Estate planning is a process of organizing and determining the disposition of one’s property. Many people make the mistake of never planning for the future. The price of such procrastination is heavy. Financial security is sacrificed. Hard-earned assets intended for one’s children may end up in the government’s hands. Family businesses may need to be sold in order to pay high estate taxes. However, with a little advance planning, unnecessary taxes and unintended results can be avoided.

The Steidley & Neal firm believes in developing a close relationship with its clients. We help clients plan now for their future financial security. We counsel our clients on how to transfer their property to family and friends in a manner that minimizes estate taxes, reduces probate costs, and conserves and enhances the assets of both our clients and their eventual beneficiaries.

Our estate planning lawyers take into account the unique objectives of each client and attempt to structure estate plans that are consistent with the client’s individual goals. We provide comprehensive estate planning advice and document preparation, including simple and complex wills and trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, revocable living trusts, powers of attorney for health care and business affairs, living wills, and a variety of other instruments to enable our clients’ needs and wishes to take effect as desired. We also provide business-planning advice relating to our estate planning services. This includes advice concerning closely-held family businesses, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and partnership agreements, insurance trusts, and many other planning techniques designed to protect the hard-earned business assets of our clients and help them pass the wealth on to future generations.

In addition to developing our clients’ estate plans, Steidley & Neal attorneys have experience in efficiently assisting clients with probate matters. Probate is the process of gathering the assets of a deceased person, paying valid debts, and transferring ownership of the assets to beneficiaries who are rightfully entitled to receive them. The entire process may be conducted under the care, supervision, and protection of the probate court. Despite the protection probate affords, which may be necessary in some cases, the process of probate can be quite lengthy and expensive. In some cases, family members are denied access to and beneficial ownership in assets for an extended period of time. Moreover, the costs associated with the probate process may result in substantially less assets even after a lengthy waiting period. Depending upon the individual needs and desires of certain clients, we can help avoid probate through advance planning and careful structuring of a client’s estate.