At Borteck & Czapek, P.C., we recognize that the estate planning process may seem overwhelming at first; however, it is extremely important and has the potential to affect your financial security and legacy for generations. We have a deep understanding of not only the legal complexities involved in the estate planning process, but the emotional issues as well. As such, we strive to make the process easier on our clients, providing professional guidance, support and recommendations in every aspect of the estate planning process. We strive to provide you with an estate plan that meets you goals, satisfies your financial needs, and ensures your precise wishes are memorialized for implementation after your death.
Wealth Transfer and Disability Planning
At its core, the goal of an estate plan is to provide for the orderly and efficient disposition of assets at death as well as prepare for situations involving disability. Accordingly, we recommend that our clients have (at a minimum) the following documents:
- Powers of Attorney
- Advanced Directives for Healthcare (i.e., Living Wills and Designation of Health Care Proxy)
- HIPAA Authorizations
These documents are the foundation of a proper estate plan and we work closely with you in their preparation.
Tax Planning and Asset Protection
Given the uncertainty surrounding the federal and state estate tax, alternative planning techniques have become popular – and indeed necessary – for many high net worth individuals. The attorneys of Borteck & Czapek, P.C. are well-known and often sought out for assistance in the preparation of more complex planning techniques. Some of the more sophisticated tax planning techniques we offer are:
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)
- Lifetime Gift Trusts (e.g. Education Trusts, Dynasty Trusts, etc.)
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)
- Qualified Personal Resident Trusts (QPRTs)
- Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDITs)
- Family Partnerships and/or Limited Liability Companies
- Asset Protection Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
Many clients are surprised to learn that they are candidates for these types of wealth preservation and asset protection techniques. As such, we consult with all of our clients as to the potential need for any one or more of the above arrangements.
Estate Plan Review
Because individuals, family dynamics and financial circumstances change over time, we recommend our clients review their estate plan regularly to ensure that it continues to meet their current needs. Reviewing your estate plan will not only give you peace of mind, but will also alert you to any other changes that may need to be addressed.
We are frequently asked by clients: “How often should I review my estate plan?” Although there is no hard-and-fast rule about when you should review your estate plan, the following suggestions may be of some help:
- You should review your estate plan immediately after a major life event, such as:
- a change in your marital status or that of your children or grandchildren;
- an addition to your family through birth, adoption, or marriage (stepchildren);
- the death, illness or incapacity of your spouse or a family member; and/or
- the dependency upon you by a spouse, parent, or other family member.
- You should review your estate plan when you experience a change in your financial situation, such as:
- There has been a substantial change in the value of your assets or in your plans for their use;
- You have received (or will soon receive) a sizable inheritance or gift;
- Your income level or requirements have changed; and/or
- You have retired or are thinking about retiring in the near future.
Absent any major life event or financial change, you should review your estate plan every three to five years.
Charitable Foundations and Trusts
Borteck & Czapek, P.C. provides a full range of services in connection with charitable planning and gifting, including the creation and maintenance of charitable foundations and trusts. We also handle all aspects of the IRS application for charitable-exempt status.
In the context of estate planning, Borteck & Czapek, P.C. also provides legal services in the context of tax and business planning for entrepreneurs, professionals and closely-held businesses. We counsel clients on optimal business organization and operations, exit planning, buy-sell agreements, recapitalizations, daily operations and corporate governance.
Borteck & Czapek, P.C. also prepares premarital agreements in the context of estate planning.
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If you are interested in implementing an estate plan, or reviewing/changing your current estate plan, please contact our office to make an appointment.