Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the disposal of that person’s estate. Estate planning includes a process of reducing or eliminating uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximizing the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. The ultimate goal of estate planning can be determined by the specific goals of the client, and may be as simple or complex as the client’s needs dictate. In the simplest of terms, estate planning is the process through which a person plans the transfer of his assets at death. Our Estate Planning attorneys work with financial advisors, including CPAs, appraisers, stock transfer agents and trust officers in connection with managing estates. Our firm also handles all other legal matter, such as a Will Contest, which may arise in the administration of a decedent’s estate.
An estate plan is not limited to executing a Last Will and Testament. There are several tools that should be utilized to direct what you want to happen to your real property, business and investments at death. These tools may minimize taxes and administrative fees, address the care and education of minor children, as well as the handling of financial matters. These tools include trusts, gifting or setting up a business entity. Because there are so many legal options available, consulting an estate planning attorney is essential. An attorney who specializes in trusts and estates can provide legal advice and guidance, and assist you in devising a plan that complies with Federal and Alabama Laws. An attorney who specializes in trusts and estates can protect your best interests.
Estate planning typically involves some or all of the following documents:
Last Will and Testament
The primary purpose of a Last Will and Testament is to declare your intentions regarding the distribution of your property after your death. The type of Last Will and Testament that you need and the way in which your property should be distributed depend upon your particular circumstances and desires. We can help ensure that your desires are reflected properly.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is used to appoint an agent to act in your place to handle certain transactions.
Living Will/Advance Health Care Directive
A Living Will/Advance Heath Care Directive is used to set forth a person’s wishes to administer, withhold, or withdraw life-sustaining treatment for end-of-life medical care, in case they become unable to communicate their decisions.
A Conservator is appointed by the Court to protect and manage the assets of someone else.
A Guardian is appointed by the Court to make decision regarding personal care for someone else. If you believe that a conservatorship or a guardianship of a loved one is necessary, Druhan & Tyler will counsel you on the process to proceed.
If a conservatorship or guardianship is pursued, we can provide representation to assist that the process goes smoothly and that your loved one is protected. Druhan & Tyler deals with the following Estate Planning issues:
Wills, trusts, financial and medical powers of attorney, and end-of-life directions
Maximizing resources for long term care
Selecting trusted fiduciaries to handle your affairs, now and after death
Planning for a well spouse when the other spouse requires long term care
Public benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans benefits
Mental capacity, guardianship and its alternatives
Planning for minor and adult special needs family members