Wills & Trusts
Omaha estate planning attorney Tom Whitmore offers a complete estate planning service and business succession counseling, featuring living trusts and probate avoidance where appropriate, including preparation of wills, trusts and family limited partnerships. We serve clients throughout metropolitan Omaha, Nebraska, as well as the surrounding communities of Papillion, Bellevue, Plattsmouth, Gretna, Fremont, and Blair.
Wills are the traditional means of passing property upon death. Other methods include use of living trusts, other kinds of lifetime giving and certain forms of joint ownership. This section focuses its discussion on trusts. Elsewhere we discuss joint ownership and wills and compare the use of a trust to the use of a will. Because this area of the law is complex, an attorney should always be consulted before making a decision as to whether a trust or a will is right for you.
Our estate planning service provides analysis and development of a specific plan that is tailored to the client’s individual needs, rather than prescribing the same plan for everyone.
Because everyone’s situation is different, we approach each estate planning case with the specific situation and goals of the individual in mind. In some cases, proper disposition of property upon death is the paramount concern, while in others the foremost objective might be reduction of taxes, assuring sufficient estate liquidity or guardianship/custody of minor children. There may be business interests that require careful succession planning.
The principle document that we prepare in many plans is the will. The primary function of the will, of course, is to provide for the disposition of property of the person making the will (called the “testator”). Of equal importance, the will also designates the person (“executor” or “personal representative”) who will settle the testator’s estate after death, and if there are minor children, nominates an individual to serve as their guardian.
One of the things that we may seek to accomplish through the planning process, where appropriate, is the avoidance of the probate process entirely through the judicious use of such devices as joint tenancies, POD accounts and so-called “living trusts.” Since 2013, we have been able to use TOD deeds to transfer Nebraska real estate after death without the need for probate.
Living trusts are often used to provide for dependents who have special needs. In these cases, the aim is to provide the dependent’s caretakers with the resources to bestow life-enhancing benefits upon the dependent without disqualifying him or her from need-based entitlement programs such as SSI and medicaid. For more information, click this Link: Supplemental Needs Trusts.
Link: More About Planning Your Estate
Link: Frequently Asked Questions.
Benefits of a Living Trust
. Avoids probate at death, including multiple probates if you own property in other states
. Prevents court control of assets at incapacity
. Brings all your assets together under one plan
. Prevents court control of minors’ inheritances
. Quicker distribution of assets to beneficiaries
. Assets can remain in trust until you want beneficiaries to inherit
. Provides maximum privacy
. Difficult to contest
. Can be changed or cancelled at any time
. Can reduce or eliminate estate taxes
. Prevents unintentional disinheriting and other problems of joint ownership, especially in blended families
. Can protect dependents with special needs. More information.
. Professional management with corporate trustee if desired
. Inexpensive, easy to set up and maintain
. Peace of mind
Avoid Probate With a Low Cost Trust
Many of our clients are able to avoid the expense and delay of probate by choosing one of our living trust plans.
We offer complete living trust plans for a nominal flat fee. Our lowest cost plan includes:
. simple pour-over will;
. title holder or residence trust;
. living will;
. health care power of attorney; and
. financial (durable) power of attorney.
Of course we also offer other estate planning services ranging from simple wills to complete living trust packages tailored to your individual needs.
Call now to arrange your free in office consultation to discuss whether a low cost living trust is suitable for your needs!
Link: More Information on Living Trusts