Estate Planning

We work with clients and their families to cover a broad spectrum of personal planning needs, including estate planning, special needs planning, estate administration and charitable planning. In doing so, we listen carefully to our clients, addressing their unique needs and concerns and helping them achieve their wealth transfer goals.

We assist clients in preparing Wills and Trusts, as well as Durable Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives.   Where necessary and appropriate we help to formulate ways to minimize estate taxes and make tax efficient gifts.

Updating your estate plan and determining your needs

Your estate plan should be updated periodically during your lifetime to address your estate planning goals during different stages in your life.

For clients with young children, an appropriate estate plan should include naming guardians, and establishing trusts that are appropriate for (usually) minor children. We often work with financial advisors to determine and obtain proper life insurance coverage and implement custom tailored estate planning documents that usually include a Last Will and Testament, a General Durable Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Directive.

When clients have reached “middle age”, or have modest to large wealth, their Wills may include a “Disclaimer” Trust or a “Credit Shelter” trust to reduce or eliminate estate taxes; some may even be candidates for an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust to eliminate death proceeds from estate taxation.  In addition, the 2010 Tax Act (as amended in 2012) introduced a new, complex concept (known as “portability”) that may permit a surviving spouse to use his/her deceased spouse’s unused federal estate tax exemption if certain criteria are met.  Although attractive on its face portability has severe restrictions and we help clients decide if Trust alternatives are more suitable.

Many clients with significant wealth may want to take advantage of one (1) or more of the many sophisticated estate planning techniques which the firm of Davidson, Sochor, Ragsdale & Cohen, LLC uses to effectuate a reduction of the Federal and/or State estate tax burden on their heirs.

Therefore, we counsel clients in the following areas of estate planning: