It is said there are but two certainties in life, death and taxes, and it’s not a coincidence the two pair up when you shuck your mortal coil. If you do not take steps now, the assets you leave behind for others could end up in the wrong hands or being significantly reduced in value due to estate taxes. Our Salt Lake City lawyers at Huntsman | Lofgran | Walton | Easter pllc provide various estate planning strategies and tools that help you maximize control over your estate and minimize tax depletion.
A will is essential to ensure that your heirs derive some benefit from your estate. A will not only lets you name the executor for your estate, and who gets what and how much, but it also specifies contingent beneficiaries — secondary heirs who are next in line in the event that your primary heirs pass before you do.
Trusts are more elegant creations that give you greater control over the assets you leave behind. Once you consign funds to a trust, they are removed from your estate — which means that the funds are not going to be tied up in probate, recorded in the public record or subjected to an estate tax when you pass. Trusts can be created for any purpose — as an endowment for your grandchildren or favorite nonprofit, or for the special needs of a loved one.
Our legal team at Huntsman | Lofgran | Walton | Easter pllc helps you prepare for the possibility of convalescence or incapacitation. Through powers of attorney, living wills and adult guardianship’s, we help you ensure that you receive the care you need, should you ever become incapacitated, disabled for the long term or permanently infirm.
Almost as onerous as estate taxes is the process of probate, the period when the state goes about determining that all your estate’s creditors are satisfied before your will can be executed and the estate distributions can be made to your heirs. Probate is a highly technical process and can take two to three years to complete. Your will executor (or administrator, if no executor has been named and the state must appoint someone) is responsible for locating and contacting creditors and heirs, and he or she must defend the estate if someone cries foul over your will. Sometimes this claim comes from a would-be beneficiary who argues that the testator made an oversight in omitting their name or that the will was coerced.
Our attorneys have helped many estate executors and administrators meet important probate deadlines and satisfy other state requirements. We also have counseled trustees on how best to meet their fiduciary responsibilities, and our legal team has defended them in disputes with beneficiaries. We can also serve as a trustee if needed.
Whether you require a simple will or more involved estate planning tools, our legal team at Huntsman | Lofgran | Walton | Easter pllc helps you work through various scenarios to arrive at a plan that best suits your unique needs. Call us today at 801-474-0031 or contact us online to arrange for a free initial consultation or to get on the mailing list for the next client estate planning seminar we present. Put our knowledge and experience to work for you.