The death of a loved is an extremely emotional time for any family. Upon your death, your family not only is dealing with the loss of a loved one but the stress of the legal process involved in settling your estate. Having a comprehensive estate plan is critical to minimizing that stress and easing the financial and legal burden for your loved ones.
At Amanda Todd Daniels, we know that creating a plan to be used in the event of your death is hard. It’s easy to put it off because it is overwhelming to think of how you want to distribute your assets to family members or who you would appoint as guardians for your children. It is important to remember that if you die without a will, the state will make all decisions for you, including dividing your property and deciding on guardians for your minor children.
Our experienced team will sit down with you and help you establish legal plans to ensure that your wishes are properly documented. You will have peace of mind knowing that if the unthinkable occurs, you have the legal documents in place to make sure your children and assets are protected and that your belongings will be distributed according to your wishes.
Everyone, whether young and single or married with children, needs to have an estate plan in place documenting your wishes. Services offered by Amanda Todd Daniels Include:
- Living Wills (Health Care Directives)
- Trusts (including revocable trusts, life insurance trusts)
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Non-Probate Transfers
- Power of Attorney
Schedule a free consultation with our legal team today to discuss your situation, and we will help you come up with a plan which makes sure that your family will never have to deal with the burden of handling your estate with no legal estate documents.
A well-written estate plan will:
- Ensure that your wishes are documented and carried out in the event of your death
- Specify trusted individuals to make decisions for you if you are unable to communicate
- Minimize fees and taxes, therefore leaving more money for your family
- Avoid/minimize probate
Estate plans are dependent on the specific needs of the individual. At Amanda Todd Daniels we will make a comprehensive plan for you that can include:
- Creating wills and trusts that specifically address your needs
- Documenting disability plans using living wills and powers of attorney
- Administering probates or trusts
- Planning for special needs or circumstances
- Creating estate plans for unmarried or same-sex couples to ensure that they legally protect their assets and children
A will is a legal document stating how your property and assets should be divided in the event of your death, and who will take care of your surviving minor children. If no will is in place, the state makes all of these decisions. In your will you can specify:
- How you want your assets divided
- Who you want to give your assets to
- The name of a guardian to look after any minor children
- Who will watch over the property/money of any minor children until they are adults
- The name of an executor who will make sure all of your debts are paid off and distribute
remaining assets according to your wishes
Our team will help you prepare a will that keeps as much of your estate as possible out of probate court, ensuring your privacy and saving your family added court costs.
A living will is a document which records a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment in the event in which they are no longer able to give informed consent. It will tell your family if you want to be kept on life support in specific situations, as well as address other important questions regarding your preferences about artificial hydration, tube feeding, and pain medication in terminal or persistent vegetative situations.
Many people have strong feelings about life support in these situations, and living wills are a tool that allows them to document their wishes. Doing so takes the burden of these decisions off your family’s shoulders and allows them to know your desires and follow your directives.
A trust is used to protect your valuable assets. When creating a trust, a person must individually place their property under “ownership” of the trust for the property to be distributed by the trustee after your death or mental/physical incapacitation. Once the trust is created and property placed into the terms of the trust, benefits include:
- Avoiding Probate: Property held in a trust is distributed through a private process. This avoids the expensive, time-consuming, stressful, and public probate procedure.
- Asset Protection: Property held in a trust is protected for the benefit of the beneficiaries. Some types of trusts are protected from potential creditors and lawsuits.
- Special Needs Protection: In a special needs trust, property and money can be left to loved ones with special needs without their government assistance being affected.
Estate and Gift Taxes
Estate and Gift Taxes are taxes that are imposed when your assets are transferred from one guardian to another, either during life or at death. At Amanda Todd Daniels, one of our main goals when creating your estate plan is to prevent having the money you have worked hard to accumulate during your lifetime going to the government rather than your children or descendants.
Family Limited Partnerships
A Family Limited Partnership (FLP) is a type of arrangement in which family members pool money to run a business project. Each family member buys units or shares of the business and can profit in proportion to the number of shares he or she owns, and as outlined in the partnership operating agreement.
Family Limited Partnerships have two types of partners. General partners usually own the largest share of the business, and they are responsible for day-to-day management tasks such as overseeing all cash deposits and investment transactions. The general partner may also take a management fee from profits if outlined in the partnership agreement.
Limited partners have no management responsibilities. They instead buy shares of the business in exchange for dividends, interest, and profits the FLP may generate.
The legal team at Amanda Todd Daniels will help you create a Family Limited Partnership that addresses your specific needs.
Non-probate transfers are a simple way to allow the involved parties to avoid the probate process. Many types of property transfer free of probate, including property left to a surviving spouse and property left outside of a will through probate-avoidance methods such as pay-on-death designations, joint tenancy ownership, living trusts, and life insurance.
Probate and Probate Litigation
Probate can occur in the absence of a will, when the will is contested, and in other specific situations. The process involves the legal administration of the estate of a person who has died including accounting for property, paying off any debts, and distributing the remaining assets. If you need to contest a will or trust or defend your interests in an estate dispute, the team at Amanda Todd Daniels has the expertise needed to make sure your best interests are protected.
When a person is incapacitated and can no longer conduct his or her affairs, a conservatorship may be the best solution. A conservatorship gives a designated individual the authority to make certain decisions for the incapacitated individual. A financial conservator makes financial decisions and pays bills for the individual. Our legal team can advise you and help you decide if a conservatorship best fits your needs.
Power of Attorney
Unlike a conservatorship, a power of attorney (POA) is created before a person becomes incapacitated. A POA must be created by a person who is competent at the time the document is created. However, a durable POA may continue to be in effect after the individual becomes incapacitated.
A power of attorney allows an individual to designate someone (called the attorney-in-fact) to act as his or her representative in specific situations. For example, an individual may delegate all financial powers and responsibilities to a designated person, using a power of attorney, so that if that individual becomes incapacitated, the attorney-in-fact can make necessary decisions for them.
The Law Office of Amanda Todd Daniels understands how important it is for you to take care of your family in the event of your death. We will work tirelessly to create an estate plan that protects your assets and makes sure your loved ones are well taken care of. Call us today at (662) 678-8009 to schedule a free consultation.