We Set Wills, Trusts & Power of Attorneys
Our Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys Will Help You through the Challenging Estate Planning Process.
Structuring Of Your Estate Plan
One of the most important financial areas for both individuals and businesses is estate planning. The estate planning attorneys at Cuttone & Associates PC understand how to integrate the essential steps of personal and family planning, along with existing business and financial interests. This can be a sensitive area for family members, and we know how to balance the need for transition planning with natural emotional considerations.
Through the use of wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, you can manage your assets so that your family is taken care of and taxes are minimized. Estate planning involves the entire family, and if there are business ownership interests, those must also be considered. Real estate is often one of the more significant family assets, and we understand how to structure your estate plan to fairly allocate those resources among your heirs.
Areas of Estate Planning Practice:
Wills and Trusts:
Simple wills and trusts are the primary way for an individual to express his or her intention for distribution of assets after death. While wills are more traditional, the use of trusts can give more flexibility to an estate plan and allow for seamless change and revision. Trusts are especially suited to situations involving an ongoing business or multiple real estate holdings that must be managed or distributed.
Business and Real Estate Agreements:
Many business and real estate management agreements contain provisions for succession and continual operation if the founder passes away. These agreements can be helpful in ensuring the uninterrupted quality of work, as well as specifying management and ownership changes. Examples of this include buy-sell agreements, business valuation, and division of operational aspects.
Financial Powers of Attorney:
In the event of incapacity, successor trustees must be named for administering both financial and business affairs. By deciding who is best suited to this role at the outset, you can protect your assets and heirs from mismanagement or self-dealing. This is similar to the role of an executor or successor trustee after death.
Will Contests and Litigation:
Heirs will sometimes disagree on the distribution in a will, especially if there are significant assets at stake. In the event of a will contest, we will represent your estate and present evidence of your final wishes. A major part of defending a will contest is making sure that your estate plan fulfills all legal requirements in the state. Our background in litigation gives us the expertise to defend any will contest by your heirs or other parties.
The Estate Plan as a Business Succession Tool
Too often, estate planning is approached separately from one’s business interests, and heirs are left to decide management and control on their own. It is best if the estate plan utilizes trust and management agreements that give guidance and structure to the business when the founder or owner is gone.
We can discuss with you the options for distributing both business and real estate assets in the way that fits your unique family situation. Sometimes heirs have no interest in the assets and will seek to sell them to third parties or investors. Your estate plan should specify how to handle this kind of situation and what the decision making process will entail. As a result, you will be able to protect the interests of all your heirs and ensure that they will have choices around ownership and participation.