Estate Planning

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What is it?

Estate Planning is a comprehensive, customized process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of one’s estate.  Estate Planning includes planning for incapacity, estate distribution upon death, caring for minor children, and appointing trusted representatives to act on your behalf.  The organization and complexity of an estate plan is based on an individual’s assets, tax strategy, family dynamics, and long term planning goals.

How can Alliance help me?

An estate planning attorney will help you to determine how your assets will be managed during your lifetime and how to distribute your assets after your death.  We will help you to simplify the administration of your estate and decrease or eliminate the need for court interference.  By working with Alliance Law & Counseling, you take control of your legacy.

There is no one size fits all plan.

Estate Planning can be a complex process depending on the particular estate.  Alliance Law & Counseling simplifies the process by discussing your goals, clearly explaining your options, and then designing a plan that is unique to you and your situation.

By working with an attorney at Alliance Law & Counseling,  you are able to

  • Appoint an Executor to handle the affairs of your estate
  • Appoint a Guardian to care for minor children
  • Plan for your own disability or incapacity
  • Protect your property from lawsuits
  • Decide how your property will be distributed
  • Avoid or reduce tax burdens
  • Avoid or greatly simplify the Probate process
  • Stipulate your retirement account alternative payout
  • Maintain Control

Glossary

Estate Planning: a comprehensive, customized process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of one’s estate

Assets: art, bank accounts, clothing, collectibles, furniture, investments, jewelry, life insurance, real estate, retirement accounts.

Beneficiary: Generic term for a person who receives property under a will, regardless of whether it is real or personal property.

Beneficiary: The person who receives the equitable title to trust property and hence the right to benefit from that property according to the settlor’s instructions.

Bequest: A gift of personal property in a will.

Codicil: A type of will that merely amends an already existing will.

Devise: A gift of real property in a will.

Estate: Assets and debts left by an individual at death.

Guardian: A court-appointed individual chosen to provide care for a minor child’s support, education, and medical care.

Incapacity: The inability to manage one’s own affairs, either temporarily or permanently.

Minor Child: An individual who is under 18 years of age.

Principal: The property conveyed in trust form.  The principal is also referred to as the trust corpus, estate or res.

Testator; Testatrix: A person who dies with a valid will.

Trust: A property conveyance whereby the owner divides title to the property into legal and equitable interests and imposes fiduciary duties on the holder of the legal title to deal with the property for the benefit of the holder of the equitable title.

Trustee: The person who holds the legal title to trust property and has the fiduciary duty to manage that property according to the settlor’s instructions and applicable trust law.

Will: A written document directing who will own the decedent’s property upon the decedent’s death.