Comprehensive estate planning covers nearly every aspect of life. It begins with protecting yourself and your personal dignity, and extends to protecting your loved ones and your hard-earned assets.
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There are many legal strategies involved in an estate plan, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health care documents.
One of the most common questions asked of me when people learn that I am an estate planning attorney with offices in both Indianapolis, Indiana and Naples, Florida is “Are there advantages to becoming a resident of Florida?” Beyond the obvious lifestyle benefits afforded those who live in a warm climate, Florida domicile can provide a vast array of benefits.
Historically speaking, the federal estate tax is an excise tax levied on the transfer of a person’s assets after death. In actuality, it is neither a death tax nor an inheritance tax, but more accurately a transfer tax. There are three distinct aspects to federal estate taxes that comprise what is called the Unified Transfer Tax: Estate Taxes, Gift Taxes, and Generation- Skipping Transfer Taxes. Legal planning to avoid or minimize federal estate taxes is both a prudent and an important aspect of comprehensive estate planning.
Probate and estate administration are the processes through which estate assets are transferred after death. Assets to be transferred under terms of a will go through probate. Assets transferred outside of a will, such as by operation of law, or those planned for in a trust are handled through an Administration process. Administration also refers to the process whereby assets are transferred by rules of the state when there is no will. We can help make the process easier, more efficient, and provide peace of mind during a difficult time.
Special Needs Estate Planning focuses on providing for the special needs of our loved ones with disabilities when we are no longer there to organize and advocate on their behalf. Parents of children with special needs must make careful estate planning choices to coordinate all of the legal, financial, and special care needs of their children – both now and in the future.
Family businesses are the backbone of the American economy. From agriculture to services, technology and manufacturing, family businesses generate an estimated one-half of the U.S. Gross National Product and pay half of all wages earned in this country.
Asset protection planning involves making prudent decisions today to protect yourself, your business, and your hard-earned assets from loss due to lawsuits, creditors or bankruptcies.
We encourage and assist the tradition of giving to charitable causes, including the employment of tax-advantaged strategies that maximize the value of your gift. We help clients make charitable gifts and practice good stewardship in the most tax-efficient manner.