Estate Planning, Probate & Trusts
any people avoid proper estate planning because they do not like thinking about death. However, an effective estate plan can avoid many potential problems for loved ones if the unexpected occurs.
Estate planning generally is the process by which people develop a plan that ensures that the assets they have worked so hard to accumulate during their lifetime are protected and distributed to those they love. If an individual does not develop an estate plan, Nebraska law prescribes the method by which that person's assets will pass upon death. This distribution method is standardized and therefore often does not meet the specific needs or goals of an individual. To ensure that a person's property is distributed as they desire upon their death, an estate plan is necessary.
There are many advantages to creating your own estate plan. First, it allows you to have control over the way your hard-earned assets will be distributed upon your death. In addition, proper estate planning can be used to reduce the federal and Nebraska tax burden imposed upon your estate and heirs at your death. Finally, it can be used to make appropriate plans in the event that you or a loved one becomes incapacitated. Through this process, a client's mind is eased knowing they have adequately planned for their future.
There are various tools which can be utilized in planning Nebraska estates to achieve the client's specific goals. Wills and trusts are the most commonly known methods used in estate planning. A will is a formally executed written document, typically witnessed by others, in which a person makes a disposition of his or her property. A trust creates a fiduciary relationship whereby a third party holds property for the right and benefit of another. Wills and trusts can be used separately or combined to meet the specific needs of a client.
Although well known, wills and trusts are not the only estate planning tools available in Nebraska. There are many other tools and specific types of trusts that can be used in estate planning, such as:
- Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Designation of Guardian
- Living Wills
- Living Trusts
- Life Insurance Trusts
- Educational Trusts
- Bypass Trusts
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Business Succession and Insurance Planning
We at Parker, Grossart, Bahensky, Beucke, Bowman & Symington, L.L.P. have numerous years of experience planning Nebraska estates and dealing with wills, trust, and probate of estates. Our attorneys assist clients by determining their specific estate planning needs and coordinating the various estate planning tools to ensure that those needs are effectively met. We represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in all Nebraska courts and prepare all documents and filings required under Nebraska law and procedures, including necessary estate tax returns. Our Nebraska attorneys take special care during these difficult times to represent families with caring and compassionate counsel, guidance and directions.