We create estate plans which range from simple wills to more complex plans involving revocable and irrevocable trusts. Our plans utilize the full panoply of available estate planning options, including optimal marital planning, when available, bypass trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), generation skipping trusts, split interest trusts (for example, GRITs, GRATs and GRUTs), charitable and non-charitable giving arrangements (including charitable lead and charitable remainder trusts), family limited partnerships (FLPs) and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), private charitable foundations, split purchases, fiduciary income tax planning, and post-mortem death tax minimization arrangements.
We are mindful that our clients have both personal needs and tax-driven concerns and that both sets of concerns must be addressed in a well-structured estate plan. Our lawyers are also sensitive to the fact that “families” today come in many shapes and styles. We are experienced in counseling both traditional and non-traditional families and are sensitive to the needs of both. Increasingly, we are called upon to assist the disabled parents and/or children of our clients. When serving in that role, we do our best — with tact and flexibility — to provide whatever services the particular situation may demand.
Our lawyers and paraprofessionals are skilled in administering both trusts and estates. We have significant experience in administering assets both inside and, with the assistance of local counsel, outside of Pennsylvania and in foreign jurisdictions as well.
Estate planning is the creation of a definite plan for managing your wealth while you’re alive and distributing it after your death. These assets may be owned by you separately or jointly with others.
Estate planning is the preservation and the distribution of your assets, both during your life and upon your death. It is accomplishing your personal and family goals and easing the management of your financial and legal affairs, as well as minimizing taxes if your estate is large enough for taxes to be of concern. When we talk about an estate, we mean all assets of any value that you own, including real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, personal property and even your personal effects. An “estate plan,” generally, refers to the means by which your estate is passed on to your loved ones on your death. Estate planning can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including:
Problems often arise when people don’t coordinate all of these methods of passing on their estate. If you have a well-drafted estate plan in place, you will ensure that your estate passes to whom you want, when you want, and is carried out in the manner you’ve chosen. You can rest assured that your family won’t have to pay more tax than is necessary; the government won’t be able to take what you’ve spent a lifetime building. But you need to be aware of the many options that exist in estate planning – and you must choose your estate planning attorney wisely.
We want you to feel confident about the choices you make – let us assist you on the path toward preserving your family’s future.
The administration of estates can be complex. We assist in identifying probate and non-probate assets; guiding beneficiaries in the event that the deceased died intestate (without a will); determining the survivors’ immediate needs; probating the Will or applying for Letters of Administration in the event that there is no Will; safeguarding estate assets; assuring that all required notices are sent and filed; arranging for the calculation and payment of any federal estate and/or state inheritance taxes; assisting in the preparation of the estate’s fiduciary income tax returns and the allocation of estate deductions among the various returns; doing “post-mortem” estate planning (including but not limited to the use of qualified disclaimers) if necessary; assisting in the evaluation of claims against the estate; guiding the personal representative (executor or administrator) through the estate administration process, and concluding the administration in a manner that will protect the personal representative from liability in the future.
The loss of a loved one gives rise to many difficulties, only some of which are legal. We would be pleased to assist you in any way possible with any phase of the estate administration process.
We have assisted many families with the practical and legal problems confronting them when a loved one dies, assisting in the administration of our clients’ estates and also representing executors, trustees and beneficiaries.
Incapacity planning is a broad area of law that covers how you are cared for if you become physically or mentally unable to care for yourself. The type of care could range from simple tasks like buying groceries, paying bills, and handling financial matters to more important decisions such as selling real estate, dealing with inheritances coming to you, gifting assets to your children, or making critical medical decisions. Depending on the needs of the individual or family, incapacity planning could include a number of planning techniques such as Financial Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, Living Wills or Advance Health Care Directives or Guardianships/Conservatorships.
Guardianship, also known as Conservatorship, is a court-supervised proceeding which names an individual or entity to manage the affairs of an incapacitated person (guardian of the estate). A Guardianship may also include the duty to care for the incapacitated person (guardian of the person).
Clemons Richter & Reiss, PC helps clients create plans to handle their affairs in the event they become disabled, thereby avoiding the necessity of a public Guardianship proceeding.
Peter Reiss is one of the shareholders of the firm. Mr. Reiss was recently named an Accredited Estate Planner ™ by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils (www.naecp.org), is a member of the American Bar Association Section of International Law Private Client Committee and is a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys.
Clemons, Richter & Reiss, P.C.
Attorneys at Law
2003 South Easton Road, Suite 300,
Doylestown, PA 18901
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