Estate Planning and Administration
One planning phase of life that is set aside in all families due to the emotions involved, is the death of a parent and the administration of the estate. If not pre-planned the effects of probate costs and estate taxes can be a shock to all other previous financial goals. We prevent this shock by assessing the value of the estate at all times in our personal planning and monitoring services when we prepare your personal financial statements.
However, upon death family members will need guidance on what to do and when to do it. What trusts are needed and who will administer these trusts? How much will the family need to be involved and who makes certain the desires of the estate owners are honored? How and who will manage and distribute the wealth through the estate settlement process?
Upon the death of one parent, their assets, as part of the overall estate may be set aside, or sheltered, in what is called a Credit Shelter Trust. This trust has to be managed, reported and taxed. Who will be the trustee? The surviving spouse? A child or multiple children? I strongly recommend co-trusteeship utilizing family members when possible, an attorney and my firm. The more eyes involved in the affairs the more security to the surviving spouse and intended beneficiaries.
Because the time involved in planning and administering an estate is unknown, particularily due to the size and extent of the assets of the estate, the fee for estate planning and administration are based on a rate of $150 per hour, billed nearest the nearest 1/4 hour. Other fees such as travel time and out of pocket fees will apply.