The discomfort of issues relating to death and dying cause many to delay estate planning and the difficult questions which arise from it. Many others avoid the issue because they believe their estates are not large enough for asset protection strategies. Factors such as these mean more than half of people in Wyoming lack even the most basic of wills. A comprehensive estate plan often includes a Durable Power of Attorney for financial planning, an Advanced Health Care Directive for medical guidance, and the use of various trusts to pass wealth onto the next generation without incurring unnecessary taxes. Reach out for assistance crafting an asset protection strategy with our estate planning attorney today.
Probate is required for estates exceeding $200,000, but can be avoided through the use of revocable living trusts, medicaid trusts, certain asset types such as tenancy by the entirety, and through other estate planning arrangements. The subject matter is at times unpleasant, but planning now helps minimize painful difficulties in the future. A good first step in considering what should be accomplished with an estate plan would be to discuss your estate with loved ones and with trusted family advisers.
Initiating this discussion regarding their interests and preferences helps make clear which actions to pursue or avoid. For example, not giving unwanted property or responsibility to a certain individual. These conversations will help add to your list of critical issues that should be addressed and goals you would like to accomplish. One common goal being to diminish the economic toll of long-term health care.
Wyoming's legislature has worked hard to draft competitive trust laws. The result is most estate plans in Wyoming are trust based. Contact us today and our attorney can craft an estate plan using a Wyoming Trust for you.
Probate is a court-supervised process for transferring assets after you pass away. Probate is usually necessary in Wyoming to transfer assets held by a decedent in his or her sole name at death worth more than $200,000. The process has several drawbacks primarily relating to delays, expenses and privacy. There exist several alternative techniques such as revocable trusts. Learn more about the probate process here.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows someone to act for you. They quit being effective, though, when someone becomes incapacitated. In such cases a Durable Power of Attorney is needed. The Financial planning raises the concern of ensuring effective management of property and financial affairs after you become incapable of managing them. Durable Powers of Attorney provide a flexible and low-cost option for such situations. Lifetime financial planning tackles ensuring effective management of property and financial affairs after you become unable to do so.
Important events affecting a person's finances shouldn't be stopped because the person is unconscious or lacks the mental or physical capability of acting on his or her own. See inside for further information on Durable and Medical Power of Attorney forms.
Revocable Trusts are a popular tool and function as the foundation for most estate plans. ( Follow here for how Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts differ).
The term "living will" became a household word in 2005 due to events surrounding the acrimonious dispute in Florida over Terri Schiavo. Modern medicine makes such extraordinary situations possible and some may wish to place limits on medical care if they feel the burdens outweigh possible benefits. During such situations establishing a person's wishes is frequently impossible when that person loses the capacity to express themselves.
Despite all this, a majority of Americans have failed to provide their family members such guidance. This lack of guidance means family will have an unnecessarily difficult time predicting their loved ones' medical wishes. Completing an Advanced Directive ahead of time helps minimize undue stress during already trying times. Being healthy is no excuse not to begin this important process.
Medicaid planning stems from the understanding end-of-life and long-term health care can be prohibitively expensive for even middle class families. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program which provides means based assistance for those who qualify. Standards differ by state, but generally factor in the income and assets available to pay for medical expenses. There exist strategies for legally making assets inaccessible through the estate planning process. This is generally done via an irrevocable medicaid trust which is a type of Wyoming asset protection truust.
Do you have minor children? If so, then considering planning ahead. Find our guide to choosing and approaching a suitable guardian.
Estate Planning & LLCs
Your LLC is a valuable component of an overall estate plan. State and federal gift and estate tax exemptions are changing, and to keep your plan current an annual estate plan review is advisable. Learn more on our page about Wyoming LLCs.
Your LLC contemplates gifts of LLC units to other family members or to trusts that have been established for their benefit. If you did not sign an annual retainer agreement, make sure you contact your attorney and/or CPA to assist you in accomplishing and properly documenting annual gifts.
Periodically an appraisal of the assets in your LLC and valuation of the LLC itself is necessary. For gifts to be properly documented, appraisals of assets and valuations of LLC interests must be done at the time gifts are made. Updating must also be done in the event of the death of a member.
Don't Procrastinate On Estate Planing
Elder law is vitally important and we take this responsibility seriously. We have seen the damage caused by ignoring the many nuances and pitfalls which make elder law unique. We cannot sufficiently stress the importance of choosing a competent advisor to protect your interests. Following this vain, we are proud members of the Wyoming Elder Law Counsel. This distinction sets us apart from other elder law attorneys. Elderly law often requires advance planning due to legal waiting periods before tax strategies can be fully implemented. It is best to deal with the topic sooner, rather than later, so everything is in place when you, a family member, or other loved one passes away. Passing away without a will can lead to unnecessary anguish and taxes during an already difficult time. You should always consult an attorney when creating your estate plan.