Whether you’re planning the parameters of your future medical care or establishing support for loved ones upon your death, Stone, Leyton & Gershman can help with all aspects of your estate plan. Estate planning documents are extremely flexible and can be designed to fit your unique needs. We will work closely with you to determine your goals and create precise instruments to carry out your intentions.
You’ve worked hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well-being and financial security can bring you great comfort. We thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones. Your estate plan could include:
Having both a living will and a last will is essential at every stage of your life. Your advance directive (or living will) sets the parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated to ensure that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored. Your last will provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pet — making decisions that might not reflect your desires.
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You should update your will periodically throughout your life. Our attorneys draft codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.
If you have minor children, your will allows you to make decisions about their future care. Naming a guardian is especially important if you are a single parent, but even married couples must consider the remote possibility of perishing in a common incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint one whose decisions may conflict with your parenting goals. You can also make arrangements for your pets’ care in your will, even naming a guardian to assume ownership.