You may think estate planning is only for the elderly and infirm, but it is not. Estate planning is something to think about and prepare for early on, not just for when you reach the later stages of your life. In fact, each milestone within your life presents an opportunity to establish or revisit an estate plan accordingly. Whether it’s marriage, having children, expanding your family, buying a home, reaching retirement, or even starting a business, estate planning protects you, your loved ones, and your assets.

An estate plan does not need to be steeped in doom and gloom. Estate planning can and should be a recognition and celebration of your successes in life. Planning offers peace of mind in the case of an unforeseen event occurring while providing the opportunity to ensure your wishes are carried out.

Feniger & Uliasz can help with estate planning needs on many levels. From personal estate planning to small businesses, corporations, and limited liability companies, planning ensures a smooth transition and wealth retention when the end of life or disability occurs. Below are a few of the several areas in which our experienced professionals can help.

Family Planning

Families come in all shapes and sizes. However, some family dynamics require estate planning to ensure that their loved ones are included in the estate. Many family members fall outside the scope of a “traditional” set of circumstances covered by the law, leading to loved ones being left out of a person’s estate. A few family dynamics that may require estate planning include: 

  • Blended families
  • Divorced couples
  • Second marriages
  • Cohabitating partners
  • Stepchildren
  • Adopted or foster children

In addition, for many people, pets are also important members of the family. However, if something happens, pets are often forgotten. Estate planning for your pets guarantees they continue to receive the love and care if something were to happen to you. 

No matter your family structure, Feniger & Uliasz can help ensure you and your loved ones are cared for with careful, detailed estate planning. 

Asset Protection

The assets you have worked so hard on acquiring throughout your life are a part of your legacy. Estate planning protects and preserves your property, business, and other assets so that these assets go to your loved ones and/or to the charities that you care about. Estate planning also offers protection for your friends and family while ensuring your loved ones receive the maximum benefits from your estate. 

Depending on your goals, Feniger & Uliasz can assist you in determining which estate planning mechanisms can best protect your assets. 

Business Succession Planning 

Business succession planning focuses on increasing the probability of your business surviving upon your death, retirement, or unforeseen disability. The plan generally identifies new leaders while aligning the company’s current vision with the interests of the successors. Succession planning may also take the form of liquidation to secure financial security for the family. 

Every business situation and goal is different, which is why contacting Feniger & Uliasz is always the best starting point.

Guardianships

If you have a minor child, it is crucial to choose someone as a designated guardian if something happens to you before the child reaches legal age. If a guardian is not named, a judge will select a person that seems most appropriate to raise your child. However, this appointment may not be consistent with who you want to raise your children. Picking a guardian ensures that your children are in the hands of someone you trust and who you can be sure will act in the best interest of your children. 

Feniger & Uliasz can help you designate a guardian who will best care for your children in the way in which you would. 

Durable Powers of Attorney & Advanced Directives for Healthcare

Powers of Attorney and Advanced Directives authorize someone to handle your affairs and communicate your wishes in cases when you are unable to do so. Creating these documents is a significant life decision that ensures your dignity is preserved during events that inhibit you from making your own medical decisions while ensuring financial and legal needs are taken care of. 

Feniger & Uliasz can assist you in preparing Powers of Attorneys and Advanced Directives that reflect your wishes. 

Medicaid Planning

Long-term care is expensive. For most people, paying for care is possible until their savings and everything they built up in their life becomes exhausted. After you die, Medicaid also has the right to recover from your estate, including any remaining real estate. Further, transferring assets to qualify for Medicaid can subject a person to penalty periods during which they cannot receive benefits. 

Careful planning can help you preserve assets for your family. At Feniger & Uliasz, our professionals will help you determine whether Medicaid Planning is right for you. 

Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust is a specialized document established for those with mental or physical disabilities. This type of trust is designed to hold and protect the financial assets for the benefit of the disabled person without reducing their eligibility for assistance.

If you care for someone who qualifies for special assistance, it is time to establish a trust to protect their assets. 

Trusts

With estate planning, there is one inevitable term – trust. However, there are several types of trusts, so understanding which one is best for situations and goals can be tricky. For many people, establishing a revocable trust, which enables the person to fully control their assets during their life and ensures the transfer of their property to their loved ones, is the best method for preserving assets and avoiding the expenses associated with probate. However, under certain circumstances, an irrevocable trust may be more appropriate depending upon the person’s goals. 

To ensure your estate is situated in the best possible manner now, and upon your passing, contact the professionals at Feniger & Uliasz.

Wills

Wills are the cornerstone of an estate plan, allowing you to determine what happens to your home and your possessions, appoint a guardian for your children and name the executor of your estate. Without a will in place, your assets will be left in the hands of the legal system. This may result in loved ones being excluded from the inheritance of the estate. Naming your children, stepchildren, or charitable organizations who would otherwise be left out is just one of the many aspects one can contain within a will. 

Instead of leaving everything to someone who knows nothing about you or your wishes, a will ensures that your intentions are known and can be followed through. A will can be the entirety of your estate plan or an essential part of it, and the attorneys at Feniger and Uliasz can assist you in making that determination. 

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