Multi-million dollar estate or modest estate, everyone needs to have a plan for how to pass their legacy on to their family members, favorite charitable organizations or their pets. Without some basic estate planning, your legacy becomes subject to distribution in accordance with State guidelines during what can be an extended, contested probate proceeding. The only real way to prevent that is to have a plan in place
Wills – Having a Will is an important start to estate planning. A well-drafted will allows you to determine where or to whom you wish your personal and real property to go. It also should address existing and future tax implications to maximize the value and tax benefits realized by the eventual beneficiaries of your estate. Without a Will or Will-substitute, the State decides who gets your assets – do you trust them to do that?
Trusts – Trusts are a type of Will-substitute. Drafted and administered properly, they avoid probate and give you the power to decide how and when (and, of course, to whom) your estate will be distributed during your lifetime and after you’re gone. There are many different types of trusts available depending on your estate-planning or special needs goals. The best type of trust for you can be discussed during consultation. All trusts come with thorough instructions for the Grantors (how to properly title assets to the trust) and the Trustees (how to properly administer the trust), including any Social Security Administration requirements for special needs trust administration.
While the primary focus of Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A., is to provide comprehensive estate-planning and wealth management solutions and trusts for individuals and families, incorporating estate planning solutions for special needs family members may be the most comprehensive part of the Firm’s practice.
Living Wills and Advance Directives – The importance of having clearly written Advance and Health Care Directives and a Living Will is evidenced by the lengthy, expensive and bitter court battles that have ensued in the absence of an unimpeachable Living Will. The Firm will prepare all the documents needed to make your wishes clear for catastrophic care and endof-life decisions, that are in full compliance with local and state laws.