When it comes to your estate, a solid plan is imperative
When it comes to your estate, a solid plan is imperative. Big or small, simple or complex and high net worth — you want peace of mind knowing that someone will follow your directions and administer your exact wishes. Your estate could be $1,000 or millions of dollars. Regardless of the size of your estate, a Birk Law Firm estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau will create a customized plan for you, including ancillary documents like powers of attorney.
Sometimes the biggest gift you can give your loved ones after you pass away is an orderly, deeply thought out estate plan that distributes assets with little confusion or worry. In this way, a comprehensive plan can eliminate confusion and misunderstandings. It can also eliminate the need for your family to go through the slow and expensive probate process.
A skilled and experienced Birk Law Firm estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau would be happy to provide a free initial consultation for you to answer your questions and listen to your wishes. Please call us at 573-332-8585.
How Can An Estate Planning Attorney Help Me?
One of the biggest things an estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau can do for you is create a collaborative and informed environment in which you can sit down at the table with a skilled estate planning attorney and come up with creative, customized options that meet your needs. One size does not fit all when it comes to an estate plan. By listening closely to you as you speak, a Birk Law Firm estate planning attorney can create a unique and customized plan tailored to your family and assets.
An estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau with years of experience and a sharp legal mind can help you optimize opportunities to reduce capital gains taxes as well as inheritance taxes. After all, you want most of your assets to pass on to family members rather than being diverted by federal and state taxes. A skilled estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau can help you accomplish this.
Why Are You The Best Estate Planning Lawyer?
When contemplating an estate plan, some people go to a lawyer and then a certified public accountant to set up a will and trust. With estate planning attorney Kelvin Birk, you get both a lawyer and an accountant in one person. As an attorney, CPA and businessman who grew up on a farm, Kelvin Birk provides multidimensional professional services all in one law firm. Very few attorneys can do that.
Birk Law Firm has created a wide range of estate plans, including business and farm succession plans, for hundreds of satisfied clients. We can help you, too.
Can You Help Minimize My Tax Liability?
Anything involving tax laws needs to be flexible and is subject to change. A well-drafted estate plan or trust can often withstand the test of time and never need to be amended. However, since 2017 we have drafted a lot of trusts differently than in prior years due to the estate tax law changes that affected the majority of people. With the greatly expanded estate tax exemptions, an estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau can now focus more on minimizing capital gains taxes for beneficiaries rather than only minimizing estate taxes for our clients. In most cases, we can eliminate estate taxes altogether and reduce capital gains taxes significantly or completely.
We help with trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, medical directives (living wills) and everything involved in estate planning. Depending on your needs, packages are available for a flat fee.
If you’d like to talk more about your specific needs, please call a Birk Law Firm estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau to get the process started. We offer a free initial consultation and would be glad to answer your questions. Call us at 573-332-8585.
What Are Some Of The Documents You Draft For Me?
That’s a great question. Depending on the complexity of your estate, an estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau can draft the most common documents as well as more intricate, highly customized documents. A trust is a way to provide for your children’s future and avoid the expenses and fees involved with probate. Some of the documents most often included in an estate plan are:
Many people mistakenly think that you have to be John D. Rockefeller or Bill Gates to have any need for a trust or “trust fund,” but that isn’t true. Many families can benefit from a trust. A trust is nothing more than a legal tool that greatly expands your options and enables you to manage your assets in multiple ways. It enables you to shield your wealth from taxes and pass it on to future generations.
A will is a very basic document that every person should have. You do not have to be rich or even have a spouse and children to benefit from a will. A will simply sets down in writing how you’d like your assets to be distributed after death, whether it be the house you live in, your grandmother’s furniture, or future care for your pets. You can also leave any detailed information about the location of keys, post office boxes, life insurance policies, and checking/savings accounts as a companion document with your will. Keeping all of this information in one place is a good idea.
Powers of attorney designate the person(s) you’d like to make decisions about your finances and other legal matters in the event that you become incapacitated because of illness or other unforeseen circumstances. You can make this power as broad or as narrow as you like.
This document identifies the person you have chosen to make healthcare decisions in the event that you become incapacitated or cannot speak because of being sedated or in a coma. It can also designate the person who makes decisions about your care if you have memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease later in life and are incapable of making your own decisions about your care.
This document often accompanies a Healthcare Power of Attorney by stipulating the medical decisions you’ve made prior to being incapacitated, such as a DNR (do not resuscitate) or other directions about your healthcare. By pre-planning this, it takes some pressure off family members when difficult decisions must be made about your care. It can also give you a sense of control when you know you’ve made these decisions in advance.
More About Trusts
Just as there are all kinds of people and estates, there are all kinds of trusts, including:
- Revocable trusts (living trusts)
- Long-term GST (dynasty) trusts
- Irrevocable trusts, including irrevocable life insurance trusts
- Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (MAPT)
- Income Only Trusts
- 2503(c) trusts for minors
- Charitable lead trusts
- Charitable remainder trusts
- Grantor retained trusts
- Intentionally defective grantor trusts
- IRA management (conduit) trusts
- Special-needs trusts
- Qualified personal residence trusts
Birk Law Firm is also qualified to assist you with asset protection planning involving structuring different types of foreign and domestic trusts that can protect your wealth from a wide variety of other parties. For a free initial consultation with an estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau, call us at 573-332-8585.
Help with Probate
While we usually advise clients to avoid probate because of the expense and public nature of the process, sometimes it is the best option because a person didn’t have the opportunity to create an estate plan before they passed away. An experienced estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau can help you through the probate process. Birk Law Firm has handled numerous probate cases in several counties in Missouri. Often, we can handle a probate case on the other side of the state without actually going to court. We recently handled a case for a client in Cape Girardeau whose father lived close to Kansas City. We were able to administer this case and close it without us or the client traveling to Kansas City.
Help with Will and Trust Disputes/Will and Trust Contests
When you find you don’t agree with how a personal representative or trustee is handling a last will and testament or a trust, you can dispute it. We have experience representing clients in will and trust contests. A will or trust contest can end up in court, and we have the courtroom and trial experience to see your case through to a successful resolution. While disputes and contests can be unpleasant, a skilled estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau can make sure the process is handled professionally. At Birk Law Firm, we work hard to successfully serve our clients, even when they are walking through unfortunate and contentious circumstances. We view our role as both representing our clients effectively and shielding them from unnecessary unpleasantness.
Sometimes it is better to hire a legal professional than it is to try to navigate a dispute or contest on your own. Rather than letting tempers flare and arguments arise among family members and business associates, we recommend hiring an experienced estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau to help.
An Estate Planning Attorney Provides Peace of Mind
An intangible but highly important benefit that an estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau can provide is peace of mind. Yes, you need all the legal and financial guidance necessary to navigate complicated and ever-changing tax laws as well as end-of-life decisions. But just as importantly, your family will be able to lean on, and rely on, an estate planning attorney in Cape Girardeau to lift a burden off their shoulders and allow your family to grieve. When you pass away, your family will have huge feelings of loss and disorientation, and it’s a gift to them if they don’t have to worry about legal matters.
An estate planning attorney at Birk Law Office shows the compassion and care that every client deserves during a time of incapacitation and loss. We always remember that we’re dealing with human beings, not just the legal system.
ALL YOUR LEGAL NEEDS
Why Choose Birk Law?
Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.
Our clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.
We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.