Estate Planning


estateplanningJerry gives you peace of mind and save you money. Our sophisticated estate planning practice includes specialties in drafting and updated living trusts, pre- and post-mortem tax planning and administration, gift planning, family limited partnerships, irrevocable life insurance trusts and generation-skipping trusts. Through the use of revocable living trusts, Mr. Smith satisfies family and personal objectives, including avoiding probate expenses and eliminating or substantially reducing federal estate taxes.

Jerry has lectured on a variety of topics relating to estate and financial planning matters and has developed substantial expertise in estate planning, trusts and estate administration.

There are two basic documents that can be used to distribute your assets upon your passing. These are a living trust and a will. A will is a document which comes into effect only upon your passing, and the disposition of your assets is subject to probate. Probate is a court-administered proceeding which is generally very lengthy (often one year or more) and more expensive than distribution through a living trust.

A living trust is a document that takes effect immediately upon execution. Almost all of your assets are transferred into the trust after it is created. During your lifetime, you are the trustee of the trust and maintain control over the assets. Upon the passing of an individual or one spouse, the trust administration usually takes less than two months to complete, and the fees involved are significantly less than in a probate proceeding.

Estate planning work is almost always done on a flat-fee basis. Thus, without additional fees, the process continues until all of your goals have been met. This includes making sure your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes after passing, probate avoidance and (where appropriate) tax planning. The process involves not only personal meetings to discuss your desires, but also drafting and, if necessary, redrafting documentation to make sure it meets with your approval. The job of an estate planner is not over when the documents are signed. Jerry will continue to work with you until all necessary assets have been transferred into your living trust. Thereafter, if you wish, Jerry will maintain the originals of the documents and inform you about major developments with the estate tax laws or other estate planning areas.

Estate and personal planning can be confusing and intimidating. Do not rely on the advice of well-meaning friends and relatives to properly plan for your care and estate. Rather, be sure to consult with an experienced professional in the estate planning field.