Estate Planning

At William T. Preston, P.A., the Estate Planning process starts by carefully listening to your needs then suggesting appropriate Estate Planning strategies to help you achieve your goals. If you have a child with severe disabilities, for example, we may suggest establishing a special needs trust that can provide for his or her care. A Living Trust is an appropriate solution for many clients. It can protect your assets during your life and offers fiscal and administrative advantages for the trust beneficiaries after your death. Wills and Trusts help preserve your assets for your beneficiaries, whether they are your children, other relatives or a favorite charity. After a death, William T. Preston, P.A., helps clients with probate and estate administration. We inventory and evaluate the estate, pay outstanding debts and transfer the remaining assets according to those named in the Will.

Estate planning is the arrangements of one’s financial affairs through asset ownership and legal documents to provide for one’s estate. Your Estate Planning goals might involve the desire to:

  • Provide for your own care and benefit anytime you are incapacitated, without the need for guardianship or conservatorship proceedings.
  • Protect assets against lawsuits and other claims
  • Make sure that assets are transferred after your death to your intended beneficiaries
  • Reduce or eliminate expenses and the need for court proceedings related to guardianships and probate
  • Coordinate business and retirement planning with other planning
  • Protect beneficiaries from mismanagement and from the claims of creditors and ex-spouses
  • Discourage or encourage certain types of conduct for family members

We explain in understandable terms the tools that are available to accomplish your Estate Planning goals. Unfortunately, the accomplishment of some goals may make it more difficult to accomplish

Estate planning is the art of balancing of competing objectives and the selection of Estate Planning tools that most effectively accomplish those goals. First, you want to make sure that your assets are administered and distributed as you want. Second, you want to minimize the expense and complications that can come with the administration of your estate. A "last will and testament" is the document most frequently used to direct the disposition of one's estate at death.

It is also used to designate a conservator or guardian for the testator (or person making the will) and for the testator's spouse and children. In most states, a will requires probate proceedings to be effective, and a will does little to provide for the management of one's estate during life. A will affects assets owned in the testator's name alone, and has no effect on property held in joint tenancy or on property for which there is a designated beneficiary.

We recognize that each client has specific and unique legal goals and we treat each client with the utmost respect as we assist them in administering their estates and trusts or formulating and implementing their Estate Plans. When our clients' legal needs require advice in other non-legal areas, we work closely and consult with other advisors such as accountants, financial advisors, insurance agents and bankers.

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