Lauer Law, P.A. provides clients with estate planning strategies that allow the smooth and efficient legal transfer of assets after death.
With our broad experience in federal and state tax law, Lauer Law, P.A. can ensure that each client’s taxes are minimized, assets well managed, and estate distributed according to their wishes. Even though we represent some of the wealthiest families in the country, our practice is not limited to high-net-worth clients. We offer estate planning services to all clients who need assistance in managing their assets and planning for incapacity.
During the estate planning process, we review each client’s assets, discuss the client’s family dynamics, and discuss the client’s objectives in the event of his or her incapacity and at his or her death. Using our expertise in the areas of trusts, estates, and taxes, we suggest the types of documents and the provisions in those documents that would achieve the client’s goals. Further, we discuss strategies for reregistering assets to implement the estate plan.
Documents we frequently draft for our estate planning clients include:
Wills: A will governs the distribution of any property held in a client’s individual name at death. Property not held in a Trust and property that does not have a beneficiary designation (such as a POD or TOD designation) is subject to probate. The will provides for the administration of those assets through the probate process, and directs disposition of whatever property remains after the payment of debts, expenses of administration, and estate taxes.
Revocable Trusts: A Revocable Trust is a tool that can be used to avoid subjecting property to probate. It is useful for holding property for a beneficiary who may not be able to manage the property on their own. It can also be useful in cases where there are complex family dynamics. A revocable trust may be changed or revoked by the client at any point during a client’s lifetime. A revocable trust may also be used to avoid the necessity of a guardianship for a client in the event that the client can no longer manage his or her property.
Durable Power of Attorney: Under a durable power of attorney, a client can appoint someone to hand matters affecting his or her property. An “attorney-in-fact” is given the power to manage a client’s property on his or her behalf. Having an attorney-in-fact may prevent or limit the need for a guardianship.
Designation of a Health Care Surrogate: A designation of health care surrogate allows a client to designate a person to receive medical information and provide direction to a physician regarding the client’s medical care when a client is unable to do so.
Living Will: A living will is a statutory form, used to state a client’s wishes regarding the use of life-sustaining measures if the client has no chance of recovery.
Documents we may also suggest for our clients, depending on their situation include:
Declaration Naming Preneed Guardian: Under a declaration naming preneed guardian, while a client has capacity, a client nominates someone as their guardian in case they need a court-appointed guardian. Although the Declaration is not binding on the court, it creates a rebuttable presumption that the person named will be appointed. Suggesting a preference for a guardian in this manner to the court, a client’s family may avoid some of the administrative burden within a court proceeding to determine a guardian
Authorization and Direction of Legally Authorized Person to Make Funeral Arrangements and Dispose of Bodily Remains: A personal representative named under a will has no authority to direct disposition of bodily or cremated remains. The Authorization allows clients to state their wishes regarding funeral arrangements and disposition of their bodily remains. It also allows clients to designate someone to make decisions related to these matters where the client did not specify their intentions. This is useful to avoid fighting among family members when there are complicated family situations. For more information, please read our Article (http://www.verolaw.org/Articles/authorized-person.pdf).
Securing financial health for your family’s future
Lauer Law’s estate planning expertise secures the financial health of our clients and their families by ensuring that our client’s assets are preserved, enhanced, and protected during our client’s lifetime, and distributed according to our client’s intentions after death. We determine the most appropriate methods to register our client’s assets, outline provisions for their disbursement, and provide individual counsel to devise a solution that best suits each client.
Estate Planning for Loved Ones
Family and business matters can be complex and draining for individuals and families. Lauer Law can provide guidance and create an estate plan to help in complicated situations such as:
Mom and dad are getting older, and they haven’t planned for their estate. How do I protect the family’s financial interests?
My younger sister is unemployed, lives with our parents, and is spending their money. How can I protect what they’ve worked so hard to earn?
My father’s girlfriend is 30 years younger, and I’m afraid she is using him for his money. What can I do to protect his assets?
Lauer Law, P.A. also assists families exploring wealth-management options. Our collaborative estate planning process is one that can help clients accomplish the following:
Develop a financial statement and comprehensive overview of client’s assets
Determine estate planning objectives, which may include minimizing taxes, providing trusts for family members, and establishing charitable beneficiaries
Recommend the best way to register assets, including the use of:
Powers of Attorney
Advise of changes in legislation that could affect a client’s estate plan. (See our "Newsletters", which are mailed to clients periodically when changes in the law could potentially effect a client’s estate plan)