Estate Planning, Trusts, Wills

The Bowles Rice Private Client Services attorneys have significant experience in estate planning and administration. An estate plan aims to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible for the intended beneficiaries, and flexibility for the individual prior to death. We can offer advice on estate and gift taxation, charitable giving, income taxation of estates and trusts, and probate and trust law, including unique trusts such as supplemental or special needs trusts.  Consider Bowles Rice if you are searching for legal counsel who can serve as a trusted advisor, able to assist you with important decisions including:

  • Management and/or protection of your property or personal assets for the maximum benefit to your loved ones
  • Choice of a guardian or conservator for you or a loved one
  • Creation of a trust fund to provide for a disabled child or loved one after your death
  • Preparation of a will, revocable living trust or preparation of advance directives (such as a living will, medical power of attorney, and a financial power of attorney) that ensure your wishes are followed for medical treatment and/or end-of-life choices, and the protection of your assets and your care should you be unable to do so yourself

Estate Planning
Estate planning is a process. It involves people – family, other individuals and, in many cases, charitable organizations. It also involves assets (property) and the various forms of ownership and title that those assets may take. Whether an estate is large or small, our Team members believe it is important to designate someone to manage assets and make health care and personal care decisions, if you ever become unable to do so for yourself.

A trust is a document established by one individual (the settlor) for the benefit of another individual (the beneficiary) often managed by a third individual (the trustee).  The trust can then control the investment, management and distributions of the assets for the beneficiary.  The need for a trust often depends on a family’s situation and circumstances.  Is there a spouse or child who is not very good with money?  Is a child in a rocky marriage that may lead to a divorce?  Is there a grandchild with special needs?  Is a person receiving certain government benefits that may be disqualified if he or she receives property? A trust may be right for one person and not for another.  Not everyone’s situation warrants a trust, but trusts have many uses and are very helpful for some people.  A will is often described as a document that says who gets what.  A trust can determine who gets what, and when.

Wills are the most basic of estate planning documents, providing the deceased person’s instructions to a court on the distribution of money and property. Everyone who is concerned with how his or her estate will be divided should, at the very least, have a current and valid will.

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