Plitz Estate Planning focuses its practice solely on Estate Planning and Administration. There are no distractions with divorce law, or personal injury, or any other type of law. This means that you will get the best advice possible to meet your estate planning needs.
The Plitz Planning Process helps develop the relationship needed to create your personalized plan. And it starts with the FREE Initial Prospect Interview. Our services are typically on a flat fee basis – because of the personalized approach, exact fees for your plan will only be known after the Initial Prospect Interview. We only work with people and families that care – care about their families, care about doing things right, care about today and tomorrow.
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is the center piece of most properly planned estates. A trust is created when a trustor (also known as grantor or settlor) gives assets to a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiary of the trust. This is true for any and all types of trust. A revocable trust means that the terms of trust can be changed at any time. Also, with the vast majority of revocable trusts, you fill all three roles (trustor, trustee, and beneficiary). When a revocable trust is properly and fully funded, it will avoid probate, enabling your family and loved ones to administer your estate without the bureaucracy and oversight of the State’s probate court system.
Further, a revocable trust is effective as soon as it is signed – this means that if you became incapacitated (mentally, like with Alzheimer’s, or physically), the person you have selected to manager your affairs will step in as trustee. This removes the need to have a court appoint a guardian and/or conservator – once again, removing the State’s court system from your family and affairs.
Not every revocable trust is the same. The language that goes into each trust is important to ensure your goals are met, your values preserved, and ultimately, your Legacy stays intact. By working through the Plitz Planning Process, you will have the peace of mind knowing that your goals will be met, and your family will be taken care of.
A last will, sometimes referred to as a last will and testament, is a legal document that provides instructions to a judge as to what happens to your estate after you pass away. The last will nominates your personal representative (you may know the role more familiarly as the executor or executrix), who is charged with going through the probate process and ultimately distributing the assets of your estate in accordance with the distributions you set-forth in your last will. A last will is only effective upon your death, meaning that if you became incapacitated, there is no built-in decision makers – a court appointed guardian and/or conservator may be needed.
Most people think that when you plan your estate with a last will, their family will not have to go through the State’s probate system. This is just not true. A last will go through probate.
If you have a minor child (under the age of 18), a last will is a critical piece to your estate plan. The last will is where you, as the parent, nominate the guardian of your minor child if you were to pass away. Every single parent should have a last will.
When planning with a revocable trust, the last will is important to be a safety net for any asset not titled into your trust’s name. This type of last will is known as a “Pour Over Will”. A pour over will goes through probate, but after the probate is complete, the asset that was not already titled in your trust will be poured into (also known as retitled) the trust – allowing the trust, and all of its protections and provisions, to distribute to your loved ones.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney gives authority to the person you select (known as an agent) to handle your finances for any asset or debt that is in your name. In most cases, the power of attorney needs to be durable – ensuring that it will continue to work, even if you become incapacitated. Keep in mind that a power of attorney is given, not taken.
When someone passes away, there is a certain process that needs to be followed. When that person planned their estate with a revocable living trust, that process is called trust administration. Simply put, trust administration starts with the gathering of assets, then the assets are valued, proper notices are given, accountings are created, and then the distributions in accordance with the terms of the trust are completed. Though it reads “simply put”, not every administration is simple. Having an experienced attorney helping you along the way ensures that there are no missteps along the way and there is a reduction in the tensions between family members Even if we did not write the trust, we can help you with the trust administration.
Probate, or probate court, is the State’s system to transfer assets from a dead person to living people. Whether you have a last will or have no plan at all, if you pass away, you are sending your family through the court system. Like with most things, probate is not always a bad thing, and in fact, at times it is needed or just really simple. But overall, the probate process introduces a level of risk – risk of “something” going wrong that can take more time or consume more money. And the biggest risk when you are in probate is that someone contests the proceedings. Unfortunately, Plitz Estate Planning does not handle contested matters.
However, if you are looking for advice and guidance to navigate through the probate process, we can help you with that.
Family Support and Protection Program
The Family Support and Protection Program is designed to allow you to get the level of service you desire to provide you with the peace of mind you deserve.