Working hard to amass wealth affords you the right to do with it as you see fit. Investing, spending, saving, and passing on to future generations or ventures – all these options are entirely within your discretion. But the only way to ensure your wishes are followed is to have a comprehensive estate plan.
Estate planning can refer to a simple will or a conglomeration of will, trusts, succession plans, powers of attorney, and advance care directives such as living wills and living trusts that direct health care options in case you are unable to make informed decisions about your medical care or finances.
In any case, preparing for the future is essential, and the asset protection attorneys at Maldonado Diaz, PLLC help you assemble the right estate plan to achieve your goals and leave nothing to chance.
A will is a contract guaranteeing the allocation of property when distributing an estate. Who better to prepare this will than business attorneys? Maldonado Diaz examines your estate and ensures that all assets and beneficiaries are accounted for and that all loose ends are tied. There is every reason that the transition of distributing your assets should run smoothly and in full accordance with your wishes, particularly to avoid any disputes or complications for your beneficiaries.
While wills must go through probate court and could add legal fees and significant time before your estate is distributed, trusts stand alone and are executed without the delays of probate court. Depending on the type, a trust could shield assets from taxes, resulting in a larger distribution of wealth. Moreover, a trust is a private document – whereas a will becomes a court document and part of a public record, a trust remains confidential.
Creating a trust preserves your assets for future use or until a beneficiary reaches a certain age or milestone. Many types of trusts are available, depending on the size and value of the estate:
- Revocable trust
- Irrevocable trust
- Asset protection trust
- Charitable trust
- Special needs trust
- Generation-skipping trust
Estate Plans: Beyond Assets
Estate plans encompass wills, trusts and other documents that protect your assets as well as rights when you may be unable to communicate them. While this certainly covers money and property, certain other documents also refer to health care, end-of-life wishes, and caring for dependents or loved ones with special needs. A comprehensive estate plan may also contain instructions about the distribution of responsibilities in business.
In addition to a will and trusts, an estate plan may include:
- Advance health directives
- Powers of attorney
- Living will
- Distribution plans of retirement, pension and health benefits
Business Succession Plans
Entrepreneurs and especially family-owned businesses must consider developing a business succession plan. Nearly every business owner is apprehensive or uncertain about handing off a company to another person, but there comes a time when every owner must choose a successor, and provide legal pathways for that person to assume control quickly and efficiently. Ensure your interests and visions of the company remain consistent throughout and beyond the transfer of power with an airtight business succession plan. As business attorneys, Maldonado Diaz understand the ins and outs of operating a company as well as the nuance and delicacy of interpersonal and interfamilial relationships within a business.
Estate planning is a necessary step for anyone interested in protecting assets. Consider how to distribute wealth, property and estate, and meet with estate planning law firm Maldonado Diaz to make your wishes known and legally binding. Contact us today.