Personal Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of preserving and protecting your assets and providing an orderly means for them to be passed on to the next generation. Estate planning brings the comfort of knowing that you and your loved ones are provided for and that your hard-earned property will go to the people you want, the way you want. Estate planning also helps maximize the value of your estate by eliminating or reducing taxes, professional fees, and court costs.

A Will is a document that only goes into effect when you die. It names your executor, heirs, guardians for minor children, and instructions for distribution of property.

Wills are generally less expensive than trusts to implement, but they often result in a probate proceeding after death and other delays and expenses, meaning they can end up costing more in the end. Probate is a court process that can take months or years to complete and can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, even for modest-sized estates.

Trusts have become an increasingly popular alternative to wills over the past few decades, in large part due to the high costs of probate. Trusts perform the same basic functions as a will, only better. For most people, a trust can facilitate a faster, more efficient, and less expensive administration of their estates.

Trusts require more effort to create than wills because trusts must be fully “funded” in order to work properly. “Funding” refers to the process of titling assets in the name of your trust.