Estate Planning

What is Estate Planning?

Designing how your estate will be handled after your death is Estate Planning. Not planning your estate gives the state control over your assets and children when you die or if you become incapacitated.

Estate Planning includes the following:

  • Instructions for passing your values(religion, education, hard work, etc.) in addition to your valuables;
  • Instructions for your care if you become disabled before you die;
  • Naming a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children;
  • Providing for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits;
  • Providing for loved ones who might be irresponsible with money or who may need future protection from creditors or divorce;
  • Acquiring life insurance to provide for your family at your death, disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury;
  • Providing for the transfer of your business upon your retirement, disability, or death; and

Minimizing taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees.

Estate Planning is an ongoing process, not a one-time event.  Your plan should be reviewed and updated annually as your family and financial situations (and laws) change over your lifetime.

For decades James J. Raffa, PLLC has been assisting families in planning for the future. We understand that our clients’ families are the first priority and that planning for loved ones can be stressful and confusing. We are experienced in the many issues faced when dealing with estate planning, probate and guardianships. We work closely with clients advising them on the best course to take for meeting their needs and goals. We understand that our clients want a plan that is designed to safeguard themselves and the ones they love and we take that very seriously.

A well-drafted plan provides the best assurance that your estate is managed without undue delay, stress or unnecessary expense.

Our Estate Planning services include:

  • Analysis of estate planning goals and advice on and preparation of the documents necessary to achieve those goals;
  • Discussion of health care issues and preparation of documents necessary to meet your needs;
  • Discussion of Power of Attorney (general, specific, and health care) issues and preparation of the documents necessary to meet your needs;
  • Reviewing and revising current estate planning documents as necessary after client consultation;
  • Drafting Wills, Codicils, Powers of Attorney, and Living Wills;
  • Preparation of trusts and assistance in transferring assets into those trusts, advice on trustee duties, and winding up trusts when they end;
  • Drafting of amendments to existing trusts to address changes in circumstances;
  • Preparation of prenuptial and other property agreements designed to clarify and fix property rights;
  • Assistance in all aspects of the probate process from the preparation of the initial documents through completion;
  • Representation in all manner of TEDRA (dispute) actions from simple to complex; and
  • Assistance in all aspects of the Guardianship process from initial petition through the annual reports and termination.
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