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Milton Estate Planning Attorney

Lawyers Guiding Clients in Sussex County Through Estate Planning

The usefulness of a well-developed estate plan isn’t limited to people with vast amounts of wealth. Estate plans focus giving you and your loved ones control over your assets and wishes. Finding an estate planning attorney to draft a thorough plan is key to securing the future of your loved ones.

At Adkins Law Firm, our attorneys will help you ensure your assets do not fall into the wrong hands. We will use our years of experience in estate law to prepare a plan to protect you in the long term. Your comprehensive estate plan will make the wealth you accumulated throughout the years work for you and those who matter most.

To schedule an initial consultation about your estate planning or probate case, call a Milton estate planning lawyer at (302) 505-5773 or contact us today.

What is Estate Planning?

The purpose of making an estate plan is to plan ahead, designate the people or organizations that will receive your belongings after you die, and take steps now to simplify the process in the future.

Understanding Estate Law in Delaware

In Delaware, when a person dies, becoming a decedent, their property and assets are subject to probate administration. The probate process determines how the decedent’s estate is distributed, relying on documents such as their will.

Without a valid will or other specification, probate courts will distribute the decedent's assets to beneficiaries according to state intestacy succession law. Nearly all states have intestacy laws that prioritize inheritance for your closest relatives, such as children or your spouse. Delaware state law also includes specific inheritance stipulations for half relatives and relatives born after the decedent's death.

Probate can be a complicated and drawn-out process. That is why it is recommended to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney from Milton for organizing your estate.

How to Create an Effective Estate Plan

An effective estate plan minimizes exposure of your property and assets to state probate and intestacy laws, as well as estate tax.

Your comprehensive plan could include the following estate planning documents:

  • Wills - Having a will in place is vital to ensuring your property is not distributed by the courts
  • Living trusts - Property in a living trust can bypass the probate process, and your trustee can distribute the assets within the trust to named beneficiaries as you see fit
  • Jointly Owned Property and Named Beneficiaries - Certain property and financial instruments allow ownership to revert to a joint-owner or named beneficiary automatically
  • Retirement Accounts - Such accounts are considered Transfer on Death, meaning they transfer directly to designated beneficiaries without the need for probate
  • Life Insurance Proceeds and Annuities - Annuities allow you to name specific beneficiaries to directly receive all or part of your investment, avoiding probate proceedings
  • Living Wills, Advanced Health Directives, and Special Powers of Attorney - These documents can ensure someone you trust has the power to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated

How a Trust Can Protect Your Property

A Milton estate planning lawyer can organize your property into trusts, accounts, and financial or investment products such as life insurance policies and annuities.

Trusts can protect a substantial portion of your property and assets from creditors and probate when you pass away. When you place your property into a trust (trust property), you no longer own that property. Under the contract creating the trust, a designated trustee has control over trust property.

Some types of property that can be protected by a trust include:

While you are alive, you can act as the trustee of your trust property for your living trust. When you die, any named successor trustees will be responsible for administering the property held in a trust.

Call (302) 505-5773 for Thorough Estate Planning Services!

Are you worried about how your property and assets will be divided after you pass away? Let us help you start planning your estate today. Your family will be grateful for it.

Turn to Adkins Law Firm, P.A. for a case evaluation with an estate planning attorney in Milton. We have years of experience and are ready to help you create an estate plan with inheritance stipulations.

As your Milton estate planning lawyers, we are here to provide sound legal advice. Contact Adkins Law Firm online or call our Milton law office at (302) 505-5773 today!

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