Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Planning for the future is an important part of taking care of your family, yourself, and your legacy. With proper planning we can create a personalized estate plan to protect and provide for the people you love.

Depending on your individual circumstances and objectives an estate plan can consist of many different parts, including:

Wills

When people think about estate planning they generally think of wills. A will can be used to direct the distribution of your assets, appoint a guardian for your children, and name a personal representative to ensure that your wishes are carried out.  Your will is an important part of your estate plan but it is usually not the only document you will need.

Probate

Probate can take a year or longer and tie up your estate.  Without any estate planning, intestacy law, rather than you, will determine whom your estate is left to.  An estate plan can simplify and speed up probate by allowing you to direct the distribution of your assets, prevent assets from entering probate, and appoint a personal representative who understands your wishes.  An estate plan helps to ensure that your estate is distributed the way you envisioned.

Trusts and Estates

Trusts, Living or Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, Special Interest Trusts

Trusts are used to separate the legal ownership of an asset from the beneficial interest.  Trusts are often used in tax planning but can be used for many different purposes including providing for your loved ones, protecting your assets, donating to charities, avoiding probate, or minimizing taxes.  Living or revocable trusts allow you to alter the terms of the trust during your life and can be used to bypass probate.  Irrevocable trusts offer excellent tax planning opportunities but you lose the power to alter the terms of the trust.  

Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Directives, HIPAA Release

Often overlooked, these documents let you appoint an agent to act on your behalf in financial and medical decisions when you are no longer able.  Without these documents incapacity can lead to prolonged legal fights and strife within your family.  These documents grant legal authority to act on your behalf and can be used to ensure that your wishes are known and carried out.

Tax Planning

Through competent estate planning you can shelter assets from taxation and ensure that your estate takes advantage of all state and federal deductions and exemptions.

An estate plan is extremely personal and depends on your specific circumstances and objectives.  Contact me to start talking about your estate plan.  I look forward to working with you to create an estate plan tailored to fit your needs and your goals.

70 Center Street | Portland, Maine 04101 | (207)-808-1066

The materials and information on this website are made available by Law Office of Andrew F Hastings, LCC for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The transmission and receipt of information on this website do not form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. Persons receiving the information on this website should not act upon the information provided without seeking professional legal counsel.