Estate Planning

Based in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, the estate planning attorneys at Sullivan & Sullivan, P.C. are here to help you take control of your future through comprehensive estate planning.

Founded in 1955, the law firm of Sullivan & Sullivan concentrates on estate planning, estate administration, business succession planning. We offer competent, professional advice, and create practical solutions to complex estate planning problems. Our attorneys pride themselves on simplifying complicated legal concepts, and explaining them in a way our clients can easily understand. We take a proactive approach to estate planning, rather than reacting to a problem after it arises.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process that allows you to identify who will receive your property, what they will receive, and when they will receive it. A properly executed estate plan gives you control over when and how your property is transferred to the people and organizations you care about most and ensures that your wishes are carried out correctly, as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

An estate plan also gives you control over your future if you become incapacitated or need assistance. Your estate plan can specify the type of medical care you do, or do not wish to receive, where you will live, and whether or not you want medical providers to take extraordinary measures to save you if your life is coming to an end.

What Should Be Included in Your Estate Plan

An estate plan ensures that you and your family are protected. A typical estate plan may include:

  • A Last Will and Testament (often referred to as simply a “Will”) that identifies your property and specifies how it will be transferred at the time of your death, and allows you to name a guardian to care for your minor children.
  • Trusts, such as a special needs trust, a revocable trust, or an irrevocable trust for minor children.
  • Healthcare Powers of Attorney where you appoint a person of your choice to make medical decisions on your behalf.
  • Financial Durable Powers of Attorney that allow you to choose someone to handle your business, financial, and legal affairs if you are unable to do so.
  • Living Wills, Advance Directives, and HIPAA Waivers that tell your loved ones the type of medical care you wish to receive and allows your representative to talk to your healthcare and insurance providers .
  • Business Succession Planning that can specify who will take over your business when you pass away, retire, or are incapacitated.

How the Estate Planning Process Works

Estate planning may seem difficult, but at Sullivan & Sullivan, we break the process down so it is not overwhelming.

Initial Meeting

During your initial meeting, we learn about you and your unique situation, work to understand your estate planning goals, and confirm that we can be of assistance.

Planning Meeting

In the planning meeting, we ask follow-up questions to better understand who you are and what you want your estate plan to accomplish. We also take time to explain estate planning concepts, identify estate planning options and the pros and cons of each, and address the cost of your estate plan.

Drafting and Reviewing

Once we understand your goals, we prepare your customized estate planning documents. You will, of course, have an opportunity to review the documents to ensure that they properly express your wishes, and make changes as necessary. Once your estate planning documents are approved, we meet to sign the estate planning documents.

Implementing the Plan

The last step is implementing your estate plan. For smaller estates, this may be as simple as signing your estate planning documents. For more complex estates, our attorneys will assist you in re-titling your assets to align your checking, savings, and retirement accounts with the documents. We will also assist you in transferring assets into your trust and updating beneficiary arrangements, as necessary.

Basic Estate Planning

A basic estate plan should include a Last Will and Testament, a Financial Durable Power of Attorney, a Healthcare Power of Attorney, and a Living Will. These documents cover the basics of estate planning, including how you want your assets to be passed down, identifying an Executor who will oversee the distribution of your assets, naming a guardian to care for any minor children, and giving someone the power to make financial and healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to.

Complex Estate Planning

For clients with more sophisticated estate planning needs, our attorneys can create estate plans that employ specialized estate planning options to minimize exposure to estate taxes, provide a plan to care for children with special circumstances, take advantage of charitable giving strategies, assist with Medicaid eligibility requirements, and address more complicated situations such as a second marriage or a blended family.

Sullivan & Sullivan: Estate Planning to Protect What Matters Most

At Sullivan & Sullivan, our attorneys go the extra mile to coordinate your estate plan. This can include advising you on how your estate plan is funded, updating beneficiary forms updated, and titling property to reflect your wishes and ensure that your estate plan is properly carried out.

In addition to estate planning, we also offer estate administration services, representing your family throughout the probate process and with the administration of a trust, the preparation of estate tax returns, and other administrative requirements that come with settling an estate.

We invite you to meet the legal team at Sullivan & Sullivan and learn what to expect when you work with us. Read testimonials from other people we have helped, get answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your estate planning needs and how we can help.

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