Creating a comprehensive estate plan requires consideration of various factors that are unique to each individual and their family. A Hollywood estate planning attorney at Kramer, Green, Zuckerman, Green, & Buchsbaum, P.A., is dedicated to helping you create the estate plan that is best designed to meet your needs, achieve your goals, and protect your assets during your lifetime and beyond.
We have assisted countless clients with every aspect of their estate planning needs. With our estate planning lawyers on your side, we can ensure that your estate plan fulfills all your objectives maintains your family’s privacy, and meets all legal requirements. Contact us today to learn what we can do to secure your assets for generations to come. Call the offices of Kramer Green at (954) 884-8373 or reach out to an attorney in Hollywood for estate planning online.
Estate planning involves determining what will happen to your assets after you pass away. Although you might think that estate plans are only for wealthy individuals or those who are elderly or ill, estate plans benefit everyone in the event of death. Whether you have few or many assets, creating a comprehensive estate plan makes it easier to distribute your assets to your loved ones after death. Furthermore, some forms of estate planning may help your loved ones avoid the probate process.
You can start the estate planning process by meeting with an experienced Hollywood estate planning attorney. Together, we can discover your needs and explore some items you may not have realized that you need to consider. Then, we can draft the necessary elements of your estate plan, including your will and a trust, if appropriate.
Elements of Your Estate Plan
Your estate plan may be complex or simple, depending on the nature of your assets and your needs. An estate planning attorney at Kramer Green can provide you with a full range of estate planning services, including the following common elements of a comprehensive estate plan:
- Preparation of your last will and testament, which outlines how your assets should be distributed to your beneficiaries after your death;
- Creation of a trust or a fiduciary contractual agreement to hold certain assets that survives your incapacity or death and is designed to disburse those assets to your beneficiaries without the necessity of going through probate or making your estate public;
- Execution of an advance health directive, which states your wishes concerning the healthcare you wish to receive if you become incapacitated, such as whether you wish to have a “Do Not Resuscitate” or “DNR” order; and
- Preparation of a power of attorney or a document that gives another person the legal right to make decisions on your behalf in specific areas, such as, financial or business matters.
Estate planning touches on virtually all areas of the law. An attorney who engages in Hollywood estate planning must understand how it relates to income tax, estate tax and estate tax liens, appraisals and business valuations, real estate, mortgages, pension plans, IRA rollovers, contracts, torts, leases, and more. As part of the estate planning process, we also can help with the following:
- Preparation of GRATs, QPRTs, SCINs, Private Annuities, and Sales to a Grantor Trust
- Creation of Private Foundations with IRS approval
- Formation of CRTs and CLTs
- Preparation of ILITs
Furthermore, after you or a loved one has passed away, we can assist with matters related to estates, including the following:
- Filing for Probate of Decedent’s Estate and Representing Personal Representatives
- Handling issues related to the Homestead, Elective Share, and Family Allowance
- Handling issues related to Estate Tax and IRS Form 706
- Representing Beneficiaries of Estates or Trusts
- Handling issues related to the Principal and Income Act
- Filing or Disputing Creditor Claims
Factors for a Hollywood Estate Planning Attorney to Consider
Various factors may come into play as you engage in the estate planning process. You should always address concerns or questions with your attorney about Hollywood estate planning. A few topics to consider include the following:
- Who is best suited to overseeing the probate process? Who is trustworthy and can handle the job of administrator of your estate?
- What is the best mechanism for avoiding probate? Your lawyer can help you choose the strategies necessary to help your loved ones avoid the time and expense involved in probate.
- Are there individuals or groups other than relatives or loved ones whom I want to designate as beneficiaries of my estate?
- What are my needs during the remainder of my lifetime? Do I need a living trust? Do I need to set aside money for long-term care expenses?
Many questions may arise as you determine how to best provide for your children in your estate plan. Those decisions are likely to be even more crucial and complicated when you are part of a blended family. Some of the questions that you may wish to consider as you form your estate plan may include:
- Do we treat all children alike?
- What about a child who has marital problems?
- How do we handle a child with a substance abuse issue?
- Do I have a child with special needs?
- Is one child at high risk for being sued, such as a medical doctor?
- Which child is best able to carry out end-of-life decisions for the parent?
- Who is the best choice for a guardian for our minor children?
- Who is the best choice for a guardian for a parent who becomes incapacitated?
- Is this a second or subsequent marriage?
Answering these questions is necessary to create the right estate plan for you and your family. These answers may vary widely from one family to another, and these answers also may change over time as events occur and problems develop. What is right for one family may not be the correct answer or approach for another family in the same situation.
Estate and Income Taxes
When drafting an estate plan, you also must consider the potential impact of estate and income taxes. Fortunately, various estate planning mechanisms exist to help reduce or eliminate tax liabilities. In appropriate circumstances, we might discuss the use of the following estate planning vehicles:
- Self-Cancelling Installment Note
- Private Annuity
- Sale to a Grantor Trust
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
- Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)
- Private Foundation
- Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT)
- Charitable Lead Trust (CLT)
- We Offer Comprehensive Estate Planning Services
Reviewing and Updating Your Estate Plan
Even after you have your estate plan in place, you should periodically review and update your estate plan with your Hollywood estate planning lawyer as time goes on and circumstances change. Otherwise, you risk your estate plan not genuinely reflecting your current situation, needs, and desires.
When you undergo a significant life change, you should always check with your estate planning attorney to determine whether you should make any changes or adjustments to your estate plan. Major life events that may trigger a change can include:
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Death of a family member
- Moving to another state
- Opening or closure of a business
Maintaining your estate plan is as essential as creating it in the first place. We are here to help you go over your existing estate plan from time to time as needed. We can outline any potential changes you may need to make and help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
Call Kramer Green for the Estate Planning Attorney that You Need
If you own any assets, you should have an estate plan, regardless of age or health status. A Hollywood estate planning attorney at Kramer Green can assist you in creating and updating effective and individualized estate plans designed to meet your needs and minimize the burdens of taxes and probate for your families. We also can help you with the probate process after you have lost a loved one. Together, we can ensure that you achieve your goals and protect your family through the estate planning process.
Contact an estate planning attorney today by calling (954) 884-8373 or finding us online. Let us help you prepare for the future by developing and maintaining the estate plan that is right for you.