Estate planning is a very personal endeavor. Without an estate plan, someone else makes the decisions for you after you are gone. At Citron & Deutsch, we have a comprehensive understanding of estate planning law and can assist you in developing a plan that best accommodates your family’s future needs. Our services include drafting wills and trusts, buy/sell agreements, as well as advantageous tax planning, asset protection planning, and the formation of Family Limited Liability Partnerships.

Our estate plan includes but is not limited to: a Trust, a certification of trust, pour over will, advanced health care directive, HIPPA release, a personal property memorandum and a Springing Power of Attorney. Here at Citron & Deutsch, we customized your estate plan to your needs and wants. We understand that no two estate plans are the same and that everyone’s needs are different. Which is why we like to ensure that our clients’ needs are heard and we personally take our time to show them the best options for their estate plan. During the final signing, we take our time to go over the entire plan with you and ensure that all documents are as you wish.

The issue of estate planning, preparing or updating a will and, perhaps, supporting trusts, is awkward for many people. It means thinking about what happens when one is no longer here. All too often, people avoid addressing the issue until the last minute.

We would like to remind you of some of the major reasons for doing something now about your personal estate plan.

  1. Holding property in joint tenancy may not allow for a step-up in basis for the surviving joint tenant. This means that the survivor’s capital gain taxes on resale will be higher.
  2. A hand-written will often fails to include simple provisions which are necessary in order to prevent problems and save cost to your heirs.
  3. There are many tax saving devices which may be implemented as a part of an estate plan. These include creating lifetime trusts to remove assets from your estate by gift, drafting trusts which take advantage of tax exclusions at your passing, and numerous other tax beneficial tools available under today’s laws.
  4. Your will should appoint an executor to handle your estate, a guardian for your minor children, and a trustee if there are assets to be managed and funds to disburse over time.
  5. If you are an owner of a business or are involved in any partnerships, a properly drafted estate plan will avoid much heartache for your partners and your family.
  6. In appropriate circumstances, a living trust may be created in order to transfer assets without the costs and time involved in probate.

Most importantly, with a will, you will control the method and amounts of distribution of your assets. We have drafted over 3,000 estate plans in the past thirty years. Not only do we create your Estate Plan, we also go over options to transfer your assets to your Trust.

Most people are aware that one of the major benefits of establishing a trust is that a trust avoids the expense and delay of probate. Unfortunately, too many people establish a trust, and then defeat one of the major reasons for having the trust by failing to transfer all of their assets into the trust. Probate proceedings can only be avoided if all of the assets of the deceased have been placed in the trust. For this reason, when meeting with your estate planning professional it is important to list all of your assets (both real property and personal property), and how title to such assets is held. Then, appropriate documentation to transfer the asset into the trust can be prepared.

If you are like most people, you believe a simple Will is all that is needed to transfer your property to your loved ones in the event of your death. While it is in fact one way to accomplish this goal, it often times is not the best way or most cost-efficient approach.

A decedent with only a Will leaves behind an estate in danger of being “probated”. A probate is a judicial procedure whereby the Executor, the person you nominate to handle your post-death affairs, submits your Will to the court for processing. Thereafter, the court oversees the administration and distribution of the decedent’s estate, which becomes public record. The entire process can take approximately one year to complete (longer in most cases) and cost the estate three to five percent of its value in attorneys’ and administrative fees. Furthermore, beneficiaries do not receive their gifts or share of the estate until the probate is closed..

Most importantly, review your estate plan to make sure it is what you really want to happen after you are gone. This perspective changes over time as you see your children grow and set their own financial values.