Why Estate Plans are Important

Whether you are leaving a huge financial windfall behind for your offspring or a smaller monetary account, it is important to create an estate plan which allows greater control, privacy and security of your legacy.

Estate planning is a process.  During an individual’s life, this process assists with the management and distribution of their assets.  At death, this same process can dictate the disposition of remaining assets while minimizing income tax. However, 55% of Americans don’t have a will!

It’s really important to have an estate plan, even if your total assets are minimal. While you can find a will online, you’re much safer visiting with a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney.  With such expertise, you can develop a customized plan that works for you.

An estate planning attorney has the in-depth knowledge and skills to make suggestions that will help determine your future asset allocations.

When considering a legacy and to whom and what to leave behind, there are three reasons why people do estate planning: probate fees and tax reduction, asset protection and control and management.

Probate Fee and Tax Reduction. When a person has more than a certain level of assets, they may have to pay state and federal estate taxes, depending upon the value of the accounts and based on where they live (some states have estate taxes, while others don’t). An experienced estate planning attorney can help explain the laws and help you to make wise decisions as to whom, where, and when to designate your assets. Working with a legal professional who’s well-versed in estate planning, will help you to reduce probate fees and inheritance taxes.

Asset Protection. It’s critical to protect your assets, like safeguarding your assets from spend-down (the process of reducing assets to qualify for Medicaid) in a nursing home situation. That’s a great reason to be proactive and develop an estate plan.

Control and Management. This is a big reason why many families engage in estate planning. Properly done, it eliminates worries and ensures that your final wishes regarding asset distribution are carried out.

Estate planning also avoids any guessing and provides a detailed plan of who, what, where and when for your heirs during a trying time.

Reference: Wealth Advisor (May 29, 2018) “The 3 Reasons Why People Do Estate Planning”

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.