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    Wills & Trusts

    Through effective estate planning we aim to make sure that the greatest amount of ones estate passes to the estate owner's intended beneficiaries, with the least amount of taxes and minimal probate court involvement. Additional goals typically include providing for and designating guardians for minor children and planning for incapacity.  Despite these advantages, studies indicate that at least seventy percent (70%) of Americans do not have a coherent estate plan in place.  Please feel free to contact the Law Offices of Loria & Associates, P.C. to discuss the best alternatives for you and your loved ones. 

    Last Will and Testament
    A Will is a document (testament) by which a person (“testator”) directs how his or her assets are to be distributed upon death. Among other provisions, a will may appoint executors to administer the estate, name guardian for a child, and/or make arrangement for payment of obligations. Commonly, the law requires that the testator must have testamentary capacity when making the will, and that it be witnessed by two or more credible witnesses.
    A Will is (1) not effective until the death of the testator, (2) can be amended by duly executed alterations or by attaching a supplementary document (called codicil), and (3) can be revoked at any time by the testator (a) by its destruction, or (b) by making another will that revokes the earlier will or is inconsistent with it provisions.

    A well-written will effectively carries the wishes and desires of the testator and eases the transition for survivors by transferring property quickly and avoiding many tax burdens.  Wills vary from extremely simple single-page documents to elaborate volumes, depending on the estate size and preferences of the testator. 

    In order to get the benefits of a Will it is imperative to accurately comply with all the formalities and rules that govern this area of law.  As such, if preparing your own will, please utilize extreme caution.  Otherwise, seek the assistance of a well qualified attorney, such as Loria & Associates, P.C., to prepare this document.
    A trust is an arrangement whereby property (including real, tangible and intangible) is managed by one person (or persons, or organizations) for the benefit of another. A trust is created by a settlor, who entrusts some or all of his or her property to people of his choice (the trustees). The trustees hold legal title to the trust property (or trust corpus), but they are obliged to hold the property for the benefit of one or more individuals or organizations (the beneficiary, a.k.a. cestui que use or cestui que trust), usually specified by the settlor, who holds equitable title. The trustees owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, who are the "beneficial" owners of the trust property.  The trust is governed by the terms of the trust document and governed by local law.
    Trusts can be set up while you are alive (the legal term for this is intervivos), or they can be established upon your death by your Will (known as testamentary). Revocable trusts can be changed or revoked by the grantor. Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed after they are created.

    Trusts can replace or supplement wills, can help manage property during ones lifetime and in many cases come with major tax benefits and advantages.  It is for this reason that this property distribution technique is a popular choice for many people when creating an estate plan.  Please feel free to contact the Law Offices of Loria & Associates, P.C. to discuss the best alternatives for you.  
    Health Care Proxy
    A Health Care Proxy allows you to appoint someone you trust - for example, a family member or close friend - to make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. By appointing a health care agent, you can make sure that health care providers follow your wishes.  Your agent can also decide how your wishes apply as your medical condition changes. Hospitals, doctors and other health care providers must follow your agent's decisions as if they were your own. You may give the person you select as your health care agent as little or as much authority as you want.
    Living Will
    In a health care directive you make the decisions regarding your medical care for all situations should you become incapacitated. A living will is a narrower form of a health care directive, generally limited to situations in which death is imminent. Every state recognizes a patient's right to make fundamental choices about the care and treatment he/she receives at or near the end of life. Health care providers must generally honor the terms of living wills and advanced medical directives.

    Power of Attorney
    A power of attorney gives someone you trust the ability to make decisions for you.  This power can be broad or narrowly tailored depending on your needs and agenda.

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