Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets

The Pittsburgh Estates and Trusts Attorneys at Stoner & Davé PLLC practice in all areas of Estates and Trusts Law. Estate Planning is about protecting the most important things in your life: the people you care about and the assets you have worked hard for.

Protecting Your Finances

There are numerous options available in this day and age for individuals to protect their financial assets.  A properly drafted Will is still one of the most important things anyone can do to protect their finances and their loved ones.  An effective Will needs to be up to date as well.  Individuals should normally update their Will about every 10 years, however, a major change in finances, such as receiving an inheritance, selling a business, or new coming across new opportunities such as receiving oil and gas royalties can certainly require a new Will to be drafted.  When getting a Will done it is important not to use unreliable web forms or DIY manuals.  However, a Will does not need to be expensive either.  While some Estates and Trusts lawyers only focus on the wealthiest of individuals, the Attorneys at Stoner & Davé have offer affordable options for estates of all levels of complexity.

While a Will can protect your finances from the uncertainties of the future, the Attorneys at Stoner & Davé also offer solutions to protect them in the present.  Trusts are a great way to protect your assets, lower tax burdens and avoid probate.  Trusts are also extremely versatile and can be used for a wide variety of purposes.  By creating a Trust, you can protect your assets and also use it as a mechanism for self-discipline and prudence.  In some situations, an LLC or a Family Investment Corporation may be the optimum way of protecting your family’s finances.  The Attorneys at Stoner & Davé can create Trusts and other legal entities for a wide number of purposes including asset protection and Estate Planning.  We realize that every family is different and we work hard to make sure that any financial or testamentary plan is one which works for you and your loved ones.

Protecting Your Children

While Wills are often viewed as a financial document, they also serve an important purpose in protecting your children as well.  If you have children who are minors, having a Will is imperative as you have the ability to name a Guardian for your children in the event of your death.  If you do not have a Will with a named Guardian, your children may face an uncertain future.  Unfortunately, many children whose parents have died can find themselves embroiled in nasty custody battles amongst surviving relatives, or even more tragically, being forced into foster care because there was no clarity as to their Guardianship.  To put off getting a Will when you have small children is simply irresponsible and selfish.  Give your children the stability and protection that they deserve.

However, to completely ensure your children’s safety and protection, a Will may not be enough.  In some instances, a parent may not die, but may find themselves incapacitated from an accident or medical emergency.  If one is in a coma, their Will cannot become effective.  In this instance your children still will not have a legal Guardian lined up, and they risk much of the same drama that can occur if their parents had died without a Will.  For parents who want to make sure their children are protected to the maximum extent, a Standby Guardianship would be the best choice.  A Standby Guardianship Designation, allows for Parents to name a Guardian for their children in the event of their death, just like a Will.  However, unlike a Will, A Standby Guardianship allows for multiple “triggering events” to be included which can allow for Guardianship to occur.  Things like medical trauma and incapacity can be added as triggering events to a Standby Guardianship Designation.  This will provide the maximum protection for your children under the law.  A Standby Guardianship can also be temporary, so if a parent were to wake up from a coma, she would immediately resume custody of her children without having compromised any of her custodial rights.  Because of this, the Standby Guardianship is the strongest and most flexible legal device available for parents who care about their children’s wellbeing.

The law firm of  Stoner & Davé offers Wills designed for parents and Standby Guardianship Designations which are affordably priced and effectively drafted.  Call today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can protect you and your family.