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Wills, Trusts, Probate and Estate Planning, and Administration
At Teel & Maroney, P.L.C. we provide a full array of legal services in estate planning matters including trusts, trust administration, wills, probate, elder law, conservatorships and guardianships, power of attorney, health care powers and directives, and family limited partnerships. Once you have recognized that you need help with estate planning matters, the next step is selecting an attorney to help you through the process. Our level of experience is such that we have seen a great variety of situations relating to estate planning. Our advice and direction can help you to implement an estate plan that both disposes of your assets according to your wishes and meets your other personal objectives.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is a process involving the counsel of professional advisors including attorneys who are familiar with your goals and concerns, your assets and how they are owned, and your family structure. It can involve the services of a variety of professionals including your lawyer, accountant, financial planner, life insurance advisor, banker, and broker. Estate planning covers the transfer of property at death as well as a variety of other personal matters and may or may not involve tax planning. The core document most often associated with this process is your will.
Why is estate planning important?
Proper estate planning will offer protection of your assets and security and give you peace of mind. It can also assist you in building your retirement income, reducing taxes, and providing for your loved ones. These types of decisions can be difficult and many people simply avoid them. However, proper planning can prevent lawsuits, aggravation, and family feuds if the state becomes your decision maker regarding your assets and your health.
What are some of the aspects of estate planning?
A qualified attorney can help you with matters such as:
- Drafting and executing a will
- Revocable trusts
- Irrevocable trusts
- Life insurance trusts
- Charitable remainder trusts
- Qualified personal residence trusts
- Special needs for disabled heirs
- Medicare issues
- Gifts to minors
- Living wills, health care proxies, and advance health care directives
- The probate process
- Planning with retirement benefits
- Guidelines for individual executors and trustees
- Life insurance
- Estate and income tax considerations, such as gift and income tax planning
- Managing estate assets
- Trust administration
- Closing the estate
What is the lawyer's role in estate planning?
There are many advertisements claiming you can save time and money by drafting your own will using do-it-yourself software or fill-in-the-blank will kits and forms. It is unlikely that these systems will accomplish all of your objectives. Only a qualified lawyer can interpret the maze of state and federal laws impacting property rights, taxes, wills, probates, and trusts. You can save time and money by thoroughly preparing for a meeting with your estate-planning lawyer. You can organize your information regarding assets, liabilities, and title arrangements and discuss your feelings about providing for various family members. You should provide copies of important documents such as previous wills or trusts, powers-of-attorney, life insurance policies, employment benefits, and prenuptial agreements or divorce decrees.
What is life planning?
Legal issues arise when strokes, heart attacks, and other medical catastrophes result in conditions where it becomes impossible to decide for ourselves our wishes for life support. In the area of life planning, an attorney can assist you in determining whether to give financial power of attorney to another person to make decisions regarding your finances. Other issues include living wills, your wishes for life support, organ donation, resuscitation, and ensuring that physicians follow your desires in a living will.
When should you meet with an attorney regarding estate and life planning?
You should meet with an attorney to discuss these complex and often emotionally difficult issues before you are in the midst of a family or health crisis or too ill to properly decide what to do with your life and property.
How will Teel & Maroney, P.L.C. work with you?
If you would like more information about Teel & Maroney, P.L.C. we are happy to provide it. Our team of lawyers and support staff strives to satisfactorily meet client objectives and goals by focusing on your case.
Should you choose to have us represent you, we will do the following:
- Review your financial records
- Meet with you to discuss your goals and objectives for yourself and your family
- Prepare all of the necessary legal documents
- Explain to you, in clear English, everything relating to your estate planning