Estate Planning & Probate

Your estate is more than the money you’ve accumulated over time.

Your estate includes your loved ones, your philanthropic interests and your business endeavors.

For Purpose Law is a firm that represents individuals and families – with attorneys who understand your estate includes much more than just money.  We have the understanding, knowledge, experience and expertise to ensure your entire estate is protected.

Estate Planning Practice

Many people mistakenly believe that estate planning is just for the wealthy, or for those with big “estates,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth – in fact, every individual who has reached the age of eighteen years should have some type of estate plan in place, regardless of asset level.

Estate planning is not merely about who gets what when you’re gone – rather, estate planning involves creating, implementing, and maintaining a plan to ensure that you are taken care of if you are ever alive but incapacitated and to make sure that your spouse and children are taken care of if you are deceased.

We charge a very reasonable flat-fee for most estate plans. The fee is based on your individual circumstances and will be affected by the property you own, the complexity of your family situation, and the complexity of the management and distribution terms of your estate plan.

We offer many estate planning services, some on a fixed fee basis, and we are pleased to provide the following documents/services:

  • Simple Wills & Pour Over Wills
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Standalone Retirement Trusts
  • Pet Trusts
  • Financial Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Advance Health Care Directives/Health Care Powers of Attorney
  • HIPAA Authorizations
  • Transfer of Real Property to Revocable Living Trusts
  • Instructions and Tools to Fund Revocable Living Trusts and Implement Estate Plans
  • Review of Existing Estate Planning Documents
  • Amendment of Existing Estate Plans
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate

Schedule a Free 20-Minute Consultation to have a conversation with an experienced estate planning attorney – and start the process to protect your estate.

Probate Practice

Don’t know what “probate” means. You’re not alone. Technically, probate means “proving the will,” and now is a broadly used term to describe the process in which an estate is settled and distributed.

The person whose job it is to settle the estate usually doesn’t have much choice as to which property transfer method to use, whether a formal probate or a simpler method to transfer property at death. This is because it all depends on how much (or little) planning the decedent did before death to avoid probate.

Generally, settling an estate includes:

  • Determining what property is owned by the decedent;
  • Paying the decedent’s debts and taxes;
  • Distributing property that is left to the appropriate beneficiaries.

The probate estate is all of the decedent’s property that has to go through the probate process – usually less than the total amount of property that the decedent owned. Some assets may already have a named beneficiary. As a general rule, the following types of property don’t need to be probated:

  • Property held in joint tenancy;
  • Life insurance with a named beneficiary other than the decedent’s estate;
  • Pension plan distributions;
  • Property held in living trusts;
  • Assets held in a bank account that has a named beneficiary;
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) or other retirement plans that have named beneficiaries;
  • Community property or separate property that passes outright to a surviving spouse or domestic partner;
  • Real estate transferred with a beneficiary deed.

At the end of the day, the decedent either planned to avoid probate – or didn’t, and there is nothing that can be done to change that once death has occurred. If you need assistance with the probate process (to help to prevent it before death!) schedule a Free 20-Minute Consultation with one of our Estate and Probate attorneys.

Estate Planning & Probate Practice Group