At Fowler St. Clair we focus on building trust. This is what the estate planning attorneys at Fowler St. Clair focus on every day.
We know that building wealth is complicated. We also understand that managing and protecting wealth is even harder.
Making wealth endure requires a knowledgeable and experienced team with a solid understanding of finance, law, family, and relationships.
Our estate planning attorneys can help you make a solid plan for the future.
Planning Ahead to Help Loved Ones
We help you plan ahead for the protection and distribution of your assets so that your family can continue just as you have planned.
Helping your Family
When a loved one dies, relatives can often find themselves at odds with each other.
There are many decisions to make:
- Funeral plans
- Assets to manage and distribute
- Guardianship of children
- Guardianship of pets
- many more
Very few people enjoy the prospect or process of planning for their own death.
Only the most discerning and forward-thinking individuals do this work. And they do it while they are in good health and of sound mind.
Why People Wait
Unfortunately, more than 60% of Americans don’t have a will. Most people simply don’t like thinking about their mortality.
There are several other reasons for not having a will:
- I just haven’t gotten around to making a will
- Making a will just isn’t a high priority
- I don’t have enough assets to need a will
- I’m young, I’ll have plenty time to do it later when life slows down
We encourage people of all ages to consider the benefits of starting now to plan for their future by creating a will and starting an estate plan.
Disadvantages of Not Having a Will or Trust
Dying “intestate” or without a will puts your family and your assets at risk.
Without a plan, the laws of the state of your residence will determine the distribution of your assets, which do not always reflect your exact wishes.
Generally, if you are a married person with children, your spouse and then your children will inherit all that you have.
If you are single and have no children, the intestate succession laws of the state will make asset determinations. The state will decide which relatives will inherit your property and assets.
If you do not have a living spouse but have minor children, state law will determine the guardianship of your children.
But probably the greatest disadvantage for everyone involved is that your estate will go through the process of probate.
Probate is a lengthy and costly process where the courts review, evaluate and decide what happens to your hard-earned assets.
The Advantages of a Trust
If you have worked hard and accumulate assets of more than $250,000 you may want to consider establishing a trust.
Trusts are a plan to:
- Protect your assets while you are alive
- Minimize estate taxes
- Minimize probate after your death
- Give you greater control over when and how your assets will be distributed
- Allows you to dictate exactly which of your loved ones and friends will receive an inheritance
This is where having a team experienced in estate planning can be so helpful.
Protecting Assets for the Future
By building lasting relationships, Fowler St. Clair is more than just a firm that helps clients manage wealth. We help manage peace of mind.
We become our clients’ travel guides on the arduous journey of estate planning, helping with:
- Trust formation
- Asset assignment
- Health care directives
- Powers of Attorney
Whether simply requiring a will to protect assets for the next generation or creating a comprehensive estate plan, Fowler St. Clair is here to win your trust in partnering with you on such a lifelong journey. Following are more details about the services and benefits we provide our estate planning clients.
Planning Your Estate
At Fowler St. Clair our basic estate planning package includes the following items:
Revocable Living Trust
A Revocable Living Trust offers many elements that can give you a peace of mind.
- Eliminates probate court entanglements
- Allows you to make plans to transfer your property without the state being involved
- Eliminates any questions of guardianship for your minor children
- Provides for a testamentary trust, which controls the distribution of assets for the better benefit of the child
- Identifies who you want to manage and distribute your assets according to the terms of your trust
- Transfers your home and other properties into the trust
- Protects the asset
- Makes the transfer to your heirs seamless
In the event that an asset is overlooked from being included in the trust, this tool ensures the asset is distributed according to your wishes. This ensures that all property is transferred to the chosen beneficiaries.
Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will
- Identifies your choice of health care agent and any alternates
- Grants them the power to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are deemed incompetent
- Gives directions to your agent and physicians through the Living Will regarding the continuation of life support systems
- Outlines your wishes in regards to funeral arrangements, organ donation, and autopsy requirements
General Durable Power of Attorney
This grants your specified agent the ability to make important financial decisions on your behalf if you are incapable of doing so on your own.
Other Estate Planning Issues
Beyond our basic estate-planning package we can assist you with these more complex issues:
- Business Succession Plans utilizing Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Operating Agreements and Trusts which can be streamline the passage of business assets.
- LLC Membership Interest Purchase and Sale Agreements
- Creation of LLC for any real estate assets to shield the trust from any potential liability associated with those assets.
As you can see, at Fowler St. Clair we know how to help our clients preserve and protect their assets.
We partner with clients so that their legacy continues.
We help clients ensure their wealth benefits family and business associates for generations to come.
We help build trust and the future.
Our Approach To Estate Planning
Building lasting relationships based on trust, mutual respect and dedication to clients sets Fowler St. Clair apart.
Leveraging a focused team of experienced attorneys, Fowler St. Clair has the skills, tenacity and fortitude necessary to overcome the legal obstacles of today’s marketplace without losing sight of our clients’ best interests.
Whether it’s taking a client out to lunch or just stopping by to check in, Fowler St. Clair goes the extra mile to build strong partnerships. Fowler St. Clair establishes a solid foundation upon which all future efforts and results are built.
Committed to providing results through outstanding legal service along with stellar customer service, Fowler St. Clair’s approach is one that clients rely upon for their success.