Estate Planning & Probate
Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Estate Planning & Probate Lawyers
Estate planning is a necessary part of life. Whether someone is growing older and perhaps contending with illness, or they are young and they simply want to protect their family just in case, they will start the estate planning process.
An individual will examine their assets, which may include homes, cars, boats, collectible items, money in checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, retirement plans, life insurance policies and health savings accounts. They will take note of how much they have and get some of their possessions appraised so they have a good idea of how much all their assets are worth.
They will then determine where they want their assets to go should they die or become incapacitated – which is usually to a spouse or children. If they have a business, that will be included in those plans as well.
An individual needs to think about how they can support and protect their family after they are gone or unable to help because they are incapacitated. If they have minor children, they will also name who will take care of their children, whether it’s a spouse or another family member who will serve as their guardian. They will also decide who will become power of attorney and make decisions on their behalf, as well as name beneficiaries for their insurance and retirement accounts.
The truth is that everybody needs to do estate planning, even if they are young and healthy or they don’t have high-value assets. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. In order to ensure your family’s wellbeing after you’re gone or you don’t have any control because you are incapacitated, you need to think about the future and plan in advance.
If all of this sounds complicated and intimidating, don’t fret. You don’t need to spend time learning the law or months and months finding the right paperwork in order to complete the estate planning process.
Instead, you can work with an experienced estate planning attorney. With an estate planning lawyer on your side, you can navigate this process with ease and have peace of mind that your family will be safeguarded after you’re no longer with them.
At Adams Law, we can help you with the estate planning process and make it as easy to understand and simple as possible.
Why Do You Need an Estate Planning and Probate Attorney?
It’s a good idea to hire an estate planning attorney for a number of different reasons. Here at Adams Law, our experienced estate planning lawyers can help you:
- Avoid paying costly taxes that will have a negative impact on how much your family and beneficiaries receive from your estate.
- Navigate all the legalities you need to adhere to when you do estate planning.
- File all the forms at the right times and in the correct places.
- Ensure all your documents are fully legal and compliant with the law.
Above all, our estate planning lawyers are here for you when you are dealing with emotional and sensitive situations. You may have to process the fact that a loved one is dying. Or, you and your family members may be in conflict over who is receiving what upon a loved one’s death.
Emotions can run very high during these times and things can quickly become contentious. Unfortunately, poor estate planning can tear families apart. Having loose ends and unanswered questions makes a loved one’s death that much more difficult.
Along with taking care of the legal and clerical needs, our estate planning attorneys can help mediate if need be so that an issue is not dragged out and family members need to go to court. After a loved one passes, it’s time for families to get together and mourn a loss with each other’s support. It’s not a time for a legal battle.
But if it does get to that point, we’re here for you, too. We have dealt with messy situations and can be there as a neutral third party to help resolve issues as soon as possible so everyone can move on with their lives. We will rationally take you through the necessary steps and we don’t drag out legal battles.
Our Adams Law attorneys are here to lend a hand during you and your family’s time of need, whether you are planning for the future or dealing with the aftermath of a loved one’s passing. We have extensive experience and we’ve seen it all, so we are well prepared to serve you.
Our Estate Planning and Probate Practice Areas
You can come to Adams Law with estate planning needs in any of the following areas:
Power of attorney documents
We assist with power of attorney documents, which will give one person the power to make decisions for another person, like an individual who is incapacitated or has passed away.
Your will details how your assets are going to be distributed following your death, as well as who they will be distributed to, like your children or spouse. It will also include information on who will care for your minor children, if you have any. We can help you create a will as well as modify it as needed.
Living wills for healthcare directives and appointing healthcare surrogates
When someone is faced with a serious illness, they may not be able to make medical decisions on their own. If they are in a coma or cannot otherwise talk or comprehend what’s going on around them, they’re gong to need a loved one to step in and make medical decisions. That designated loved one is called a healthcare surrogate. Determining who your healthcare surrogate is going to be ahead of time will help solve conflicts that could arise in advance and ensure your healthcare wishes are fulfilled.
Living trusts and testamentary trusts for asset protection
You will create a living trust while you’re still alive, or a testamentary trust will be created based on your will. With a testamentary trust, we can help you avoid probate, but with a living trust, you will have to go through probate. Trusts can help you dole out money in chunks instead of giving it to a beneficiary in a windfall. This is especially crucial if one of your beneficiaries does not have a good financial track record or they have special needs and require funding for their care over a lifetime.
Strategic tax planning
You don’t want to have to pay enormous taxes on your estate, which will cut into what your beneficiaries will receive. We can also let you know about tax shelter trusts, which will allow a surviving spouse to give assets to children without paying any estate taxes. Whichever way you decide to do it, we can guide you on the methods to pay as little taxes as possible.
Counseling on trust administration
Our estate planning attorneys at Adams Law will be there for you to manage your trust and help you determine how you should go about managing it.
Planning for blended families and individuals with special needs or small children
We can help you and your family if you have stepchildren, children who are minors or children with special needs. We can advise you on what to put in your will and how to create your estate plan so that your children will be protected. You will have to name guardians for your children as well as designate how funds will be distributed to your children.
Working with Adams Law
Adams Law is unique; we are a full-service firm with the capabilities and experience of larger firms. When you get in touch with us, you can tell us what you need and hope to get out of your estate planning process, whether it includes wills, trusts, health directives or other documents that will shield your assets and protect your family while you are incapacitated or after you’ve passed away.
We have more than 125 years of experience providing guidance and services to our clients, and we are sensitive to individuals’ and families needs. We know you want to provide the best life possible for your loved ones, and we can help you fulfill that meaningful goal.
Here at Adams Law, we always put our clients first and are here for them when they need us the most. At any time, you can contact us with questions or concerns and we’ll figure out the solution that makes sense for you and your loved ones.
If you are in need of an estate planning attorney and you are interested in working with Adams Law, you can contact us at (859) 394-6200 or [email protected]. We’re located in Covington. We also provide legal services to all of Northern Kentucky as well as Greater Cincinnati area. Reach out today to get started and help protect your future – as well as your family’s.