Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning And Financial Planning

Why do so many people put off estate planning?

To the average person, the requirements and processes of estate planning can seem frustrating and intimidating without qualified help. People may feel too young to worry about it. The thought of death makes some uncomfortable. Many are tempted to put the whole thing off, assuming that it will just take care of itself.

What is the most universal and compelling reason to pay attention to estate planning?

In all cases, estate planning ends up saving your family lots of time, heartache and money. And we can help.

Do you need legal help to do estate planning or can you do it yourself?

Attempting to do it yourself is risky and may be more complicated and costlier than you imagined it could be. Not knowing your legal and financial rights often ends up costing you more in the end.

What factors may need to be considered in estate planning?

To name a few: state taxes, bureaucracy, probate courts, unfair appraisals, health care concerns, eligibility of heirs, life insurance, IRAs, 401(k)s, annuities, burial or cremation costs and health care preferences in times of crisis or incapacity.

What can an estate planning attorney do for you?

  • Clearly define your estate planning goals
  • Organize and create your estate planning team (experts on law, finance and taxes) if you need one
  • Evaluate and recommend estate planning options
  • Prepare, organize and review your estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, health care directives and power of attorney
  • Decrease the problems and expenses associated with probate and
    taxes at time of death
  • Arrange for management of your estate if you are incapacitated
  • Draft a working plan for conserving and effectively managing your estate after death
  • Transfer the assets of your estate to heirs the way you want
  • Organize fair and adequate liquidation of an estate to cover taxes and other expenses
  • Amend your plan as needed

What specific solutions may you come away with after working with an estate planning lawyer?

Living wills, wills and trusts; lifetime family wealth transfers; family partnerships and other business relationships; establishment of charitable gifts; preparation for estate and trust tax problems

What are the fundamental benefits of estate planning and how does it tie in with general financial planning?

Effective estate and gift planning facilitates the orderly transfer of assets to your beneficiaries, provides security for your spouse and can reduce or eliminate the tax due on the transfer of your business and other assets. For business owners, providing for business continuity and succession of ownership is essential. Allen Schuldenfrei, Attorney at Law, can guide you comprehensively through the complex process of getting your financial affairs in order.

Who can I turn to for trustworthy help with estate planning, probate or financial and retirement planning?

I am Allen Schuldenfrei, an attorney and CPA with extensive experience in the preparation of estate and fiduciary tax returns, accountings to the court, and other filings incident to estates and trusts. Moreover, the firm has represented numerous estates in negotiations with the IRS at various appeals levels.

I also assist clients with financial planning, retirement planning and advice on pensions and profit-sharing plans — particularly useful for closely held businesses and self-employed people.

Call my offices at 410-358-7435 or complete an online intake form to request more information and schedule a consultation.