Protecting Your Future And Your Legacy
Estate planning is not just for the ultra-wealthy or retirees, though they definitely benefit from planning. New parents may want to secure a guardian for their child in case something happens to them. An uncle might want to provide for a nephew with special needs. A business owner may want to create a succession plan. All these people need an estate plan, and they all have needs unique to them and their families.
I am estate planning and elder law attorney Matthew T. Stillman, J.D., LL.M. I have over 25 years of experience helping clients in Connecticut and New York with a wide variety of legal issues, but my firm, Stillman & Associates, LLC, is especially well-known in the area for estate planning and elder law services. Whatever your legal goals, I have the skills and knowledge to help you reach them.
Creating A Comprehensive Plan
Estate planning is about more than just deciding who will receive your assets after you die. A comprehensive plan looks out for your interests as you age and looks after your family when you are gone. Documents that may help you do that could include:
- Wills – As the basis of a plan, your will can nominate your executor, name guardians for minor children and distribute your probate assets after your death.
- Trusts – There a many types of trusts that can serve myriad purposes, from looking after a child with special needs to providing money for a charity. The most popular type of trust allows you to set it up and control it while you are alive, then name a successor trustee to take over after you die. The benefit is that the assets in your trust will not go through probate.
- Power of attorney – As you age, you may want to enlist the help of a trusted friend or loved one to make financial decisions on your behalf if your physical health or cognitive function declines. This document allows them to do that and avoid a costly and time-consuming conservatorship process.
- Advance medical directives and living will – These documents work together to let people know your wishes for medical care when you cannot articulate them yourself.
- Business succession plan – If you own a business, you need to think about what will happen to it if something happens to you.
These are just a few of the available tools for estate planning. To determine which ones will work best for you, I will review all your assets, including real estate, as well as any beneficiary forms you have for investment accounts or insurance plans. I look forward to examining the possibilities with you and creating a comprehensive plan that meets all of your needs.
An Approach Based On You
There are many ways to approach an estate plan, from tried-and-true methods that have been around for decades to new and innovative ideas. After presenting you with all your options, I will allow you to make the final decisions based on your comfort level and your goals for the future.