Basic Estate Planning | Wills & Trusts

Wills and trusts lay the foundation for successful estate planning. The term “estate” simply refers to one’s personal assets. Whether large or small, an estate plan is an important part of your financial security.  

 A will is a testamentary document that allows you to decide how your assets and possessions will be distributed upon your passing. A trust is an essential tool for creatively passing on wealth while retaining control over how the assets are distributed, minimizing tax consequences, and protecting your assets. 

Unlike a will only, a trust will help to avoid the probate court system in your state, where without a trust in place, your assets will be subject to the probate laws. The probate court process can take years, which means enormous costs (including taxes and fees) to be paid by your estate. A properly executed estate plan includes Powers of Attorney, Advanced Health Care Directives, and other related documents. 

There are many different varieties and purposes for trusts.  We have experience handling all trust issues, including:

  • Revocable trusts (living trust)

  • Irrevocable trusts

  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts

  • Domestic asset protection trusts

  • Intentionally defective grantor trust

  • Realty trusts (nominee trust)

  • Grantor retained annuity trust vs. sale to intentionally defective grantor trust

  • Qualified personal residence trust vs. home security trust

  • Special needs trusts

  • Charitable trusts


Having the proper legal documents to appoint guardians for your children and decide on critical health care issues is an important part of your entire estate plan. Everyone should have a living trust in place, created and updated by a qualified attorney.