This article is the first in a series of nine articles explaining the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan. The next eight articles in this series will each examine one of the Eight Goals of a Good Estate Plan in detail and explain the tools we use to accomplish that goal.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with a road map of the goals and the tools we use for each.
I have broken the Eight Goals into two groups.
The first group consists of four General Goals that apply to nearly every client. The second group consists of four Specialized Goals that may be appropriate depending on a client’s individual circumstances.
The four General Goals and the tools that we use to accomplish them are:
1. Appointment of fiduciaries and distribution of assets;
Tools: Revocable Living Trust, Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney & Financial Power of Attorney
2. Probate avoidance upon death;
Tools: Revocable Living Trust
3. Guardianship avoidance upon mental incompetency;
Tools: Healthcare Power of Attorney & Financial Power of Attorney
4. End of Life Instruction.
Tools: Living Will
In addition to these four primary goals, clients in special circumstances may also seek to accomplish four particular goals that are specific to their circumstances. These four Specialized Goals are:
5. Estate tax avoidance;
Tools: Revocable Living AB Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Grantor Retained Income Trusts, Grantor Retained Unitrusts & Generation Skipping Trusts
6. Ensuring that a loved one with special needs is provided for without preventing him or her from receiving social security payments;
Tools: Third-party Supplemental Needs Trusts & Self-Settled Supplemental Needs Trusts
7. Protecting assets from creditors; and
Tools: Irrevocable Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, LLCs & Corporations
8. Preventing assets from interfering with eligibility for Medicaid and transferring assets to loved ones at death free of Medicaid liens.
Tools: Irrevocable Trusts & Life Estate Deeds
You can click on any of the links above for an in-depth discussion of each of these goals and the tools used to accomplish them.
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O’Flaherty Law is based in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, and Naperville, Illinois. Our team has expertise in many areas of law including but not limited to bankruptcy law, business & corporate representation, civil litigation, criminal defense, estate planning, divorce & family law, immigration; probate, guardianship & elder law; and real estate law. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (630)324-6666.
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O'Flaherty Law has experience in legal services in the following legal practice areas: estate planning and probate; featuring wills and trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, estate tax avoidance and probate practice; real estate law; featuring commercial and residential sales and leases, foreclosure defense, short sales, REO closings and consent foreclosures, mechanic's liens and landlord and tenant disputes; family law; featuring divorces, child custody, child support, paternity, adoption and orders of protection; criminal law; featuring DUI, traffic and criminal defense; business representation; featuring entity selection, incorporation and s-corp election, bylaws and operating agreements, annual reports, annual meetings of shareholders, employment agreements, handbooks and warning and termination letters, business contracts, independent contractor agreements, trademarks and copyrights, regulation and licensing compliance and dissolution and mergers; business and personal bankruptcy; featuring Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 cases; litigation; featuring commercial contract and tort law, employment and labor law, personal injury and collections; and immigration law.
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