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Estate Planning & Probate

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Estate Planning is the mechanism in which an individual plans for and directs assets to transfer at the time of death. A proper estate plan will allow for a decedent to transfer the most wealth to chosen individuals while maintaining compliance with the federal and state tax codes.

Routine estate planning devices include Last Will and Testament, Trusts, Durable Power of Attorneys, Health Care Proxies, and HIPAA forms.

Lake Shore Legal Solutions has experience in advising clients with the most advantageous means in preparing for asset transfer in anticipation of death. Additionally, this office has substantial experience in preparing the above-mentioned estate planning documents and assisting clients in compiling a comprehensive estate plan.

An individual’s Last Will and Testament allows for that individual to direct asset transfer upon their death and name a Personal Representative to oversee that the directives within the Last Will and Testament are followed. A Last Will and Testament is the most widely used and popular estate planning device, as it allows for an individual to direct assets to specifically chosen individuals, charities, and/or trusts. In most circumstances, asset transfer via this estate-planning device will mean that a probate filing is made within the decedent’s county of residence.

Trusts are another popular estate planning device. There are wide ranges of trusts, and a specific type of trust will depend upon your financial situation and the amount and type of assets in your possession. Trusts allow an individual to fund the Trust with specific assets and chose a Trustee to administer those assets in accordance with the terms of the trust. The chosen Trustee administers the Trust and the Trust assets for the benefit of named Trust beneficiaries. Unlike assets that are transferred via an individual’s Last Will and Testament, Trusts allow for assets to avoid the need for Probate.

Health Care Proxies are estate-planning devices that are utilized while an individual is still alive. The individual names a health care proxy so that the named proxy can be provided with medical records and make medical decisions in the event the individual becomes incapacitated either physically or mentally. Health Care Proxies can provide a sense of relief to clients, as they know that hospitals and doctors will be able to communicate all relevant information to the named proxy and insure that the individual receives needed care without undue delay.

Call Lake Shore Legal Solutions now. Meet with one of our attorneys and allow Lake Shore Legal Solutions to analyze your current situation and offer our assistance in preparing the proper estate planning documents to protect your assets and estate moving forward.