Wills, Trusts & Estates

Proper Estate Planning is a process, not a transaction. It involves identifying your values, goals, and vision for your future and that of your loved ones. It involves working closely with your trusted advisors to create a framework for furthering your values, and achieving the goals and vision you have identified. It involves monitoring the plan to ensure that it remains fresh and relevant as your life, circumstances, and the laws change.

There are many tools at the disposal of the Estate Planning attorney. Because no two clients have identical values, goals, and vision, each Estate Plan is a unique creation of the client, assisted by his or her Estate Planning Attorney, along with his or her CPA, Financial Advisor, and possibly others.

What is Estate Planning?  Most people can identify with the following definition:

“With my estate plan, I want to:

  • Enjoy and control my property while I’m alive and well,
  • Provide for myself and my loved ones if I become disabled,
  • Give What I have, to Whom I want, the Way I want, When I want, and
  • Minimize the effects of taxes, professional fees, and court costs.”

Some Traditional Estate Planning Techniques also include:

  • Owning property jointly
  • Designating a beneficiary
  • Executing a will

Why Traditional Estate Planning Techniques Often Fail:

Often, estate plans are lacking some fundamental protections.  This occurs when then plans:

  • Do not provide for your disability
  • Do not necessarily give what you have:
    • To whom you want
    • The way you want
    • When you want
  • Do not avoid probate
  • Do not keep your affairs private

Our primary objective is providing you with peace of mind that your legacy will enhance the lives of your beneficiaries, rather than creating problems for them.  This may include providing for minor children to be cared for according to your wishes, charitable planning, business succession planning, income/estate/gift tax planning, and asset protection in the event of divorce, disability, addiction, bankruptcy, lawsuits, and the myriad other issues that often plague families who fail to properly plan.  Bibby, McWilliams & Kearney, PLLC, is ready to help.