There is no substitute for a well thought out estate plan. This is true whether your goal is to reduce the burden of estate and gift taxes or to ensure the welfare and security of your family and loved ones. At KO we employ the team approach and incorporate the services of accountants, financial planners, and insurance brokers into a custom plan which allows our clients to accomplish each of their stated goals. The creation of Wills and Trusts are just two of the myriad of estate planning tools available to our clients which we utilize in order to help you manage your wealth and to pass on your legacy.
Our estate planning attorneys have two decades of experience assisting clients with the legal and personal aspects of estate planning. At Kopelowitz Ostrow (KO), we offer the knowledge, compassion, and experience necessary to help clients with this intensely personal matter. Contact the Estate Planning lawyers at KO.
Helping Clients Understand Estate Planning
KO assesses each client’s unique circumstances. We help clients navigate the often complex and occasionally difficult needs of today’s families; such as, children from prior marriages, children who are disabled, care for minor children, elder care for dependent parents and other important matters. We provide guidance to clients by enabling them to make the choices that will most effectively achieve their goals and to preserve their assets for the people who count on them most.
Last Will and Testament: A Will is the first step in the preparation of an effective estate plan. Wills enable an individual to direct the manner in which their assets will be distributed after they have passed. A Will may include the creation of Trusts or appoint guardians for minor children as well as other key decisions.
Living and other Trusts: Wills are often the centerpiece of an estate plan, but they are only a part of today’s modern planning. For example, Living Trusts are created during one’s lifetime and are commonly used to assist in wealth management and the care of individuals who may need help with the activities of daily life. Upon passing, assets held by the Trust are distributed to the named beneficiaries without the expense or need of the probate process.
Historically, Trusts have been viewed as tools for only the wealthiest of people who used them to shelter their assets for many generations. Today, Trusts are a part of most estate plans and are easily managed. In addition to Living Trusts, there are a variety of Trusts which can be created either by a Will or during one’s lifetime. Wills often create Trusts to care for minor children and spouses, but it is possible to transfer one’s legacy in phases throughout one’s lifetime and to maximize the tax benefits to one’s estate in the process.
Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts and Qualified Personal Residence Trusts are just two examples of the many Trusts available today. The estate planning attorneys at KO can fully explain these Trusts and how they might benefit your unique needs. At KO, we guide our clients through the process of decision making and the implementation of their plans.
Special Needs Trusts: Tax planning and wealth management are common reasons to create a Trust; but, there are many people who require a Special Needs Trust. These Trusts allow persons with physical and emotional challenges to maintain their standard of living without jeopardizing their eligibility for government programs, such as Medicare or social security disability. These types of Trusts can be used to supplement the beneficiaries’ living expenses such as rent and in-home care, as well as for the purchase of life’s daily necessities.
Healthcare and Personal Business Directives: Healthcare Proxies, Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney, are tools which allow an individual the ability to designate who will make decisions for them when they are unable to do so for themselves.
At KO we have the experience to guide you through all of the aspects of effective estate planning and to assist you in all matters involving your legacy. Prepare for your future needs and the needs of your family by contacting the estate planning attorneys at KO.