Estate Planning

Understanding Estate Planning

Introduction to Estate Planning

At Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey, PLLC, we've been guiding individuals and families through the complexities of estate planning with compassion and expertise since the 1980s. Our journey in assisting clients in New Hampshire and Massachusetts has taught us that each client's needs are unique, and a personalized approach to estate planning is not just beneficial but necessary.

Understanding Estate Planning

Estate planning is more than just drafting a will; it involves a comprehensive strategy to protect your assets, care for your loved ones, and express your wishes upon your incapacity or death. It is a critical process that ensures your hard-earned assets are distributed as you wish, without the delays and expenses of probate court.

Why Estate Planning Is Important

Many people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning, thinking it's only for the wealthy. However, estate planning is crucial for anyone who wishes to make decisions regarding their assets, health care, and guardianship issues. It's about making things easier for your loved ones during emotionally difficult times.

Key Components of Estate Planning

Estate planning involves several key components, each serving a unique purpose but working together to achieve your overall objectives. Understanding these elements helps demystify the process and illustrates the importance of comprehensive planning.

Personal Insights on Estate Planning

Throughout my time with Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey, PLLC, I've witnessed firsthand the peace of mind that comes with having a solid estate plan in place. For instance, a client once shared how creating a healthcare directive spared their family from making painful decisions during a medical crisis. It's moments like these that underscore the value of our work in estate planning.

Common Challenges in Estate Planning

One of the biggest challenges in estate planning is confronting the reality of one's mortality. However, this essential step ensures that your wishes are respected, and your loved ones are cared for. Another challenge is the ever-changing landscape of laws that could affect your estate. This is where our expertise comes in, providing up-to-date advice that aligns with current legislation.

The Estate Planning Process

The process of estate planning with Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey, PLLC is tailored to each client's unique situation. Our approach ensures that all aspects of your estate are considered, from the valuation of assets to the designation of beneficiaries and guardians.

Initial Consultation

Our journey begins with a deep dive into your personal and financial circumstances. This initial step is crucial in understanding your estate planning goals and addressing any concerns you may have.

Drafting Essential Documents

Based on our discussions, we draft the necessary documents that outline your wishes clearly and concisely. This step may include the creation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives, tailored to your specific needs.

Review and Adjustment

Estate planning is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. As your life circumstances change, so too should your estate plan. We are committed to reviewing and adjusting your plan as needed, ensuring it always reflects your current wishes and legal requirements.

Unique Solutions in Estate Planning

Our goal at Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey, PLLC is not just to create an estate plan but to provide solutions that reflect the uniqueness of each client. Whether it's incorporating charitable giving, planning for a special needs child, or navigating complex family dynamics, we bring a personal touch to each case, backed by decades of legal expertise.

Estate planning is a compassionate act of preparing for the future, not just for oneself but for one's loved ones. At Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping you navigate this process with ease and confidence. Our experienced team is here to ensure that your estate planning needs are met with the utmost care and professionalism. Let us help you secure your legacy and protect what matters most.

The Estate Planning Process

What are the steps in the estate planning process?

At Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey, PLLC, we guide our clients through a comprehensive process, tailored to their unique needs. The steps include: understanding your estate, setting objectives, identifying key assets and liabilities, choosing the right tools (wills, trusts, directives), nominating guardians and executors, reviewing and updating your plan regularly, and finally, ensuring proper communication of your plan to relevant parties. Each step is a building block towards a secure future, safeguarding your legacy and your loved ones' well-being.

What are the most important estate planning documents?

The cornerstone documents in estate planning include a will, which outlines your asset distribution wishes; trusts, for managing assets on behalf of beneficiaries; a power of attorney, authorizing someone to handle your affairs if you're incapacitated; and a healthcare directive, guiding your medical care preferences. These documents form a robust foundation, ensuring your estate is managed according to your wishes, offering peace of mind to you and clarity to your loved ones.

What is the difference between will and estate planning?

While a will is a crucial document directing the distribution of your assets posthumously, estate planning is a broader strategy encompassing not just asset distribution but also incapacity planning, guardianship considerations, and tax implications. Estate planning offers a 360-degree view of your future wishes, including care for your health, financial affairs, and legacy. Think of a will as a single, vital component of the comprehensive approach that is estate planning.

What is the best definition of estate planning?

Estate planning is a forward-looking process designed to manage and preserve assets during one's lifetime and ensure their distribution according to the individual's wishes after passing. It involves legal structures like wills, trusts, and healthcare directives to safeguard one's wishes regarding their health, guardianship of dependents, and asset distribution, ultimately providing peace of mind and financial security for loved ones.

How do changing laws impact estate planning?

The landscape of estate planning is ever-evolving, with laws that can significantly affect your plan's effectiveness. Changes in tax codes, property laws, or probate regulations necessitate periodic review of your estate plan to ensure compliance and optimization of benefits. Our role at Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey, PLLC encompasses staying abreast of these changes, advising you proactively to adapt your estate plan, ensuring it remains robust and reflective of current legal standards, maximizing protection and benefits for your estate and beneficiaries.

What are common mistakes to avoid in estate planning?

Common pitfalls include procrastination, underestimating the need for a comprehensive estate plan, neglecting to update documents after life changes, and failing to properly title assets or designate beneficiaries. Such oversights can lead to unintended outcomes, disputes, or additional expenses. Engaging in regular reviews and updates with a legal professional ensures your estate plan accurately reflects your current wishes and circumstances, avoiding these common errors.

What role do trusts play in estate planning?

Trusts are versatile tools serving various purposes, from avoiding probate to minimizing taxes and protecting assets for future generations or charitable intentions. Depending on your goals, trusts can offer control over asset distribution, privacy from public record, and management of assets for beneficiaries who may not be ready or able to handle a direct inheritance. By incorporating trusts into your estate plan, you can achieve specific objectives tailored to your family's unique needs, providing a level of customization and security that other estate planning tools may not offer.


Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey, PLLC
Estate Planning
45 Bay Street
Manchester NH 03104 US

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