Estate Planning – Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
WHAT’S A SUCCESSFUL ESTATE PLAN?
You may wonder what an estate plan entails. A proper plan ensures
the income needed to maintain your lifestyle while responsibly
providing for your heirs. Beyond dollars and cents, there are less
quanitifiable concerns too such as end of life wishes. Our process
ensures these goals are met.
An estate planning attorney has the opportunity to make a difference
in their client’s lives. The first step is to ascertain the relevant
facts and the client’s objectives when developing a plan.
Misinformation or the lack of necessary information can
significantly affect the validity of the plan, and therefore the end
result. Here is a general outline of our process:
Our process begins with a questionnaire and a consultation. Our
questionnaire is designed to provide the attorney with all the
information necessary to assess the situation and implement an
appropriate plan. Having the questionnaire completed prior to the
consultation will allow the attorney to address the client’s
questions and concerns without the delay of gathering information
during the consultation.
Your attorney will help fully explain topics such as the difference
between a revocable and irrevocable trust, asset protection during
your lifetime and how to avoid probate.
Decide What Is Important
Is asset protection only important during your lifetime, or should
beneficiaries have their own trusts? Do you have minor children, a
blended family or family business? Our questionnaire will assist
you with these questions.
Speak to the Attorney
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We discuss financial concerns
and less quantifiable concerns, such as the role of an Advanced
Healthcare Directive and how to choose a trustee.
Bring Your Plan to Life
Here you put your plan into place. There are several steps, which
often include: setting up an asset protection trust, private trust company, funding the trust, and executing supporting documents such as a
Durable Power of Attorney.
Once the initial documents are created and signed, you’ll need to
periodically review your estate plan to make sure that it still
meets your needs. Changes in your personal circumstances, like the
birth of a child, can necessitate plan adjustments. Changes in the
law can require changes, too. We will assist with these when the
time comes to ensure your legacy plan continues to fulfill your