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Protecting Your Assets With Estate Planning

Last updated on February 10, 2021

When people hear the word estate planning, they often think of people with substantial assets planning for transferring their wealth to family members. But the reality is quite different. Estate planning includes not only what happens to your assets when you pass away, but also, means protecting your assets while you live and plan for the future. Hoffmeyer & Semmelman’s estate planning team has substantial experience helping individuals protect their estates now and plan for how to transfer their estates in the future.

Contact our estate planning attorneys in central Pennsylvania today to learn how we can help you use the many tools available to you to keep your estate safe.

Keeping Your Assets Safe

There are myriad devices you can use to protect your assets for both yourself and your family. You need not be wealthy to worry about keeping your assets safe. When you meet with Hoffmeyer & Semmelman’s estate planning lawyers, we will discuss what you can do to protect your assets now and provide for your loved ones in the future. Some of the tools we can utilize to help you with your estate planning include:

Gifting: Giving financial gifts during your life is a common form of transferring wealth that can minimize taxes. However, taxes related to giving financial gifts can be quite complex. Financial gifts, given improperly, can result in substantial taxes to the giver.

Life insurance: Most people think of life insurance as a way to provide for their loved ones after they die. But life insurance can also be useful in other ways. This is because there are many types of life insurance, some of which can benefit you while you are still alive, and others which are of benefit to your beneficiaries.

Marital/Co-habitation agreements:  Whether you are getting married, are already married, planning to co-habitate or are planning for divorce, a properly drafted marital/co-habitation agreement is a crucial part of estate planning. The family law team at Hoffmeyer & Semmelman, L.L.C., can help you understand how marital/co-habitation agreements work and how you can use them to protect your assets now and in the future.

Powers of attorney: If you should become incapacitated, powers of attorney allow someone you trust to manage your affairs. This includes both making your health decisions and handling your financial matters. Everyone needs to have appropriately drafted powers of attorney for their protection.

Wills: The will is the document with which most people are familiar. Everyone should have a will. Failure to have a will means that any estate that you have not provided for in another fashion will pass according to intestacy law. This means you have no control over how your assets will be divided. A proper will is absolutely critical to your estate planning.

Living wills: Another type of document you might consider is a living will. Living wills address what you do and do not want to be done to keep you alive if you are on your deathbed and cannot make decisions for yourself.

Taxes: Improper planning of your estate can lead to substantial tax problems. Our attorneys work closely with CPAs and tax attorneys, as appropriate, to minimize your tax liability both during life and while administering your estate after you pass.

Trusts: Trusts can be an excellent way to manage your assets both during your life and after you pass. Trusts can be crafted in numerous ways and can be utilized for asset management in many ways. This includes reducing taxes, protecting family members, dividing properties, protecting those who are not able to handle money (for example young children) and more. Trusts are extremely flexible, which is why they are such a useful estate planning tool.

Business succession planning: If you own a business, it is important that you have a proper succession plan. Many people separate their business planning from their estate planning, but it is wise to consider both together. Our business attorneys and estate lawyers can work with you to make certain you have a proper succession plan in place.

Charitable giving: Giving to charities can be a large part of your estate plan. But making certain you give to those charities in the right way at the right time can be extremely beneficial. This is especially the case when it comes to your taxes. If you plan on giving to charities, whether during your life and after you pass away, you can make certain that both you and the charity receive the best benefits from your generosity.

For Guidance On Estate Planning, Contact Us Now

Improper estate planning results in higher taxes and administrative difficulties for your family. Our estate planning attorneys will work with you to determine the best and most cost-effective way to make certain that your assets are protected both during and after your life. If you are in central Pennsylvania and require assistance with estate planning or administration, the attorneys of Hoffmeyer & Semmelman, L.L.C., can help.

Contact us today at 717-846-8846 to learn how we can help you protect you now and your loved ones in the future. We have lawyers in York, Shrewsbury and Mount Wolf for your convenience. But, if you are unable to travel to us, let us know. We may be able to come to you if you are in central Pennsylvania.