Estate Planning, Probate Administration and Business Counseling are our main practice areas at Valente Law, LLC. Proudly serving clients in Cuyahoga County, Summit County and surrounding areas.

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Estate Planning for Established Individuals and Families

You and Your Family Grow & Evolve Over Time - Your Estate Plan Should, Too

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Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning for RetireesEstate Planning for Established Individuals and Families

There are certain points in life where estate planning becomes extremely important.  The first time is when you have young children, because you need an estate plan to nominate a Guardian to take care of your minor children if something were to happen to you.  The next most important time to review and restructure your estate plan is as you get older and near retirement.  At this point in your life, you’ve worked hard growing your family, raising your children and grandchildren. You’ve worked hard to earn a good income and you’ve made sacrifices to save and invest for your retirement.  It is absolutely crucial that you have an estate plan that is going to maximize your life’s work and not waste all that you’ve built during your life.

As You Age, Your Priorities Change – Your Estate Plan Should, Too

Estate planning involves using a combination of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and other tools to ensure that you, your family, and your assets will be cared for in the ways you want.  At this stage of your life, you’ve probably outgrown your prior estate plan, which was most likely designed to plan for catastrophic emergencies while you were younger.  The focus of an estate plan for someone in their 30s is much different than the focus of an estate plan for someone in their 50s or 60s.  As you get older, your priorities change and so should your estate plan.

Advantages of a Trust Based Estate Plan

In most cases, someone’s initial estate plan is a Will based estate plan that does not contain a Trust.  Compared to a Will based estate plan, a Trust based estate plan costs more to set up initially, but will end up saving your estate and loved ones a lot more money later.  In this regard, it is one of the investments you can make.  It will allow your estate to avoid probate court and all the fees involved with probate. The usual probate estate incurs fees of over $8,000 based on the first $100,000 of someone’s net worth, and the fees continue to grow based on the full value of the estate.  Fees commonly reach many tens of thousands of dollars. The cost of setting up a Trust is much less than this.  If any investment cost just a few thousand dollars, and would earn you tens of thousands of dollars, that is a no-brainer investment to make – a Trust is just like this.   In addition to the cost savings a Trust provides, a Trust allows you to make much more in depth plans for your family and assets.  It adds a level of control and flexibility that is just not possible with a Will based estate plan.  If you don’t already have  a Trust, you should call us now to get started.

Considerations for Your Final Trust Based Estate Plan

You should treat your estate plan as a set of documents and planning tools that are intended to grow and evolve over time, just like you and your family grows and evolves over time. In planning for the final version of your Trust based estate plan, you should focus on preserving your assets to make sure you don’t exhaust them too early. You should make sure your loved ones will be in position to step in and help you with important financial or medical matters if you need assistance.  Another important consideration is who will be there to help your surviving spouse if something happens to you.  Are you okay with your assets being distributed as a one-time, lump-sum payment to your beneficiaries, or do you want to structure it in a better way where the assets will be protected and preserved for a longer period of time.

To sum it all up, you should sure that the legacy you leave carries on the lasting mark on your loved ones that you want. This is your chance to make sure everything you’ve spent your life building, lives on in your honor after you’re gone.  This means making sure that your family doesn’t get stuck in the costly and frustrating probate process, making sure your wealth is there for them over the long term, making sure they will be able to help you and your surviving spouse in a hassle-free manner.  These are just some of the most common considerations and reasons to review and restructure your estate plan as you move towards the later stages of your life. For more information on Wills, Trusts and estate planning check out our main estate planning page here.

Call Valente Law at (330) 665-5000 today to make sure your estate plan accomplishes everything you and your family needs.


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