Estates and Trusts

You have worked hard to earn, save, and preserve your estate and assets, whether it is $200,000, two million, or twenty million. Your estate is about your security, your family, and your legacy. Our job is to put your estate in legal condition to operate smoothly for you and your loved ones, undisturbed by illness, incapacity, death, probate, delays, publicity, excessive taxes, relatives, or out-of-control legal fees. We take this job very seriously, and will deal with you and your family as if we were working with our own family.

We review hundreds of estate plans each year and we are shocked to see that other qualified professionals are giving inadequate and overpriced estate plans. We call these plans “milking machines” for any of the following common reasons:

  1. The plan is set up to ensure that your estate will go through probate, resulting in a large cash drain and delay for your loved ones;
  2. The plan is set up to ensure that your loved ones have to return to that law firm in order to implement the plan once you have passed, because it is so inappropriately cumbersome that no one but the attorney who drafted it can make any sense out of it; or
  3. The plan is set up for a banking or corporate trustee where such is not really justified, and the result is a large financial drain on your estate, cumbersome decision-making, and unnecessary delays in progress of estate matters.

Our goal in helping you plan your estate is to make things as clear as possible for those you may leave behind so that your legacy can be achieved in the way you would like. Effective estate planning will accomplish each of the following goals:

  1. Minimize estate taxes
  2. Eliminate probate
  3. Keep your estate private
  4. Distribute your assets according to your wishes
  5. Protect your spouse
  6. Protect your kids or other loved ones
  7. Eliminate the need for court involvement
  8. Greatly minimize future legal fees
  9. Undercut friction between your loved ones over division of your assets
  10. Appoint a legal representative for you in the event you become incapacitated
  11. Anticipate and provide for medical decisions for your care which would otherwise be made by your relatives, a hospital committee, or a judge.

MOST OF ALL: When Dickens Law completes an estate plan, it includes everything you could possibly need. That way, when a client passes, estate assets automatically flow to loved ones and/or philanthropies in the manner chosen by the client, without undue burden or legal fees.