Lexington Estate Planning Lawyer
Get Help from Our Lexington Estate Planning Attorney
When you’re ready to discuss developing a plan for you and your family, an estate planning attorney in Lexington, KY, is here for you.
As people age, their focus tends to shift from taking care of themselves to ensuring their loved ones are cared for after they are gone.
Estate planning encompasses both of these intentions. An estate planning attorney in Lexington, KY, will make sure your estate is organized so your specific wishes are met in the event of grave illness or accidental death. Good estate planning involves drafting a will, setting up a plan to make certain your health,care wishes are followed, and protecting the assets you’ve worked hard for.
Having an estate plan is a good idea for everyone, regardless of age or health status. It is particularly important if you have children who are minors. The best time to start planning is now, while you have the capacity to do so. We understand that every client’s personal, family and economic goals are unique, and our estate planning attorney in Lexington, KY will work hard to ensure the finished product provides you with peace of mind.
It’s a good feeling, knowing you’ve done right by yourself and your loved ones. Now is the best time to take care of these matters, so call us today to get started.
How an Estate Planning Attorney in Lexington, KY, Can Help You
The importance of estate planning cannot be overstated. Whatever your net worth, it is important to have a basic estate plan in place. The rules of such planning are complex and can be difficult to understand. However, a properly drafted comprehensive plan can eliminate confusion and misunderstandings as well as eliminate the need for your family to go through the slow and expensive probate process.
That’s why it’s so important to consult an estate planning attorney in Lexington, KY, who can help you organize your assets and identify your goals.
Why Choose Us?
There are many lawyers out there, and it’s important for you to choose one that not only makes you feel comfortable, but one who has the knowledge necessary to deal with all your estate planning issues. Here are some reasons we believe Bunch & Brock is your best choice:
- We are experienced, and have celebrated our fortieth anniversary as a law firm providing professional, quality legal advice and representation to families, individuals, and businesses in central Kentucky. Attorney Thomas Bunch established the practice in 1976, when it was rare to find an attorney practicing primarily in consumer or corporate bankruptcy law. His son, Matthew Bunch, continues the legacy of helping people and businesses.
- When you hire a lawyer at Bunch & Brock, in Lexington, Kentucky, you will have a lawyer handling your case—not a paralegal or legal assistant.
- We offer personalized service to clients and the same experience and resources as many large firms — without giving up individual attention that we provide.
- We are local. The majority of our staff hails from Lexington and Central Kentucky, so we know the problems of the people in our region. The relationships we’ve forged with clients and the community are the cornerstones of our practice.
- We provide trusted advice. We can provide reliable legal advice to help you decide which is the best way to protect your assets and pass them on to your heirs.
When you have our Lexington, Kentucky, estate planning lawyers on your side, we will make sure your estate plans are set up correctly. Our goal is to help you implement the best estate plans for your individual situation so you know your loved ones are protected.
Our Estate Planning Attorney Outlines “The Basics”
Our clients often bring up familiar questions related to definitions of a few core terms associated with estate planning. An estate attorney in Lexington provides some highlights here to help you understand these basic concepts.
The term “estate” refers to all property that a person owns or controls. This includes:
- Real property and the things attached to it (houses, buildings, barns, etc.)
- Personal property (vehicles, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, cash, furniture, jewelry, collectibles, etc.)
- Businesses and business interests (inventory, tools, equipment, accounts receivable, etc.)
- Life insurance and annuity contracts, pension benefits, IRAs, 403(b)s, etc.
- Debts and obligations owed to others
- All claims the person has against others, such as for the pain and suffering from a motor vehicle accident.
While estate planning certainly benefits people with large estates, planning ahead also benefits those with modest assets. Anyone who creates an estate plan ensures their property will be distributed according to their personal wishes and that distribution will be possible with a minimum amount of delay.
Distribution of the property that you own at death can be planned in advance through either a will or a trust. If you die without having a valid will or trust, then your assets are divided in a specific order among your relatives in keeping with Kentucky statutes, which are known as “intestacy laws.”
If you’re looking for “an estate attorney near me,” consider Bunch & Brock. We’ve helped countless clients just like you create effective estate plans unique to their families. We can do the same for you.
Estate Planning Lawyers Draft Essential Documents
Wills are the most common estate planning documents and set forth who inherits your property. Wills can also have other purposes, such as appointing a guardian for your minor children or specifying your funeral arrangements. Other estate planning tools can provide for a durable financial power of attorney, which appoints someone to handle your finances when you can no longer look after them yourself. Beyond financial issues, a good estate plan addresses personal directives to carry out your healthcare wishes through a living will or a durable medical power of attorney.
Bunch & Brock estate attorneys can draft documents that are customized to meet your unique needs, including:
- Assisted living and advanced healthcare directives — Outlining your desires for future healthcare and medical intervention, these documents are welcomed by both family members and caregivers. If the time comes when you are no longer able to make decisions regarding care and treatment needs, planning that involves advanced healthcare directives provides a detailed blueprint of your wishes.
- Financial powers of attorney – These documents identify the individual(s) you trust to act on your behalf in time of need, handling your financial affairs should you become incapacitated. A financial POA can be used for a specific need or to grant to a chosen individual durable (ongoing) financial authority.
- Medical powers of attorney – This tool grants legal authority to someone, usually a family member, who can make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. The medical powers of attorney documents address a variety of emergency scenarios, such as temporary loss of consciousness after an accident.
- Wills, living wills, and testamentary trusts – In addition to a will to disburse your property and provide for minor children, you may want to have a living will, which directs your healthcare if you are in end-stage illness. A testamentary trust can be used to place some or all of your assets in a trust, providing managed funds to support a child or other needy family member. Our attorneys can help you draft the wills and trusts necessary for your estate planning needs.
- Revocable and irrevocable trusts – A trust designates a “trustee” to manage your assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. The terms “revocable” and “irrevocable” pertain to your degree of control over the assets in question and whether or not the funds remain protected from potential seizure or taxation.
- Family limited partnerships and limited liability companies – Business owners can use an FLP to create a plan for dividing assets and control of a family business, thus avoiding probate delays and expenses. An LLC can also include plans to transfer assets and control of a family-owned entity — and eliminate death taxes.
- Insurance planning and life insurance trusts – Depending upon the type and duration, a life insurance policy can provide generously for heirs or simply ensure emergency payment of funeral expenses and other essentials. A life insurance trust keeps policies in a trust in order to reduce estate taxes and to provide for a trustee to manage paid out benefits.
- Business succession planning – For business owners, succession planning can make the difference between a desirable transition and the disastrous loss of a valuable asset. This plan lays out directives for the business in the event of your death or disability and can also be used for retirement planning.
Estate Planning Attorney Explains “Death Taxes”
The term “death tax” refers to estate taxes and inheritance tax. The state and federal government can assess estate taxes against the net value of the deceased’s estate, while inheritance taxes are a form of state income tax for heirs.
Estate taxes will not be an issue for many people in Kentucky. Federal taxes apply only to multimillion- dollar estates (the current cut-off being $11,180,000), and Kentucky does not assess state estate taxes at all. Kentucky also waives inheritance taxes for a spouse, children, parents or siblings. The state does assess taxes for other heirs, however.
As you can see, there’s a lot to know about estate planning. What seem like some small decisions can have major implications for your children and grandchildren. A well-crafted plan can affect your family intergenerationally, for years to come, and is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your family. When you pass away, family members need to grieve and appreciate their memories of you. It’s important not to create an environment of uncertainty about assets, leaving room for hurt feelings and disagreements. A well-crafted estate plan can prevent this from happening. That’s why it’s so important to put a plan in place while you’re still feeling sharp and vigorous.
“Sharp lawyer! He came up with a solution to a quandary I was in as the executor of my mother’s estate. I would not hesitate to return to Mr. Tom Bunch II should I need legal advice again. Professional, personable and competent…couldn’t ask for more in a lawyer!” – W W. (Yelp Review)