
Estate Planning Questionnaire
Our attorneys understand that every estate plan is unique. We offer the highest level of professional expertise in helping our clients tailor an estate plan to meet their needs. Our Family Wealth & Estate Planning Practice Group will make sure your directives are met according to your specifications. At the same time, we will work to minimize your transfer taxes, probate costs and court involvement.
A will directs your executor to distribute your assets according to your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary for every estate plan to avoid property passing in a manner different from how you intend, and to avoid preventable probate expenses.
These documents have become standard in the healthcare industry to authorize someone to make medical and end-of-life decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself.
A financial power of attorney appoints someone as your agent to transact any business (personal or commercial) or perform any legal act that you could do, and in most circumstances avoid the appointment of a guardian for you if you become incapacitated. Our lawyers counsel you as to which powers to use, and which to avoid, tailored specifically to your circumstances.
Trusts are very useful tools, even for those with modest assets. Leaving some or all your property in trust allows you to postpone children receiving their entire inheritance at age 18. A trust can ensure there are funds available for your children’s needs, protect your children’s inheritance from their creditors (including a spouse in a divorce) and still provide flexibility to allow for change, as future circumstances might change. We can guide you in choosing the right trustee to ensure that your wishes are properly and professionally carried out. We can assist the trustee and beneficiary in ensuring the trust is being properly administered according to the terms of the trust.
Our Estate Planning lawyers are highly skilled at employing the most sophisticated lifetime gifting strategies to reduce or eliminate your family’s exposure to income and estate taxes. By employing techniques as simple as one-time or annual gifts to younger generation family members, our lawyers can dramatically increase the amount of assets passing to your descendants free of gift and estate tax.
More couples are consenting to sign a premarital agreement. These agreements determine separate and marital property, who brought what into the marriage, and who gets what upon the termination of the marriage (whether by death or divorce). Our Estate Planning lawyers work cooperatively with you in crafting these documents to ensure you accomplish what you intend.
Families with a disabled beneficiary require special planning to match that beneficiary’s specific needs and provide family members with peace of mind that their loved one will continue to have an elevated quality of life after the primary caregivers pass away. Special needs planning involves the use of customized trusts, which permit a disabled loved one to receive government benefits while receiving an inheritance. With proper planning, family members of disabled loved ones can avoid the dilemma of having to disinherit a disabled individual to maintain that individual’s eligibility for public, need-based assistance.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in helping aging clients (or our clients’ aging loved ones) with a structuring plan that lessens the overall cost of long-term care, ensures a higher quality of life for the individual residing at a nursing facility, and preserves a legacy for future generations. We assist families with understanding the complexities of government benefits like Medicaid and Veteran’s Administration programs like Aid and Attendance.
Surveys indicate that more than 50% of businesses lack a succession plan and approximately 70% will not survive through the next generation. Our attorneys understand that business succession planning is a critical part of a business owner’s lifetime estate plan. Business owners must make choices about selling or liquidating their business or choosing and training successor management.
Whether your business is a C Corporation, an S Corporation, an LLC, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship, entity designation can significantly affect what planning opportunities are available to you. Our team will skillfully guide you through the determination of the choice of entity to maximize the success of your business succession planning.
The attorneys in Carlile Patchen & Murphy LLP’s Family Wealth & Estate Planning Group understand the sensitive nature of representing a family member who has recently lost a loved one. We manage the details and complexities of estate administration while we guide our clients through the entire probate process.
We practice in all areas of Probate Law including:
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