Wills and Trusts:
If you don't draw a will, the state will take your money. You have probably heard this warning and it is a myth. If you die without a will, your family will still receive your assets, just according to the state's idea of how the typical will-writer passes assets. Your idea on passing assets and the state's idea may differ, which justifies the message behind the warning. Plan now the disposition of your assets; it will reduce the stress that your family experiences later, after you die.
The person to consult about the disposition of your assets is Scott. He learned this area of the law from his father and has taken it to a whole new level. He will ask you to describe in general terms your assets and liabilities. He will then talk to you about your objectives – how you want your assets disposed of during your life and after death and why. Once you have identified your assets and your objectives, he will recommend one or more tools that will accomplish what you want.
For example, you may be a young couple with minor children and want to aid your spouse and, if she or he does not survive you, your children but not until they reach a certain age. For you Scott may recommend reciprocal wills, leaving everything to each other and then to the children in trust. The beneficiaries on some assets, such as life insurance, may have to change to carry out this plan. Again, Scott can work with you.
If you are older, your concerns may be different. You may be worried about the financial impact of long term care or the bite of estate taxes (a real concern only if your estate is over $2 million) or you may have adult children who are spendthrifts or you may be charitably-inclined. For each objective there are several tools, from gifts to a spouse and annual gifts to others of less than $13,000 to specially-crafted trusts to gift annuities. Scott can help you select the best tools for you.