WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEYS
LIFE INSURANCE WITHIN A TRUST
RETIREMENT BENEFITS PLANNING
A decedent who dies without a will or an estate plan takes the risk that their property will not be distributed in a way in which they choose. Rather, they leave it up to the Court to decide how the property should be divided. This process takes a minimum of nine (9) months and can last longer than two (2) years. However, if a will is in place, the Court will distribute the assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.
An Estate Plan is a legally written document that explains how you want your assets divided upon your death. The Court does not recognize oral statements or promises to give property upon death.
Stone & Sallus LLP will draft and devise your estate plan in accordance with your wishes. Our highly trained lawyers are in practice to help you prepare an estate plan that sets out your directives for distribution of your assets to your family and friends.
Our clients range from younger generations with high degrees of potential wealth accumulation to established business owners and individuals. Our focus is on a practical and systematic approach to protect them from current threats as well as leverage future opportunities. We help our clients garner the necessary information to preserve our clients’ assets for themselves and their future generations.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
We prepare all types of powers of attorney, including financial powers of attorney and durable powers of attorney for healthcare (also sometimes called advanced health care directives or living wills).
Durable Power of Attorney for Finance
If you become incapacitated, it is important to have the following questions already answered. Who will be selected to make difficult decisions regarding your finances? What powers and responsibility will that person have over your finances? A variety of professionals from stockbrokers, banks, real estate professionals, etc. recognize the Durable Power of Attorney for Finance as a document that accurately reflects your wishes, as they should be followed. This preserves your intention for funds and assets as it pertains to real property, payment of bills and debts, and any other aspects of your financial life.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health (Advance Medical Directive)
In the event you become unable to direct your health decisions, who will be cognizant of your beliefs and wishes? Who will run your business? Who will make your medical decisions should you become incapacitated? End-of-life decisions and significant health decisions require a well thought out conversation to ensure the proper person will adhere to your wishes. This written document is recognized by doctors and hospitals, and is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. A written document setting forth such directives is recognized, provided it is signed, and will ensure the expression of your wishes is followed.
PROBATE AND TRUST ADMINISTRATION
If a decedent dies with a trust in place, no court administration is needed. The trust assets are administered by the person designated in the trust document (trustee). Stone & Sallus LLP will help navigate the trustee through trust administration from beginning to the final distribution of assets to the beneficiaries.
Our firm handles both simple and complex probate and trust administrations. Whether the deceased individual has a trust, left a will (“testate”), or did not leave a will (“intestate”), we work with you to navigate the required steps. This includes both inside or outside the probate process.
As disputes arise concerning heirs and beneficiaries, our experience in transaction and litigation work helps us to better serve our clients and resolve such contest. These matters are particularly challenging, as the loss of a loved one can create a catalyst for the highly charged emotional issues which accompany the process. We understand the legal and emotional intricacies, and work to resolve potential contests to ensure inheritance may be distributed free and clear to any beneficiaries of an estate.