Wills & Estates

Wills and Estate Planning

Life throws unexpected obstacles at us all of the time. Creating an Estate Plan is often ignored or delayed until it is too late. The Todaro Law Office will make sure your affairs will be taken care so you can achieve peace of mind.

These five items illustrate how important it is to have your affairs in order:

1. Controlling your wealth – You’ve worked hard your entire life to build your wealth, and proper estate planning is the only way to ensure it is divided in the way you choose.

2. Avoiding probate court – If you do not protect yourself, your estate will be turned over to probate court. This process can be long and stressful for your family and friends, and there is no guarantee that the probate judge will divide your assets in a way that you would’ve wanted.

3. Minimizing taxes – There are various taxes associated with the estates of deceased persons. If you do not plan carefully, the bulk of your assets are likely to be subject to significant tax.

4. Charitable donations – In an effort to leave a meaningful impact, many individuals choose to leave at least part of their wealth to a few charities of their choice. If you fail to write a will, this will not be possible because probate courts do not have the authority to allocate any part of your estate to a charity.

5. Power of attorney – A power of attorney is an effective way to name a trusted individual to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated by an illness. This individual can make legal, personal, and medical decisions for you.

Wills and Estate Planning includes the following:

Will Preparation and Execution
Every adult should create a will to memorialize his/her wishes in the event of his/ her death. As your assets and your family grow, it’s even more important to have a will and keep it updated. A will is a legal document that designates where your assets should go and who will become the legal guardian of your children after your death.

Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a document that authorizes another person to handle your day-to-day financial affairs. These powers include managing bank accounts, investments and real estate, investing assets, selling personal property and real estate, dealing with the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service, settling claims and debts, making gifts of assets, filing tax returns and other documents.

Health Care Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney is a written document signed by you that authorizes the person you name to make all of your health care decisions. It only goes into effect after your attending physician determines that you are incapacitated so as to be unable to make health care decisions for yourself.

Guardianships
A guardianship is an estate that is overseen by the probate court for management of the personal care, the estate or both of a minor child or incompetent adult.

Trusts
A legal entity created by a grantor for the benefit of designated beneficiaries. The Trustee holds a fiduciary responsibility to manage the trust assets and income for the economic benefit of all of the beneficiaries

Contact the Todaro Law Office for a free initial consultation.