Jenkins Legal provides comprehensive estate planning solutions to families and individuals seeking to control the future disposition of their assets during their lives and after death, as well as medical decision-making in case of incapacity or terminal illness.
Jenkins Legal can help you handle a broad range of legal matters that can affect you throughout your life. We can help guide you through issues pertaining to family harmony, beneficiary protection, asset protection, tax reduction, and more. We may assume that as we near retirement, our lives will get simpler, but for many that is not the case. As you get older, proper planning is necessary to assure that your health, finances, assets, and loved ones are protected.
- Last Will and Testament
- Living Will / Advanced Health Care Directive
- Powers of Attorney (Property and/or Health Care)
- Final Disposition Directive
Avoiding public probate court is by far the most common reason why people seek out the advice of an estate planning attorney. While many have never even dealt with probate, they still know one thing - they want to avoid it at all costs. This stems from probate horror stories covered by the media or told by neighbors, friends or business associates. Suffice it to say that for the vast majority of people, avoiding probate is a very good reason for creating an estate plan and can be easily achieved.
Many people seek the advice of an estate planning attorney after personally experiencing - or seeing a close friend or business associate experience - a significant waste of time and money due to a loved one's failure to make an estate plan. Choosing someone to be in charge if you become mentally incapacitated and/or to be in charge of your assets after you die (who gets what, when they will get it, and how they will get it) will go a long way towards avoiding family fights and costly probate court proceedings.
There are generally two main reasons why people put together an estate plan in order to protect their beneficiaries:
Asset protection planning has become a very important reason why many people, including those who already have an estate plan, are meeting with their estate planning attorney. Once you know or even suspect a lawsuit is on the horizon, it's too late to put a plan in place to protect your assets. Instead, you need to start with a sound financial plan and couple it with a comprehensive estate plan that will, in turn, protect your assets for the benefit of both you during your lifetime and your beneficiaries after your death.
The significant loss of one's estate to the payment of state and/or federal estate taxes or state inheritance taxes is a great motivator for many people to put an estate plan together. Through the most basic planning, married couples can reduce or even possibly eliminate estate taxes altogether by setting up AB Trusts or ABC Trusts as part of their wills or revocable living trusts. In addition, a variety of advanced estate planning techniques can be used by both married couples and individuals to make the estate or inheritance tax bill less burdensome or completely go away.
Below are just five ways in which a Trust is superior to a Will. If you want to know more about whether a Trust is right for your situation, contact us to discuss your goals.