If you are the beneficiary of a trust, please provide us with a copy of the instrument. This will assist us in structuring your plan.
If you are the donor (creator) of any trust or have in place an estate plan that was not drafted by us, please provide us with copies of the documents.
Please fill out our estate planning questionnaire so that we can collect basic family and financial information. You will have to make a number of important decisions, including choosing individuals to serve in certain key positions. For example, you should consider whom you’d like to appoint as:
- Executor. This is the person responsible for administering your will and disposing of your assets in accordance with its provisions. The Executor has a fiduciary duty to protect the estate property and should be organized and trustworthy.
- Trustees. These are the people who will be in charge of administering the trust, including making key investment decisions. The Trustees have a fiduciary duty to the trust beneficiaries. The Trustees also make any discretionary distributions to trust beneficiaries.
- Attorney-in-fact. This is a person to whom you grant the power to conduct business on your behalf while you are living. Should you become incapacitated, this individual would be able to act on your behalf to manage your property.
- Health Care Agent. This is the person who will make medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so on your own. This should be a family member or close friend who knows you well and understands your wishes.
You should also think about whom you’d like to receive your assets when you die. Parents of young children should also think about how they can provide for their families in the event that they should die and consider whom they would like to act as guardians of their minor children. For many clients, charitable giving is an important part of their estate plans so you may also wish to consider charitable gifts.
If you are a business owner, you should think about who will run your business after you become unable to do so. Business entities with substantial value can make it difficult to fund any estate tax liability so careful planning for the payment of the tax is important.