Glastonbury estate planning attorneys at Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can provide personalized help with the process of making an estate plan. Many people find that the estate planning process is more complicated than they expected and that there are many more tools they can use than they were initially aware of to provide protection for themselves, their assets, and their families. This is why it is so important to work with a professional to get estate planning advice.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can work with you to understand your estate planning goals, to determine the steps you need to take to make a comprehensive plan, and to make effective use of the legal tools that you need in order to execute that plan. To find out more about how our firm can help you with the estate planning process, give us a call today.
Common Types of Estate Planning Tools
The right estate planning tools will depend upon the specifics of your situation. Some of the common estate planning tools that you may wish to incorporate into your plan include:
- A last will and testament: This is one of the most common estate planning tools and is the tool that the majority of people are familiar with. A will allows you to dictate who will inherit assets. However, a will does not allow you much control over what happens to your wealth, beyond simply specifying who should receive it. A will doesn’t help you to address any special needs of your heirs or beneficiaries and it doesn’t allow you to use any strategies to avoid estate tax or protect assets. And, assets transferred via a will will transfer through the probate process, which can be a time consuming process.
- Trusts: Trusts are a very powerful and versatile tool that can have many different uses as part of your estate plan. You can make a trust to control the use of assets that you leave to a minor, to provide for a disabled loved one without causing a loss of access to means-tested benefits, or simply to facilitate the timely transfer of wealth to heirs or beneficiaries without them having to go through the trust administration process. The fact that trust assets can pass outside of the probate process is a major benefit because probate is costly and time consuming.
- Pay-on-death accounts: Pay-on-death accounts make it possible for you to automatically transfer the account to a designated beneficiary after you pass away. Assets that pass through a pay on death account do not have to be transferred through the probate process.
- Joint ownership: You can structure the ownership of certain types of property so it is owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. This means that the assets will transfer to the co-owner automatically upon your death. Not all types of shared ownership result in the automatic transfer to a co-owner so make sure that you use joint tenants with rights-of-survivorship.
- Advanced directives: Advanced directives can be used to provide specific instructions for who will make your decisions if something should happen to you. You can use a living will to determine the specific types of medical care you’ll approve and kinds of medical care that you wish to reject if you become incapacitated and cannot communicate your preferences at the time when life-or-death decisions must be made.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can help you to use all of these tools and many others to protect yourself, your family, and your assets.
Getting Help from Glastonbury Estate Planning Attorneys
The estate planning process can be a complicated process, but our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team makes it easy to put your plans in place. We can help you to identify the issues that you want to achieve with your estate plan, whether this involves providing an inheritance for loved ones, donating to a cause you care about, or ensuring you have control over your medical care.