ESTATE PLANNING & PROBATE LAW
Cunningham Lopez LLP creates a personalized estate plans for each of our clients based on their specifics needs, we go through your goals and we take a careful analysis to serve your needs. We offer many estate planning options based on our experience with:
- Asset Protection: Asset Protection is not about giving in to fear. It is about empowering yourself in the face of it. Our firm works with clients to implement proven, legally-sound strategies that help preserve their wealth and safeguard their assets. We represent professionals, small business owners, property owners, and other clients with the goal of protecting their assets against potential litigation, judgments, liens, and fraud. Insurance alone does not always adequately protect against all of these threats. We help clients protect their wealth using a variety of strategies including the use of special trusts, business entities and other legal arrangements.
- Business Succession: Business succession planning is essential to the future of any business. That applies to the founders, owners and their families. The existence of a succession plan emphasizes the commitment to the business's long-term growth and continuation. Lenders often require that business owners have proper planning in place for the succession of a business. Families hope that proper planning is done to assure the continuation of the business and the maximization of returns to the family.
- General Powers of Attorney: A power of attorney is a legal document giving one person the power to act for another person (the principal). The agent can have broad legal authority or limited authority to make legal decisions about the principal's property, finances or medical care. The power of attorney is frequently used in the event of a principal's illness or disability, or when the principal can't be present to sign necessary legal documents for financial transactions.
- Estate Tax Issues: There are a variety of legitimate estate planning tools and techniques available to help you reduce or avoid estate taxes. These techniques include strategies that utilize irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, life insurance trusts, family partnerships, LLCs and other legitimate legal transactions. These strategies may seem complicated, but with proper counseling and analysis, we may be able to find perfect solutions for each individual estate tax situation. Estate tax planning is just one of several issues that need to be addressed as part of a comprehensive estate plan.
- Estate Administration: When a person dies, all his or her possessions real estate, money, stocks, personal belongings, etc. become a part of his or her estate. Estate administration refers to the process of collecting and managing the estate, paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining property to the heirs of the estate. The heirs of an estate are determined by will, and if there isn't a will, by the intestacy (which means dying without a will) laws of each state.
- Health Care Directives: An Advance Directive for Health Care is a written legal document which allows you to instruct your attending physician whether or not you wish to be given life-sustaining treatments and artificially administered nutrition (food) and hydration (water) and to give other medical directions that impact the end of life. Its purpose is to recognize your right to control some aspects of your medical care and treatment, primarily the right to decline medical treatment or direct that it be withdrawn even if death ensues
- Medical Powers of Attorney: Is the authorization under which a natural or legal person designates another as medical legal representative. Depending on the type of power, this representative may act in certain legal acts and under different contexts and frameworks of action.
- Probate Litigation: Is often used in a legal sense to refer to disputes that arise over the assets or property that some deceased individual leaves behind. Because these types of disputes often involve family members, emotions tend to run high and can interfere with the ability of individuals to think clearly in a court of law, it often proves essential to retain the services of experienced legal counsel during these situations.
- Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts: A Revocable living trust is created when a Grantor (the person who creates the trust) transfers assets into a trust during their lifetime and when the trust can be changed or revoked by the Grantor at any time during his or her lifetime. An Irrevocable Trust is created by a Grantor when he or she transfers assets into a trust, the terms of which cannot be changed by the Grantor. It cannot be changed, and it says so in the document. Our attorneys can help you determine, which, if any, of theses trusts is appropriate for you.
- Simple and Complex Wills: Cunningham Lopez LLP will help you prepare the formal document by which you order what will be the destination of your assets and your rights from the moment of the production of your death, making clear the full freedom of who or who inherited and in what form their assets. A will is a completely customizable document that can address a variety of specific issues as designate property distribution, designate beneficiaries, name guardians of minor children, etc. A will is the most basic component of an estate plan. It can be customized to address the specific requirements and wishes of the individual it represents. Our firm can help you create an effective will, and explain additional ways in which to build your estate plan.
- Special Needs Planning: Planning for the future is vital when you have a dependent with special needs. Distributing assets after death can have a huge impact on the individual’s quality of life, including any benefits they receive from government assistance programs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a will is all you need. A complete estate plan, including a trust that legally provides for a special need individual is important to fully protect their best interests