Dedication • Experience • Trust

Pastor and Associates

Estate Planning

The purpose of estate planning is to achieve our personal and family goals, even after we pass away, and to insure that the assets of our estate are managed and distributed according to our wishes and intentions, and with the maximum protections afforded under the law.

Estate Planning Documents

Our firm provides comprehensive estate planning services, with an emphasis on personalized, high quality planning and representation.  We provide experienced advice and guidance in the preparation of all types of estate planning documents, including:

  • Wills
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Financial Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • Living Wills and Advanced Directives

We can also assist with the development and implementation of valuable estate planning strategies and tools designed to minimize taxes and achieve other important estate succession goals, including:

  • Asset Protection
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Family Limited Partnerships
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)
  • Irrevocable Trusts for Children or Grandchildren
  • Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trusts (QTIPs)
  • Qualified Domestic Trusts (QDOTs)
  • Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Planning
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs)

What is an “Estate”?

Your estate consists of all property that you own or have an interest in at the time of your death.  This can include real estate, business interests or stocks, bank accounts, life insurance policies, cars, jewelry and other various assets.

Why do you need to plan your Estate?

  1. Ensure that your wishes are honored.  In order to pass on your property according to your wishes, you must properly direct how your property is to be distributed and you must provide for administration of your estate—i.e., you must properly designate someone to manage or oversee your estate after your death and to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
  2. Avoid probate, if desired, or use probate strategically.  Probate is the legal process by which title to an asset left in a decedent’s own name is transferred after death.
  3. Reduce or eliminate taxes.  Proper estate planning can help to reduce or eliminate taxes that may otherwise need to be paid out on your estate.
  4. Provide for guardianship of minor children.  The issue of guardianship can be a difficult yet crucial decision of the estate planning process for parents of minor children.  Who better to decide who will raise your children in the event of your death than you?
  5. Provide for yourself as well as your family.  While your estate plan will likely provide for others, according to your values, your estate plan should also address the possibility that you may become unable to care or to provide for yourself in the future.
  6. Peace of mind.  You deserve the security and peace of mind of knowing that you have created the written directives necessary for your friends or family to properly administer your estate without resort to the courts or unnecessary litigation.

Your Estate Plan Answers Important Questions

A complete estate plan can resolve a number of legal concerns that often arise when someone dies.  Who will be in charge of managing or overseeing your estate?  What memorial arrangements should be made?  How should your property be distributed?  How do beneficiary and pay on death designations affect the other dispositive provisions included in your estate plan?  What real estate and personal property do you own?  How much tax will need to be paid by your estate or by the beneficiaries?  Does a guardian need to be appointed to care for minor children?  We can help you identify the many important issues that need to be addressed in your own estate plan. 

Estate Planning Strategy

An estate plan may include various strategic estate planning documents designed to reduce or eliminate the need for court involvement in administration of your estate – both during your life as well as after you pass away.  An estate plan can help avoid a lengthy, costly and possibly troublesome legal process if you become incapacitated.  Having the proper documents in place may prevent the need for a guardianship, which may be quite expensive for you or your family.  A health care power of attorney and advanced directive or living will can direct the kinds of life sustaining medical care and treatment that you would like to receive in the event that you are not able to make your own wishes known due to illness or incapacity. 

A revocable living trust may be established in order to help avoid the delays and potentially burdensome costs associated with the probate process. An estate plan can also help you minimize the taxes that might need to be paid before property can pass to your beneficiaries after your death.

We understand that estate plans are not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.  We will meet with you one-on-one and take the time to learn about your individual circumstances and estate so that we can determine the most appropriate and beneficial estate planning documents to meet your needs.

The Importance of Estate Planning

An estate plan is an investment – both in your own life and in the lives of your loved ones.  You and your loved ones deserve the peace of mind of knowing that your estate will be administered according to your expectations and in accordance with your values.