Estate Planning

Estate Planning is an action plan that individuals use to determine what happens with their financial and medical needs while they are alive, and what happens to their assets and, if applicable, their minor children when they die. With proper estate planning an individual can make these decisions in advance without interference by the Court (both while alive and after death). Keep in mind that all estate planning documents must be created while you are still alive and competent to execute same.

There are many estate planning documents that every adult individual should have in place. At a minimum, every adult should have the following three (3) estate planning documents: Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, and Living Will Directive and Health Care Surrogate Designation. 

Learn More: Last Will and Testament

Learn More: Durable Power of Attorney

Learn More: Living Will Directive and Health Care Surrogate Designation


In addition to the three (3) estate planning documents mentioned above, we highly recommend a Revocable Living Trust. Like a Last Will and Testament, this document sets forth your wishes regarding who will receive your estate upon your death. However, it also allows you to set forth special provisions as to when a beneficiary will receive their share of your estate after your death (i.e. a specific age or life event). Most importantly, a Revocable Living Trust will allow your estate to avoid Probate Court upon your death (provided the Trust is properly funded with your assets). In addition, it also allows your estate (including the value of your assets, your beneficiaries, and all other provisions contained in the Revocable Living Trust) to remain private, as nothing is filed with the Probate Court. Much like a Last Will and Testament, you can alter, amend or terminate the Revocable Living Trust during your lifetime, which makes it a very flexible and valuable estate planning document. 

Learn More: Revocable Living Trust


Older couple and representative


Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements are another type of estate planning document used by individuals to protect their pre-marital assets and legacy for prior born children. A Prenuptial Agreement is executed prior to the marriage occurring and a Postnuptial Agreement is executed after the marriage occurs.

Learn More: Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements


Another type of estate planning document is the Irrevocable Trust. Just as the name says, this type of trust is “irrevocable” and once in place it cannot be altered, amended or terminated by the person who created it. However, it provides certain benefits that a Revocable Trust cannot. An Irrevocable Trust can be used for tax protection, protection for individuals who work in a profession that may make them vulnerable to lawsuits (such as doctors or attorneys), and Medicaid qualification. 

Learn More: Irrevocable Trust


There is also a type of Irrevocable Trust known as a Special Needs Trust. This type of Irrevocable Trust is used when a beneficiary has disabilities which can be either physical or mental and receiving government benefits. 

Learn More: Special Needs Trust


A Miller Trust, sometimes also referred to as a Qualified Income Trust, is also an Irrevocable Trust that provides a way for Medicaid applicants who have income over Medicaid’s limit to become eligible for Medicaid long term care. 

Learn More: Miller Trust


A Charitable Trust is an Irrevocable Trust consisting of assets that a Grantor (donor) signs over or uses to create a charitable foundation. The assets are held and managed by the charity for a specified period of time, with some or all interest that the assets produce going to the charity. 

Learn More: Charitable Trust


Lastly, at Stone Legal Group, PLLC, we believe in giving quality legal service to all members of the community. People of all gender identities and sexual orientations are welcome at Stone Legal Group, PLLC, including non-binary and transgender individuals.

Learn More: Planning For All

Estate Planning FAQ