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Estate Planning

Providing for Your Family’s Future

We have personally developed over 3,000 estate plans for clients. We also have extensive experience and expertise in the areas of Tax, Elder Law, Special Needs, and Foreign Citizenship. Each of those plans involved comprehensive discussions with the client in order to educate them on purpose and benefits of the various documents that constitute a comprehensive estate plan, and to ensure we understand specific issues and requirements based on each client’s own individual family and financial dynamics. Those discussions allow us to then develop documents and a comprehensive plan custom drafted to address that client’s specific circumstances…one that ensures the client’s family is protected, guardianship for children and special needs adults is established, probate and other court proceedings are avoided, taxes are minimized or eliminated, and dependent spouses and children are protected from creditors, divorce, and potential disability issues. Problems resulting from special situations are also addressed and avoided including, by way of example only, special needs, spendthrift issues, non-traditional relationships, and non U.S. citizenship.

Trusts

A properly drafted and funded revocable living trust can avoid the costs and delays associated with Probate Court along with receiving all the applicable benefits, including tax savings, control over the distribution of assets after death, and many more. One of the most important aspects of a trust is proper funding. At Thompson Stewart P.C., we take a different approach to this aspect of Estate Planning by coordinating directly with other team members who manage your estate, including your financial planner and accountant, to ensure that your trust is properly funded.

Durable Power of Attorney and Patient Advocate Designation

These documents appoint decision makers who can make business, financial, legal and medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated. Without these documents, those critical decisions are made by a probate court judge or someone appointed by the judge, which is not what most people want.

Trust Funding

Trust Funding is the process in which your home, life insurance and financial assets are connected properly to your Trust. The reality is that most people with a revocable living trust do not have it properly funded. Part of our process is a complementary asset/trust funding review to ensure your trust is properly funded. Without proper funding, assets are needlessly subject to probate, taxes, or going to the wrong people.

Contact us for a free consultation regarding your estate plan. If your current estate plan was completed prior to 2012, it is likely that your estate may face potentially catastrophic tax consequences if not updated.

Asset Protection

Most people work hard to accumulate wealth and savings. They use their earnings to raise their family, pay for a home and cars, children’s education, and save for a comfortable retirement. Those “things” we acquire–home, vehicles, college savings and retirement plans–are all “assets” which we hope to protect. In that regard, clients often purchase various types of insurance to protect their assets, but usually do not really understand the insurance products they have paid for, what they do and don’t protect against, and, more problematic, oftentimes neither do the insurance agents that sold them those products. Clients also often engage in activities that expose them to catastrophic financial ruin without realizing it. Just a few examples of unknowing multi-million-dollar exposure are: (a) placing non-driver names on vehicle titles; (b) letting children use family vehicles for work; (c) personally guaranteeing a college student’s apartment lease; and, (d) hiring an individual to do work at your home or business.

Asset protection involves reviewing a client’s personal, financial and business matters from top to bottom, to ensure they have assets structured, titled, and (if applicable) insured correctly to avoid litigation, exposure and unnecessary taxation. Few attorneys can offer this service because few attorneys have the background, training, experience, licensing and credentialing required to provide this service on a comprehensive level. Also having securities, financial, insurance, and real estate licensing and professional certifications, we have the ability to complete a comprehensive review of a client’s specific circumstances, and identify areas of concern.

At Thompson Stewart, we have the background, experience, training, and licensing to complete a full asset protection review. More importantly, that service is provided on a complimentary basis or at a nominal charge. Contact us for a complimentary review of your situation.

As part of estate and asset protection, we also offer a complimentary financial and insurance review. As a register Investment Advisor, Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant , Licensed Insurance Producer, and Certified Financial Planner, Ron Thompson has the training, professional licensing, and expertise to provide a comprehensive review and detailed analysis on a client’s financial and insurance portfolio. Not just a second opinion, but also detailed analysis on the nature, type and amounts of answers are necessary and appropriate.

Please be in touch with us for a free consultation if you would like to discuss these matters further.

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