An Estate Planning Attorney in DC helps people prepare for their deaths and to manage their assets. They also help families with incapacity planning and the drafting of health care directives and powers of attorney.
A reputable firm that focuses on estate planning for LGBTQ+ clients in Washington DC. They also assist with asset protection, probate and establishing trusts.
A will is a legal document that outlines how your assets (personal property, money, real estate) are to be distributed upon your death. A will can be amended or revoked at any time prior to your death.
It can include a list of beneficiaries who are to receive various items from your estate, a designation of an executor (charged with making sure the wishes in your will are carried out), and final arrangements instructions. It can also establish trusts. Trusts are often used to prevent heirs from being forced into a nursing home by inheriting too much money at once, or to protect assets from creditors.
A will can also provide authority to delegate decision-making to trusted individuals during any period of incapacity or disability. This includes a durable power of attorney for financial matters and a medical power of attorney or health care proxy to name someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
While Trusts may conjure up images of contentious family meetings in oak-paneled attorneys’ offices – and yes, sibling rivalries on par with the Roy family of Succession fame – these legal instruments can help families preserve their wealth across generations. Depending on the goals of each client, a trust can be an excellent tool to minimize taxes and pass assets to heirs without going through probate.
In addition to minimizing estate taxes, Trusts can also protect assets from creditors and other potential claims that could arise after death or when an individual becomes incapacitated. In addition, they can be used to hold assets for specific purposes, such as a child’s education or starting a business.
We carefully analyze each client’s situation and recommend the type of Trust that is best suited to their needs. The cost of a Trust depends on the amount of assets being transferred, and any special provisions made within the trust.
Power of Attorney
Powers of Attorney are one of the most important elements in any estate plan. They give another person, called an Agent, the power to make financial and medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated. It is essential that your POA be tailored to your unique situation and that you carefully select someone to act as your Agent. It is also wise to list a back-up Agent or two in case your first choice is not available for any reason.
Our firm can help you draft a durable power of attorney that will last even if you become incapacitated. We can also provide you with a special needs planning document to ensure that your loved ones are cared for after your death.
We can also help you reduce your tax burden through the use of trusts and other estate planning techniques. In addition, we can assist you with probate court proceedings, which are necessary to transfer property after your death.
Health Care Directives
Health care directives allow you to tell medical professionals and family members what your wishes are in the event that you cannot communicate them yourself. They consist of several types of documents, depending on your state. Two of the most common are living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care.
Living wills (also known as declarations in some states) are a form that lets you say what kinds of life-sustaining treatments or procedures you do want or do not want to receive in the event of a terminal illness, permanent unconsciousness, or coma. It also allows you to name a proxy who will make health decisions on your behalf.
A health care proxy is someone you appoint in a written document that grants them decision-making power for any period of time when you are unable to make your own medical decisions. This allows you to avoid complicated conservatorship or guardianship proceedings and puts the responsibility in the hands of trusted family members.