To Probate or not to Probate?April 21, 2016
Divorce ChoicesApril 21, 2016
The foundation for every estate plan is the Will, the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and the Personal Directive (PD), sometimes known as a Living Will. Your Will is important because it sets out how your debts are to be paid, how your assets are to be distributed, and who will manage that process. You set the age that your children will receive inheritance. You can also name whom you wish to act as your guardian to your minor children.
As people are living longer, there is a greater risk that as you age you will develop a mental illness or disability that will prevent you from meeting your personal and health needs and manage your assets. The EPA, is the document that allows you to appoint someone (your attorney) to make your financial decisions when you lose mental capacity. The PD is the document that allows you to appoint someone (your agent) to make your personal and health care decisions when you lose mental capacity.
For various reasons, situations arise where a person has suffered a loss of mental capacity and does not have an EPA or a PD. In those cases, the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act (the AGTA) applies. The AGTA offers a range of options for decision making on financial matters that allows your family member to continue to maintain their independence and dignity. We can assist you through the process of determining the best level of assistance and where appropriate, obtaining an Order for Guardianship and/or Trusteeship.
Some family situations are more complex for estate planning purposes such as:
- 2nd marriages (with children on both sides)
- high net worth estates where you wish to preserve the family wealth for future generations
- farm or business succession planning where only part of the children will continue with the business.
Create special considerations in developing your estate plan. Each unique family situation calls for a solution tailored to that family. In these situations we offer more comprehensive estate planning solutions including:
- mutual wills
- family, alter ego and joint spousal trusts
- corporate estate planning
- holding assets in joint names
In these situations your lawyer, accountant and financial planner work together to ensure that the solutions address your legal, tax and investment goals.
For more information about how we may assist you please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.