Estate Planning, Administration, & Wealth Preservation

Properly planning for the future is the essence of an estate plan.  When you take the time to discuss and lay out a proper estate plan, the result will ensure an efficient and orderly distribution of your estate.  In short, you will personally make the determination as to how assets, property, and personal belongings are to be passed on to loved ones. 

The components of a properly crafted estate plan are as varied as the individuals who create them.  Your individual situation will dictate how the estate plan will be tailored to make certain that your wishes are known and carried out.  To accomplish this, it is important to rely on a wide-ranging and thorough estate plan that will avoid potential pitfalls that may lead to future litigation among family members. 

Like anything else in life, proper planning will provide certainty and organization for you and your loved ones.  A proper estate plan will include a combination of the following:

  • An economical and expeditious transfer of wealth
  • Planning for the maintenance and protection of family
  • Control over health care and financial decisions in the event of incapacity
  • Reduce exposure to estate and income tax
  • Planning for business succession
  • Charitable gift
  • Legacy planning
  • Economical and Expeditious Transfer of Wealth

You are already aware that dying can be a costly and time consuming event.  This is particularly the case if there was no plan in place, or where the plan was not comprehensive.  Where you plan for your future, the cost time required to transfer wealth can be minimized.  

A proper estate plan will take your individual circumstances into account and minimize any potential issues that may occur.  For example, for those seeking to avoid lengthy and costly probate proceedings at death I may recommend a “trust” tailored to fit your needs. 

Every plan is different and will take into account the unique assets acquired during one’s lifetime.  Businesses and “legacy property” (like the family cabin or classic car).  We will discuss together the plan you desire as to how to seamlessly retain control of and continue the operation by your trusted family members. 

Developing an understanding of the particular needs of a particular client and forming an appropriate plan requires knowledge of the various tools and techniques available.  Because every client is different, I will first establish a complete understanding of your particular needs before providing guidance on the appropriate plan.

Planning for the Maintenance & Protection of the Family

For young families, your estate plan will address minor children and providing them a caring, loving, and nurturing environment.  Often, the most difficult decision a young family must make is determining the guardian for children in the event of death of both parents. 

Once the care of children is established important decisions must then be made as to how inheritances will be safeguarded until the children are of a responsible age.  Safeguarding an inheritance may also fall within the purview of established families where the children are out of the house.  The use of carefully crafted trusts may be the best option to protect beneficiaries from creditors and minimize the potential risks associated with sudden wealth to beneficiaries. 

Control Over Health Care and Financial Decisions in the Event of Incapacity

The prospect of incapacity as a result of an accident or health condition can affect any one.  In the event you become incapacitated, you will be unable to manage your financial affairs.  To avoid the expense, time, and stress of court intervention it is important to have available to right documents. 

A proper estate plan should also include the tools necessary to enable the control over (i) financial, legal, and property matters, (ii) personal health care and medical matters, and (iii) control over the care and nurturing of minor children.

Reduce Exposure to Estate and Income Tax

There are only two things that are certain in life, death and taxes.  Fortunately, we can plan for both.  Estate taxes can apply at the federal and state levels.  Whether your estate will be taxed and at which tax level will depend on a number of factors. 

It is important to establish the appropriate strategies early to reduce or eliminate any potential exposure to estate taxes. 

Once your estate plan is in place, I will keep you informed as to changes to federal and state laws that may affect your plan. 

A well-crafted estate plan should provide for your loved ones in an effective and efficient manner by avoiding guardianship during your lifetime, probate at death, estate taxes and unnecessary delays. You should consult a qualified Pennsylvania estate planning attorney to review your family and financial situation, your goals and explain the various options available to you. Once your estate plan is in place, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have provided for yourself and your family in case the worst happens.

A properly planned and crafted estate plan offers your loved ones an effective and expeditious method to avoid the costs and unnecessary delays that are often associated with this process.  I can assist in your estate planning by informing you of your options and drawing up the legal documents required to achieve your objectives.

Once your estate plan is in place, I will strive to keep you informed as to changes to federal and state laws that may affect your plan.  

© Law Offices of Daniel D. McLean, PLC 2011