A Customized Estate Plan at Competitive Rates
Everyone has an estate, which is all the property, real and/or personal, we each own at the time of our death – whether real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance, personal property, and/or an ownership interest in a business. Therefore, your estate will be all the property, both real and personal, owned by you at the time of your death. Regardless of the size of your estate, whether you have a smaller estate or substantial assets that require a more sophisticated plan, we will provide you with straight-forward estate planning options and advice. Our specially-tailored estate plans are designed to meet each client’s individual needs since every family situation is different.
What Our Estate Planning Services Include
In deciding the type of estate plan that’s best for you, we’ll analyze options for greater assets protection, and if appropriate discuss the need for any credit shelter provisions, the establishment of certain types of business entities, or the creation of products or accounts that can offer you protection. We’ll also discuss the best ways to avoid or minimize the probate process for each of your assets, whether a home and/or other real property, ownership interest in a business, and/or other personal property including tangible and intangible property such as bank or retirement accounts. Your plan will be attorney-drafted A well-drafted estate plan should include clear instructions for the distribution of your assets in accordance with the instructions you’ve provided. It should also include credit shelter provisions if appropriate, and a conversation ,ation on how to avoid or minimize the probate process for each asset you own at the time of your death owned by the decedent following the decedent’s death, such as the death, whether a home or other real property, ownership interest in a business, or other personal property – tangible or intangible including bank or retirement accounts.
Protection and Peace of Mind
Not having the right documents at a time of need can be unsettling and quite costly. During our initial consultation, we’ll listen to your concerns and learn about your assets and family structure, and provide you with estate planning advice and guidance for your particular circumstances, including ways you can protect certain assets and methods of managing your assets for the benefit of your loved ones (even after you’re gone). We’ll also discuss ways to reduce the costs and legal fees of guardianship proceedings during your lifetime, and avoid or minimize the need for your estate to be probated after you die, thereby saving time and money. Once your original documents are complete and executed, you’ll be able to rest assured knowing your estate plan is providing you greater peace of mind and protection.
Business Entity Formation as part of Estate Planning
As part of a client’s estate planning, we analyze whether greater protection can be achieved through certain types of entity formation. While we represent clients in forming different types of business entities, LLCs are the most common type we form because of the additional layer of creditor protection it offers clients who own investment real estate and other business interests. Here’s why: When a person is the shareholder of an S or C Corporation for example, the shareholder’s shares can be attached by a judgment creditor and all of the shareholder’s voting rights can potentially become the creditors’ voting rights, resulting in a complete elimination of the shareholder’s interest in the corporation. In the case of an S or C Corporation creditor, if the value of the shareholders shares is insufficient to satisfy the judgment obtained by a creditor, the creditor can satisfy the remaining portion from any other asset – personal or business – of the shareholder. On the other hand, when a person is a member of an LLC and owns the majority of the LLC’s units, a creditor obtains what is called a ‘charging lien’ against the member, but will have to wait in line until all of the LLC’s expenses have been paid, including the member’(s’) salary(ies) which are protected. If there is any additional net income left over, it may be used to satisfy the charging lien, provided that all the previously obtained charging liens of prior creditors have been satisfied. However, because a charging lien holder stands in the place of an assignee, the creditor will have no voting rights and will be unable to wind down the LLC (unlike an S or C Corp creditor), and they have the ‘privilege’ of having to pay their proportionate share of any income taxes that are owed by the member. To maximize the protection offered by an LLC, it is best to split the units of ownership of each LLC and create a multi-member LLC. Even if one of the members holds the overwhelming majority interest (i.e. 98%), and the other holds what may seem like an insignificant minority interest (i.e. 2%), this is sufficient to ensure much greater protection because it removes the question of whether the sole LLC member and the individual member as an individual, are one and the same. In addition, to adequately protect an unmarried member’s units in an LLC, it is imperative that he/she obtain a Prenuptial Agreement prior to marrying or remarrying in order to protect his/her interest in the LLC.
Attorney Drafting and Personal Attention
Attorney Isabel Betancourt-Levey will personally meet with you to listen to your wishes and analyze your legal needs in order to provide you with knowledgeable up-to-date options, and offer you an estate plan that is specially-tailored to ensure it will offer you and your family greater security in the event of death or disability. All of your estate planning documents will be drafted to ensure compliance with state and federal laws, and because each individual and every family is different, Attorney Isabel Betancourt-Levey will deliver experienced professional services that address your individual circumstances. When it comes to estate planning, we understand that no two individuals or families are alike. We also understand that each family’s dynamics and structures present different needs. Whether your family is a traditional family, a blended family, a multi-generational family, an LGBT family, or an unmarried couple family, we will take a personal approach and let you know about the most sensible, up to date legal options available to meet your estate planning needs.
An estate plan is an investment that will significantly ease the handling of your affairs during your lifetime, as well as the distribution of your assets to your loved ones in accordance with your instructions. To take the first step and learn how we can serve you, call us today for an initial complimentary consultation. Call 786.262.5105 for an initial complimentary consultation to meet with Attorney Isabel Betancourt-Levey and discuss your estate planning options. You may also reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or see the ‘Contact Our Firm’ section on the right side of this page.