Estate planning provides many benefits. An estate plan can give you and your family clarity for your future. It will safeguard your assets and provide financial security for your loved ones. Should an unexpected tragedy occur, a solid estate plan ensures that your family’s well-being will not be left up to the courts to decide. Those are the advantages of the most basic estate plans. Amoruso & Amoruso LLP’s signature comprehensive estate planning service offers so much more.
Founding attorney Michael J. Amoruso holds nearly 30 years of combined experience in estate planning, elder law, and long-term care planning. Through comprehensive estate planning, he employs all the legal strategies needed to create a robust estate plan that protects your wealth and the legacy you want to leave behind.
Our firm prioritizes building lasting relationships with our clients. Estate planning is not a one-and-done deal. It is a process that evolves over time. No matter your life’s circumstances, you can count on Amoruso & Amoruso LLP to be there when you need us.
Are you wondering whether your current estate plan really works as you intended when you created it? Allow Amoruso & Amoruso LLP to give it a thorough review. Michael J. Amoruso will identify any areas that could use revisions or corrections and advise you on options for making it better based on your individual goals. Be assured that, if no changes are needed, he will tell you and you will have the peace of mind that your plan accomplishes your objectives. Contact us today to speak to a dedicated estate planning lawyer in Danbury, CT.
What’s the Importance of Having an Estate Plan?
Everyone can benefit from an estate plan, regardless of age or financial status. First, an estate plan lets you determine what will happen to your assets after your death. Your assets include everything you own, from checking and savings accounts to jewelry, pets, and valuable collections like artwork. With an estate plan, you designate who will receive those assets once you die.
If you have young children, you can use an estate plan to protect them if the worst occurs. Through estate planning, you can preserve your children’s inheritances until they are mature enough to manage them independently. You can also nominate someone to care for them if you pass away.
Finally, an estate plan can reduce the likelihood of family conflict over your wishes and preferences after you’re gone. Far too many families get fractured because of estate disputes. Creating a clear estate plan can prevent lengthy court battles over your property or intentions.
What Is Comprehensive Estate Planning?
Comprehensive estate planning is Amoruso & Amoruso LLP’s innovative solution to estate planning. It involves taking a broad view of your estate and identifying ways to maximize its value. Michael J. Amoruso can formulate an effective plan that accounts for all of life’s contingencies through long-term care planning, trusts, tax planning, conservatorships, long-term financial planning, retirement planning, and more. That way, you’re protected now, and your wishes are legally communicated.
What Makes Up Comprehensive Estate Planning?
A comprehensive estate plan can address your family’s unique issues and goals while considering your personal and financial circumstances. Comprehensive estate planning can involve considerations such as the following:
Elder Law/Long-Term Care Planning
Elder or long-term care planning ensures you have financial resources for long-term or nursing home care during your final years. Careful planning can establish your eligibility for government benefits or provide income to afford care.
A will lets you direct how you want your affairs settled after your death. You can appoint an administrator for your estate, identify your heirs, and appoint a trusted individual to care for your minor children if both parents die.
Estate planning uses trusts to protect your assets and pass them to succeeding generations. In a trust, a trustee holds and manages assets for your beneficiaries according to your terms.
With living trusts, you can direct the distribution of your assets after death while continuing to enjoy and use your property during your lifetime. You may use living trusts for tax benefits or to pass on property without the expense of probate.
Estate/Gift/Income Tax Planning
Comprehensive estate planning includes evaluating the tax implications of proposed strategies. Estate planning goals usually include minimizing tax liabilities to preserve the value of assets passed on to heirs.
Financial planning focuses on assessing your current finances, identifying future income and expected expenditures, and developing a plan to grow your wealth and ensure a steady income stream.
Retirement planning focuses on ensuring you have the resources to live comfortably after you stop working without sacrificing the long-term value of your estate.
Medicaid planning involves restructuring your assets to qualify for benefits to help pay for long-term or nursing home care without diminishing your estate’s value.
Planning to Leave Assets to Loved Ones in a Way That Protects the Assets
If you have a loved one with disabilities or financial difficulties, you may worry about what may happen to an inheritance you leave them. Through comprehensive estate planning, you can protect the assets you leave behind while ensuring your beneficiaries enjoy their inheritance.
Assets from Divorce, Creditors, Spendthrifts, and Substance Abuse
You can use estate planning tools to protect assets you leave to a loved one facing divorce, substantial debt, or substance abuse issues. Strategies like spendthrift trusts can shield your inheritance from seizure and provide your loved ones with a manageable income stream.
Business Succession Planning
If you’ve built a successful family business in Danbury, succession planning outlines who will take over your role after you are gone and allows for a smooth transition.
Special Needs Planning
If you have a loved one with special needs, you can use estate planning to provide them with care and resources after you are gone. Special needs planning in Connecticut can involve:
- Supplemental Needs Trusts – This is a specific type of trust designed to use third-party or inherited dollars to enhance the quality of life for a beneficiary, over and above any government benefits. These funds do not count toward a beneficiary’s resource limits for government programs, allowing them to remain eligible for these benefits.
- Special Needs Trusts – This is a specific type of trust designed to use an individual’s own assets to enhance his/her life. The assets held in these trusts do not count toward a beneficiary’s resource limits for government programs, allowing them to remain eligible for these benefits.
- Supported Decision-Making – This arrangement allows those with special needs to maintain autonomy with the help of advisors who can assist with legal, financial, and medical decisions.
- Conservatorship – In Connecticut, conservators are court-appointed individuals who oversee the affairs of disabled individuals who cannot make decisions for themselves.
Charitable planning can further protect the value of assets you leave to loved ones. Incorporating charitable giving into your estate plan can minimize tax liabilities by taking advantage of charitable deductions.
What Are Other Elements of a Successful Estate Plan?
Estate planning may also involve additional considerations such as:
- Advance Directives – Advance directives are legal documents such as a health care proxy, a power of attorney, and a disposition of remains. A Health Care Proxy appoints someone you choose to make medical decisions (including end-of-life decisions) for you. A Power of Attorney will allow a trusted family member or friend to handle your financial and/or legal matters. This can be helpful if you face an illness or injury or you lack mental capacity. With life care planning, your family has the guidance and tools necessary to make financial and health care decisions when you cannot do so.
- Conservatorship – In your estate plan, you can nominate someone to serve as your conservator. This person would be in charge of managing your affairs if you become legally incapacitated.
- Probate, Estate, and Trust Administration – Appointing someone to serve as a trustee and/or administrator of your estate after death is a fundamental part of estate planning. A skilled lawyer can advise you on designations during the planning process.
How Much Does an Estate Plan Cost in Danbury?
Estate planning costs vary based on the size and complexity of your estate, along with the tools you choose. However, the benefits of estate planning can make up for the cost. A well-crafted estate plan can save your family money by preserving the value of your assets through tax and asset protection strategies. Effective estate planning may also help your family avoid the time and expense of probate. And nothing can add more value than the peace of mind you get knowing that your affairs are in order.
How Can a Danbury, CT, Estate Planning Attorney Help?
A Danbury, CT, estate planning attorney from Amoruso & Amoruso LLP can walk you through creating your estate plan from start to finish. When you turn to Michael J. Amoruso for help with estate planning, you can expect him to:
- Listen to your story and identify ways he can help
- Use his proven estate, tax, special needs, and asset protection strategies to create a comprehensive estate plan tailored to meet your needs and goals
- Identify and catalog your assets
- Draft and update your will
- Set up trusts
- Facilitate asset transfers
- Assist with advance directives such as health care proxies and powers of attorney
- Minimize the tax consequences on your estate through strategic planning
- Develop a business succession plan, if appropriate
- Establish special needs trusts and other arrangements for vulnerable family members
- Review beneficiary designations to ensure your assets go to the people you want
- Discuss conservatorship planning
- Act quickly to provide practical solutions when you or a loved one has an emergency that requires crisis planning
- Review and update your estate plan when your circumstances or wishes change
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in Danbury, CT, Today
Are you ready to learn more about how estate planning can make a difference in your life? A Danbury estate planning lawyer from Amoruso & Amoruso LLP can explain how a comprehensive estate plan can work to fulfill your goals and wishes. If you have an estate plan now, Michael J. Amoruso can review it and determine whether any adjustments might better suit your needs. Contact us today for more information.