ESTATE PLANNING AND ELDER LAW
The firm provides a full array of estate planning and gift planning services from drawing basic wills, living trusts, powers of attorney and living wills, to drafting more complicated credit shelter trusts, special needs trusts and family limited partnerships. We provide complete estate planning advice to minimize death taxes and maximize the property being transferred upon death. In addition, we represent clients who have family members with issues relating to physical or mental incapacity or minority, and who may be in need of a guardianship or conservatorship or alternative plans for addressing those issues.
Difference Between a Living Will and a Living Trust
A living will is an advance directive to your doctors and health care providers in which you advise them of your wishes concerning the continuation of artificial nourishment and hydration in the event that your doctor certifies that you are incapacitated. By executing a living will, you are assured that your wishes will be honored and you remove the burden of having to make those difficult decisions from your spouse, children or other family members. In addition, you may want to consider the execution of a durable medical power of attorney which allows you to appoint someone you trust to make medical and health care decisions for you if your doctor certifies that you are unable to make those decisions and to give knowing consent to needed medical procedures.
A living trust, also known as a family trust or a revocable living trust, is a document used to manage the investment and distribution of income from property and assets which are transferred to the trust during your lifetime and, on your death, to control how the property, assets and income of the trust will be managed and distributed. Typically, the creator of the trust retains complete control of the property and assets of the trust during his or her lifetime and retains the right to amend or to revoke the trust at any time. Assets transferred to the trust during your lifetime are not subject to administration in probate and may provide a means by which you can simplify the management and distribution of your property and assets following your death. Living trusts are frequently used in conjunction with your last will and testament to provide a comprehensive estate plan for the disposition of your property.