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Estate Planning




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Nikki Allen, Attorney at Law handles the estate planning needs of every individual and family.  She works with you to create an estate plan or amend an existing plan that transfers your property and assets as you wish protects you from future litigation. Ms. Allen also ensures that you will properly designate the people you want to care for your children and pets upon your death.  If you pass away without a will, your property and assets will normally be subject to probate, and it will pass to those heirs as determined by the laws of the state in which you resided, regardless of your wishes.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Planning your estate will give you peace of mind, and Nikki Allen will pave the way to the certainty you and your loved ones deserve.

 

Estate planning is the term used to broadly describe the practice of preparing your estate to pass to your chosen beneficiaries and to allow for its management in the case of your incapacity.  It also involves the nomination of guardians for your minor children and the future allocation of assets and trusts to ensure their financial security.

If you pass away intestate (without a will), your property and assets will normally be subject to probate, and it will pass to those heirs as determined by the laws of the state in which you resided, regardless of your wishes.  It is our job to assist you in making your wishes clear, including naming the person(s) you want to care for your minor children and pets.  Planning your estate will give you peace of mind, and Nikki Allen will pave the way to the certainty you and your loved ones deserve.  Nikki Allen will work with you so the process is comfortable, secure and not overwhelming and will make sure that all of your wishes and goals are met.

As part of the estate planning process, Nikki Allen personally drafts Revocable Trusts, Wills (including Pour-Over Wills), Durable Powers of Attorney and Advanced Health Care Directives.  Ms. Allen will not turn your documents over to a legal assistant or paralegal.  Ms. Allen also prepares Special Needs Trusts for beneficiaries of a settlement or trust who need to preserve their rights to receive governmental assistance and benefits for their disability.

In my practice, Revocable Living Trusts are the most common vehicle used for transferring assets and providing for the care of minor or disabled beneficiaries. A Revocable Trust is an instrument to hold legal title to most of your assets and direct how these assets are managed. During your lifetime you (and your spouse or another person of your choosing as co-trustee) are the trustee and beneficiary of the trust.  Should you choose to change the Trust, you can freely do so at any time while you (and your spouse or co-trustee) are still living. The Trust allows you to dictate the final disposition of your assets and nominate a successor trustee to manage your entire estate.  The benefit of having trust instead of a will is that it allows your heirs to avoid the probate court process which usually takes about a year and requires fees to be paid out of your estate pursuant to statute.

If you already have an estate plan, I will make sure that it matches your current needs and desires.  I will make any necessary amendments to your estate planning documents to make sure you have the most protection based on changing laws and your changing life circumstances.

A Durable Power of Attorney is a document that enables you to nominate an individual to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity.  The individual is a called an Agent and has the power to manage your finances when you are unable to do so yourself. If you do not have a Durable Power of Attorney and you become incapacitated, there may be a court case to appoint a conservator to manage your affairs.  At this point, you will not have the power to choose the person who manages your affairs and you will be required to pay a conservator to manage them.

Your estate plan is the most important plan of your life.  Please call Nikki Allen to provide you an affordable way to help you protect your valuables – your property, children and pets.

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