Estate planning is necessary, and operates in conjunction with a client’s retirement and long term care planning. Estate planning documents plan for incapacity, and the transfer of wealth upon one’s death. A comprehensive estate plan consists of several documents including a living trust, pour over will, durable power of attorney, health care directive or medical power of attorney and a living will (right to refuse life support) document. Many people overlook the need to plan for incapacity. If someone becomes incapacitated it can be complicated from a legal perspective. If someone becomes incapacitated and that person does not have a durable power of attorney or health care directive, then court involvement becomes necessary. Court involvement necessarily involves legal expense, time delays and an added level of complexity.
Furthermore, when people fail to set up an estate plan, their estates inevitably must go through a probate proceeding. Probate is the legal procedure used to determine the decedent’s (deceased person) heirs at law, to ensure the decedent’s creditors are satisfied and transfer assets to the intended beneficiaries under a will, if the decedent died testate (with a will) or to the heirs at law if the decedent died intestate (without a will).
Estate planning is also an opportunity for clients to engage in sound estate tax planning. The current state of the federal estate tax laws are such that some estates will be required to unnecessarily pay a federal estate tax, without additional tax planning. An experienced estate-planning attorney will incorporate sound tax planning principles into a comprehensive estate plan.
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"I have known and worked with Shari Mattingly-Bevan since 1999. She originally assisted my parents with their estate plan. When my parents passed away, the administration of their trust went incredibly smooth with Shari advising me. Shari has also assisted me with my estate plan and my brother’s special needs trust. I could not ask for a more reliable, honest and responsive person to assist me in these areas of my life."
- A. Lombardo
"Working with Shari Mattingly-Bevan over the past ten years has been such a joy! Not only is Shari knowledgeable in legal matters, she is informed about tax and financial matters. Mrs. Bevan has been a valuable resource to me and has assisted several members of my family. I feel very secure knowing that Shari Mattingly-Bevan has helped me to strategize and plan for a comfortable future."