Estate Planning

When we use the term “estate planning”, we are referring to much more than simple wills and trusts. Estate planning encompasses an evaluation of your current estate and assets, planning for health care decisions, providing security for a surviving spouse, and determining the time and manner in which your estate will be distributed, or how your business interests will pass to your children or grandchildren (which we typically refer to as “succession planning”). Our firm’s experience with a broad range of estate planning cases provides our clients the opportunity to make an informed decision about their estate planning needs and objectives.

Business Estate and Succession Planning

Many of our firm’s estate planning projects arise in the context of the concerns expressed by our business clients. Estate planning is a natural “next step” to the organization of a business and necessary component of determining the continuity in the event of an unexpected injury or the death of a business owner. In addition to planning for the next generation or generations of business owners, estate planning in this context takes into consideration financial arrangements, taxation, the skill and experience of successors, and the financial security of a surviving spouse and family. The challenge is knowing, and then understanding, the specific business issues and objectives of the particular business owners. Our vast experience in business provides us the unique ability to understand and anticipate the challenges that business owners will confront in this process. Working closely with you and your accountant, Di Duca Ellingson, APC will help you to plan ahead and make reasoned decisions based on the most accurate information.

Private Estate Planning

From Employment Contracts to Purchase Orders, including manufacturing agreements, output contracts, payment practices and releases of liens, Di Duca Ellingson, APC can assist you in avoiding the pitfalls of your business operation and, in the unfortunate event you need an attorney to resolve a dispute, Di Duca Ellingson, APC will be there to help you make those decisions as welWith recent changes to federal regulations concerning the Unified Tax Credit, private estate planning now provides a more flexible approach to a broader range of estates based on the value of the estate. At present, clients have the opportunity to place greater emphasis on the confidentiality of certain forms of trust estates, long–term benefits to surviving spouses, and distribution of wealth to a broader class of beneficiaries, including charitable gifts. In private estate planning, we concentrate on selecting the best instrument to manage the estate (whether that be a will or some form of revocable or irrevocable trust), your desired plan of distributions, powers of attorney for both financial decisions and healthcare decisions (referred to as an Advance Health Care Directive), and the method in which title is held to real and personal property.

Wills and Trusts

There is a material difference between a “will” and a “trust”. First and foremost, a will takes effect only upon the death of the person who executed the will, which may substantially limit the manner in which your estate is managed and distributed. A trust, on the other hand, is a “living” instrument and provides you the opportunity during your lifetime to develop your estate plan, evaluate the performance, conduct, and needs of your trustees and beneficiaries and, most importantly, a trust is confidential, unlike wills that become a matter of public record.

If you have additional questions concerning your legal matter, please contact Di Duca Ellingson, PC for an initial consultation. We can be reached by phone at 530.343.3454 or by filling out the form on our "Contact" page.