Approximately one-half of all Americans will die without a will in place, creating a significant chance for confusion and contention among the surviving family and friends. A complete, well-defined estate plan helps avoid such conflict by providing clear direction for how you want your property and affairs to be handled upon your passing.
Living trusts allow you to create a detailed plan for how and when your assets are distributed at your passing. Through the use of trusts, you can distribute assets to heirs efficiently without the cost, delay and publicity of probate. Trusts also reduce estate and gift taxes, and better protects assets from creditors and lawsuits.
A power of attorney gives the people you name the power to act on your behalf as your agent. The power may be limited to a specific activity, such as completing the sale of a home, or be general to cover all financial acts. The power can be temporary or permanent, and can take effect immediately, or only upon your incompetency.
An advance healthcare directive, also known as a living will, allows you to name an agent to make healthcare decisions for you when you cannot due to your medical condition. It also allows you to make certain decisions now regarding the level of care you wish to receive if suffering from an illness or injury where it has been determined there will be no possible recovery.
A life insurance trust is an irrevocable trust, where the trust is the owner and beneficiary of one or multiple life insurance policies. Upon your passing, the named trustee will invest insurance proceeds and administers the trust for the beneficiaries you have named. This kind of trust, when properly established, is an effective tool to avoid estate tax on the proceeds.
We work closely with a professional financial adviser and accountant to provide comprehensive analyses and advice regarding all available investment opportunities. We offer a team approach to the estate planning process. We will help you achieve your financial goals through a solid plan that allows your assets to grow while protecting them for you and your family.
Mr. Ealley understands the intricacies of all levels of estate planning, from the simple, small estates, to the more complex estate planning needs, including: wills, revocable livings trusts; irrevocable life insurance trusts; QTIP trusts; charitable trusts; special needs trusts; real estate trusts; preparing for the possibility of incapacity; wealth preservation and asset protection planning; Maryland probate and guardianship procedures; and minimizing or eliminating estate taxes.
In addition to creating wills and trusts, we lead our clients through the process of creating durable powers of attorneys and healthcare documents, such as living wills and advanced healthcare directives, which allow clients to outline their wishes and state in advance who they would like to act on their behalf if they were to become incapacitated and unable to do so.