Estate Planning/Wills & Trusts
Cairns Law Firm takes clients through every phase of the estate planning process. Your financial and family circumstances will be thoroughly analyzed. With your input, together we will help define your goals while still giving you opinions using our experience. You’ve worked hard to develop your assets now is the time to take a moment and make your wishes known and put into place an estate plan.
At Cairns Law Firm, you will be provided with clarity and detail with all agreements and documents to help avoid later family disputes. Heather M. Cairns, has been helping Columbia area clients develop estate plans for years. We have experience working with families with non-traditional family structures. We are prepared to create an estate plan that protects your right to gift your assets to whomever you please. When you are ready to go over your estate plan with an experienced estate attorney, contact us.
Putting Together the Pieces of an Estate Plan
Every comprehensive estate plan should include at least a simple will. A will distributes all of the assets remaining in your name at the time of your death. It also names your personal representative and guardians if you have minor children.
In addition to a will, many clients benefit from creating trusts. A trust places specific assets under the control of a trustee who must use them in accordance with your wishes in the interests of named beneficiaries. Among the types of trusts are the following:
A Revocable Trust (also known as a living trust) allows you to maintain full control of the assets that are held in the trust during your lifetime. When you die, the assets in the trust will not go through probate, likely cutting the amount of time and money involved in administration of the estate, as well as public scrutiny.
An Irrevocable Trust is less flexible than a living trust. Once you place assets in an irrevocable trust, you cannot remove them. You no longer will have complete control over the assets. This type of trust may, depending on your individual circumstances, have tax benefits.
A Special Needs Trust is part of a plan to provide for the needs of a person with a disability or other special needs.
An Educational Trust is part of a plan to ensure that certain assets are used for a person’s education.
We have experience helping clients design their estate plans and drafting the relevant documents. When you need an estate planning lawyer, don’t hesitate to contact us.