Estate Planning and Probate - Protecting Your Family

At Gambardella, Cipriano, Gottlieb & Hathaway, we take great pride in the service we provide to our clients. We feel that our approach to the business model is different from many other firms, especially when it comes to estate planning matters.

The financial issues that must be discussed are only one facet of a good estate plan. More importantly, we want to know about your family, your needs, and your hopes. We want to be sure that the plan we jointly put together addresses your particular desires and any issues or concerns that may be unique to your situation.

The time spent at an initial conference is critical, and we are pleased to represent that our office brings many years of experience to the table. It is because we have talked with hundreds of people like yourself over the years that we can skillfully and effectively address the myriad matters that need to be reviewed and discussed so that a plan can be conceived that effectively meets your needs.

Moreover, the knowledge we have gleaned from all of the disciplines that we cover on a daily basis serve us well when making recommendations for your particular plan. We listen and focus on individual solutions.

We bring this philosophy to the table, not only when providing estate planning, but also when we assist families who have lost a loved one. We take great pride in helping those left behind in a supportive and compassionate manner. Let us show you how a small firm can make a difference.

Rely on Our Complete Estate Planning Services

When preparing an estate plan, there are many factors to consider and types of instruments to explore. For example, there are documents that you should have in place before you die, but will only become effective after you die, such as a Will. A Will, in addition to spelling out how your estate will be distributed, can address many issues such as:

  • Who will be in charge of the administration of your estate?
  • Who will take care of your minor children?
  • Who will decide how your minor children's money is used and invested?
  • When will your minor children actually be given the money outright?
  • Whether a bond has to be posted after you die?
  • What will happen if you, your spouse, and your children die in a catastrophic event?

Documents to Consider in Advance

As importantly, there are additional documents that you should have in place before you die that will only be effective while you are alive, such as the Designation of a Health Care Representative to make medical decisions if you cannot, or a Living Will that addresses your desires regarding the withholding or withdrawal of life support. Another example is a Durable Power of Attorney that can be used to manage legal and financial affairs, especially if someone becomes mentally incapacitated or has a serious illness, and as an alternative to a conservatorship.

There are some instruments, such as revocable living trusts, that are effective and have an impact while you are living and after you die. A good attorney can explain the differences between these documents and other instruments in a simple, easy-to-understand manner, and can help you decide what is right for your situation.

Estate Planning Tools

There are many estate planning tools available to address these concerns, such as:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Living wills
  • Appointment of a Health Care Representative
  • Advance Designation of a Conservator
  • Organ donations
  • Medical Information Releases (HIPAA Authorizations)
  • Life insurance policies with named beneficiaries
  • Life insurance trusts
  • Payable on death
  • Gifting
  • Joint accounts
  • Ownership of real estate as joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS)
  • Ownership of real estate as tenants in common
  • Ownership of real estate in a limited liability company or trust
  • Estate Planning Questionnaire

Gambardella, Cipriano, Gottlieb & Hathaway will take the time to discuss these options with you and help you to decide which of the above options or other available alternatives will be right for you.