Estate planning is the collection of tasks you would undertake, with the help of an attorney, to prepare for management of your assets in case of your incapacity or death, including the transfer of your estate to your loved ones. When we talk about your “estate,” we are referring to all the assets you have of any value, such as real estate, investments, businesses, insurance proceeds, and personal property, including your personal effects and household goods. Going without an estate plan can leave you open to the choices of others that may or may not reflect your wishes and desires. Certain laws will govern how your estate will be handled in the event of your incapacity or death, without regard for what you would have done had you planned in advance. The court will make your estate plan for you.
With proper estate planning, you can clearly communicate your wishes and desires based on your individual goals. You can choose the people to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated; the people to inherit your estate on your death; and the people to act as guardian of your minor children if you are unable. Attorney Gelardo has worked with hundreds of individuals and couples to create personalized, effective and accurate estate plans that reflect the specific objectives of each individual or couple. In choosing to work with us, you can be assured that we will take the time to gather all the information necessary so that your final estate plan reflects your specific objectives.
Various revocable and irrevocable trusts, wills, powers of attorney and advance health care (medical) directives can be used to create a thorough estate plan. Which techniques are used will depend on your individual needs and desires. Commonly, a Revocable Living Trust Estate Plan combines several documents to create a comprehensive basic estate plan.
- Life Insurance Trust (“ILIT”)
- IRA Beneficiary Trust
- Irrevocable Gift Trust (e.g. Educational or Spendthrift)
- Special Needs Trust (“SNT”)
- Charitable Remainder Trust (“CRT)
- Charitable Lead Trust (“CLT”)
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (“GRAT”)
- Qualified Personal Residence Trust (“QPRT”)
- Foundation/Endowment Trust
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (“IDGT”)
*Comprehensive Living Trust Estate Plans and Restatement Plans include preparation and execution of the following:
- Revocable Living Trust or Restatement of Living Trust (single or married)
- Declaration and Certification of Trust
- Pour-Over Will(s)
- Power(s) of Attorney for Asset Management
- Advanced Health Care Directive(s)
- HIPAA Authorization and Waiver(s)
- Marital Property Agreement (if applicable)
- One (1) Deed, transferring real estate into your Living Trust (not included with Restatement)
- Asset Transfer and Beneficiary Designation Forms (not included with Restatement)
- Final Instructions Lists and Forms
All meetings and correspondence between attorney and client(s) are included in the flat rate for the service provided.
For more information:
Please contact The Law Office of Nan Dempsey Gelardo to schedule your 30-minute free consultation to discuss your estate planning options and questions.
Generally speaking, trust administration is the process of managing assets held in a trust. When a loved one dies, the Trustee is the one who is responsible for administering the trust estate and executing the terms of the trust agreement. The Trustee will be tasked with winding up the loved one’s trust estate, while keeping in mind that their primary obligation is to the beneficiaries of the trust.
To protect the Trustee during the process, there are a several things that must be done to ensure proper administration. Fortunately, working with an attorney for trust administration can help eliminate any concerns you might have as Trustee about the trust administration process. The Law Office of Nan Dempsey Gelardo can assist you, the Trustee, with the numerous tasks that are involved in a trust administration, such as:
- Advising and assisting the Trustee on his or her fiduciary duty
- Sending required notifications to heirs, beneficiaries and government agencies
- Securing, inventorying and safeguarding assets, including personal and real property
- Determining the estate value by obtaining appraisals
- Drafting documentation for real property and bank/financial institutions
- Contacting creditors and paying debts
- Working with other professionals, such as CPAs or Financial Planners, to wrap up the trust estate
- Providing accountings to beneficiaries
- Dividing and distributing assets to beneficiaries
Trying to handle all the necessary tasks of a trust administration on your own can cause frustration, confusion and, in the worst case, liability to you as Trustee. The Trustee often hires attorneys, accountants, and investment advisors concerning the administration of the trust, and may pay such advisors from the assets of the Trust. The Law Office of Nan Dempsey Gelardo is available to assist you in your fiduciary duties as Trustee, and advise you on administering the Trust according to the trust agreement.
Please contact The Law Office of Nan Dempsey Gelardo to schedule your 30-minute free consultation to discuss your trust administration options and questions.
Asset protection planning is a type of planning used to minimize or eliminate your risk from the claims of future and unforeseen creditors. Generally, asset protection planning must be done in advance to successfully guard against potential liabilities. The various “fraudulent transfer laws” protect creditors from debtors who try to “delay, hinder, or defraud” a creditor by transferring assets out of the creditor’s reach. Courts will set aside such transfers if it can be shown that the creditor claim arose before the transfer occurred. Therefore, asset protection planning to protect your valuable assets must be undertaken before a creditor claim arises. The Law Office of Nan Dempsey Gelardo can evaluate your current situation to determine whether asset protection planning is a good option for your circumstances.
If an asset protection plan is appropriate for your situation, there are many strategies and entities that you can use to shield assets from future creditors. These are often done in conjunction with estate and tax planning, and a complete plan can include one or more of the following:
- Statutory Protections (varies according to the state)
- Domestic Business Entities (i.e., limited liability company (LLC) limited partnerships (LP), and corporations)
- Offshore Business Entities (i.e., Offshore LLC and International Business Company (IBC))
- Irrevocable Gifting Trusts
- Domestic Asset Protection Trusts
- Offshore Asset Protection Trusts
- Equity Stripping Techniques
Our firm will work with you to determine the best and simplest approach to creating, establishing and maintaining your asset protection plan.
Please contact The Law Office of Nan Dempsey Gelardo to schedule your 30-minute free consultation to discuss your asset protection options and questions.