At some point in the future, your estate will have to be passed on to your heirs but none of us know when that day will come. That is why it is important to have in place an estate plan for the transfer of your assets to others.
The Law Offices of Thomas E. Dewhurst III, PLLC, handles all aspects of personal estate planning. We assist our clients with Wills, Living Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, and Trusts in New Hampshire and Maine.
This is what proper estate planning can do for you:
Distribute your property upon death according to your wishes.
Empower family members to act on your behalf during time of incapacity.
Eliminate or reduce estate tax liability.
Minimize expenses of probate administration.
Protect your family's inheritance from creditors.
We offer the following documents to help you adequately plan for the well being of you and your family:
Will: A Will allows you to decide who will receive your property when you die. A Will is important for parents with minor children because you may nominate their guardian in your Will. It is the guardian's responsibility to care for your minor children and their estate.
If you die without a Will, the distribution of your estate is made in accordance with the state's laws of descent and distribution. The law divides your estate between your spouse, children, children by a former marriage, parents, and next of kin. If you do not have heirs, the estate passes to the state.
Living Will: A Living Will is a document that allows you, while competent, to declare your intentions with regard to the future withholding of life-sustaining procedures if you become terminally ill or incapacitated. A Living Will makes your intentions clear for loved ones and for medical staff.
Durable Powers of Attorney: This document allows another person (the attorney-in-fact or agent) to act on your behalf for a number of reasons. You can designate a spouse, family member or friend to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Specific or limited powers of attorney can be created for all kinds of financial and business transactions.
Health Care Power of Attorney: A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document which allows you to delegate to trusted persons the authority to make health care decisions for you during future periods of incapacity, to the extent that you do not designate otherwise.
Trusts: To put your property in a Trust means that you are creating a legal relationship to give your property to a Trustee to be held and used for the benefit of anyone you designate, including yourself. You can create a Trust for any purpose and for any number of beneficiaries. Your assets can be placed in a Trust for the benefit of you, a spouse, minor child, friend or a charity.
Please contact us if you would like a consultation on estate planning.