Your estate plan is a very personal matter. At Matthews & Jones, LLP, we explain the entire process to you so you can make informed decisions. Just as importantly, we will always listen carefully to your wishes before advising you on the specific tools that are available to implement your plan. It is important that you minimize the court’s involvement and tax consequences to lessen the burden your death or disability will have on your loved ones. Although many clients are hesitant to engage an estate planning attorney due to concerns about cost, invariably the expense of an estate plan is cost effective relative to the consequence of an intestate probate proceeding or inadequate tax planning
We advise you on the best ownership entity for your business during your lifetime, and develop a plan to either continue your business or sell it after your passing through corporate redemptions, cross purchase agreements, ESOPs or corporate or partnership reorganizations. We help you plan for any special family needs (such as providing care for a disabled child, meeting the needs of a second marriage or a pending divorce, or passing the family business to some but not all of the children).
Asset Protection and Wealth Preservation
We evaluate the structure and ownership of your assets to optimally allocate business interests to involved family members, reduce administration expenses and your liability exposure.
Income, Gift, Estate, and Generation-Skipping Tax Planning
To make sure your estate plan addresses all tax issues, we analyze your potential estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes, and determine your liquidity needs to provide for your family and to pay taxes. We further address the feasibility of a gifting program and review your pension plans, profit sharing plans, IRAs, other retirement plans and deferred benefits to coordinate your estate plan with your designated beneficiaries of your life insurance and retirement benefits.
Estate Probate and Trust Administration
Our representation in the administration of estates includes representing the interests of the estate or a beneficiary in contests or disputes, advising family members, beneficiaries and fiduciaries regarding their rights and obligations, ensuring the property of the estate or trust is preserved, and helping to identify, preserve, and value these assets.
We will prepare your probate court filings and handle the court proceedings for testate or intestate estate matters. We will assist you with post mortem tax issues, prepare and settle fiduciary accounts, and deal with all aspects of any business which is an asset of the estate, including the negotiation of buy-sell agreements, the transfer of real estate or corporate tax and other related issues. We can also arrange the distribution of assets or establish trusts or foundations in accordance with the estate documentation.
Guardianship and Conservatorships
Most people only need a will providing for an independent administration of your estate (to minimize the probate process and expense), and a disability plan to advance directives (to limit or eliminate the necessity of a guardianship proceeding.) We will assist you in determining who should act as the personal representative, trustee, or guardian.
We analyze tax and non tax issues to optimize your charitable gifting plan. We prepare the necessary documents to make the gift, whether it is an outright or a more complicated gift such as a charitable remainder annuity trust, a charitable lead trust, or a private foundation.
We help our clients achieve maximum savings in income, estate, gift, and generation-skipping taxes. We handle the traditional aspects of personal estate planning, such as the preparation of revocable trusts, wills, and irrevocable trusts. In addition, we work closely with our clients to plan for the succession of family businesses and wealth among generations in a tax efficient manner. We analyze and implement the latest techniques to reduce estate and gift taxes and preserve our clients’ wealth, including limited liability business entities such as family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATS), and charitable remainder and lead trusts.
We monitor the latest developments in both tax and non-tax laws affecting our clients. We handle the negotiation and preparation of marital agreements and provide asset protection planning for individuals. We assist clients with generational business succession planning and the preservation of family real estate holdings.
Trust, Estate, and Guardianship Litigation
We provide representation in contested estate or trust matters involving contests of wills and trusts, disputes over the interpretation of estate plan documents and their modification or reformation, creditor matters, elective share proceedings, estate and trust accountings, determination of homestead, fiduciary removal and compensation.
Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, and Trusts
We prepare wills, trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, irrevocable trusts, health care directives and other documents that are necessary to implement the plan you decide upon, and we will review these documents with you so that you understand how your wishes will be carried out.
To get in touch with our professionals regarding your situation, call us at (850) 290-4733 or fill out the form below.