Estate, Trust and Wealth Transfer Planning

Personalized estate plans for individuals and families to achieve lifetime and post-mortem goals, including generational transfers of wealth, tax-saving strategies, and end-of-life planning.

At The Bowden Law Firm, we take a two-pronged approach to estate planning, with each prong being of equal importance. We listen very carefully to our clients' goals and objectives for their estate planning, and then provide advice on how to accomplish these goals and objectives in an estate plan that addresses specific family and financial concerns in a tax efficient manner. The first prong is to transfer assets in the manner that the client intends, with the person or institution whom the client wishes to serve as executor or trustee of his or her estate clearly designated in the client's Will or Trust. The second prong is to be certain that the client fully understands the tax consequences of his or her preferred plan and understands the options that are available to minimize the amount of taxes that may be owed by the client's estate at death and at the later death of his or her surviving spouse and descendants. Depending upon the nature of the client's assets, the estate plan may require the creation of new legal entities, such as trusts, partnerships or limited liability companies, or the establishment of a succession plan for the family business. For our younger clients who are embarking on development of their estate plans, the designation of guardians and planning for the financial welfare of minor children, with, for example, life insurance trusts, are important protections in the case of a parent's untimely death.

Creating an estate plan often involves consideration of gifts already made by the client, and discussion of benefits that may be achieved by making additional lifetime gifts, either to reduce the size of the estate or to facilitate the individual or charitable beneficiary's use of the client's assets. It is not uncommon for estate plans to include consideration of inherited trust assets and the exercise of any powers of appointment that the client may possess. If the client owns real property in multiple states or if the client has had more than one marriage, issues may be presented that require special consideration and review. As part of the client's estate plan, we recommend execution of a financial Power of Attorney and an Advance Directive for Health Care. Review and revisions to an established estate plan will be needed from time to time as tax laws or individual circumstances change.

Attorneys at The Bowden Law Firm are also available to assist in the administration of the estates of persons who died intestate without a Last Will and Testament. Please refer to our Practice Area "Probate, Estate and Trust Administration" for additional information.