While recognizing our own mortality can be difficult, it is a necessary step in planning for the future. Planning for the possibilities and eventualities of life can lead to more favorable outcomes for our loved ones and reduce their stress and anxiety during a very difficult time. Depending on your goals, estate planning may be an essential step because the default inheritance laws are unlikely to reflect your goals or wishes.
While some people choose to handle estate planning on their own, it is often prudent to seek the knowledge and perspective of an experienced attorney. An experienced estate planning lawyer, such as Robert Hoffman, can identify areas of concern and craft solutions that will achieve your estate planning goals. To schedule a free consultation call 800-897-3915.
Legal planning for medical and healthcare concerns
An advanced healthcare directive, often called a living will, can be discussed and crafted so that your medical decision are respected despite incapacity or difficulties in communication. Advanced healthcare directive can address and provide direction for issues including:
- The course of treatment to be followed by doctors and other medical professionals
- Lifesaving procedures you would like performed
- Lifesaving procedures that you do not want performed
- Types of medications, such as pain killers, that you do not want to be administered
However a living will only captures a particular moment in time. Therefore it is essential for the creator of the living will to revisit it periodically and ensure that the healthcare directive still accurately reflects his or her wishes. Robert Hoffman can assist you in drafting an advanced healthcare directive for the first time or by helping you update an already existing directive.
Trusted guidance for end of life planning
There are numerous ways to accomplish an individual’s goals for after they have passed on. The traditional way of protecting these goals and interests is through a will. Wills have formal requirements which must be respected if they are likely to be enforced by a court. Wills are enforced through a process that is known as probate. The probate process will disclose the contents of the will publicly ad incur court costs, so for those who value privacy a will and the probate process may not be the best fit.
An alternative means of accomplishing many of the items that can be performed through a will is through one or more trusts. A trust allows an individual to place money, property or other assets into a legal entity for the benefit of another person. A living trust avoids the probate process thereby saving time and money. However trusts can also be created by a will.
In short, a variety of estate planning tools can be used to protect and accomplish your end of life planning goals. However, every estate plan is unique and the planning tools suited to your particular situation can only be determined after a careful review of your goals, circumstances and finances.
Strategic guidance for closely held businesses
For family businesses and other closely-held companies, preparing for the next generation of leadership can make the difference between a smooth transition and the company becoming mired in infighting or the target of a hostile takeover. A number of issues must be addressed in every sound business succession plan. These include:
- Generational succession – Preparing for the next generation of managers is an essential step that too many family businesses fail to consider. IN fact, only one-third of family companies successfully navigate a generational transition.
- Structuring buyout agreements – As family members age, they may being to consider the equity and value of their interest. Selecting the proper valuation model and crafting a fair compensation package is an essential step to building sustainable business.
- Resolving Intra-family disputes – Infighting among family members can derail a company and leave the business rudderless. This can open the company to a variety of dangers including a hostile takeover.
- Aligning interests – The company must be able to support the diverging interests of the retiring generation and the incoming generation. Failure to account for these interests often occurs in companies where the leadership structure breaks down.
- Estate issues – Wills, trusts and probate issues must be considered as part of a comprehensive business succession plan.
We can work with your company leadership to identify and address legal issues that can disrupt the continued growth of your closely-held family business.
Estate Planning Attorney for Anaheim Residents & Businesses
Planning for the future is an essential step that too many Americans neglect until it is too late. Through careful estate planning one can protect their goals and closely held beliefs. For a free and confidential initial consultation call the Hoffman Law Offices at 800-897-3915 or contact us online.