Cummings & Lockwood LLC
Chess Game

Estate Planning Strategies for Every Aspect of Your Life

A Private Clients Group Article

Spring 2017

For over a century, Cummings & Lockwood has provided individuals and families with sophisticated strategies for all of their estate planning needs.  Our seasoned attorneys can provide you with the legal advice and counsel you need in virtually every aspect of your life.  We work closely with you to understand what you value the most, what family means to you, what legacy you wish to leave behind, what assets you want to protect, what dreams and aspirations you wish to fulfill. 

And at each stage of your life, we are here to help you to develop effective strategies that will enable you to achieve your personal goals and financial objectives.  Together, we will create a comprehensive estate plan that will protect the people, assets, charitable causes and businesses you care about most for many years to come.

As reflected in the chart below, Cummings & Lockwood’s trusts and estates attorneys can develop a plan that is customized to address your unique questions, needs and concerns.

 Your Questions and Concerns


           Estate Planning Strategies to Consider


What are the critical components of an estate plan?


  • Will
  • Revocable Living Trust
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
  • Gifting Plan Related to Trusts, As Appropriate


What happens if I become incapacitated and can’t make financial, personal or medical decisions?

  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Proxy/Representative
  • Living Will
  • Advance Health Care Directive
  • Designation of Conservator/Pre-Need Guardian
  • Revocable Trust


How do I ensure that I have the right life insurance to protect my family? 


  • Life Insurance Planning
  • Understanding the Different Uses and Purposes of Insurance
  • Understanding Different Types of Insurance
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust


How do I maximize my retirements benefits?  What should I do about my IRA, Roth IRA and 401(K) Plan?


  • Understanding Income Taxation of Qualified Plans and IRAs
  • Distribution of Plan Assets to the Participant
  • Distribution of Plan Assets After the Participant’s Death
  • Estate Tax Considerations
  • Planning Considerations
  • Charitable Giving Options


How can I transition my wealth to family members?


  • Outright Gift
  • Intra-Family Loan
  • Estate Reduction Trust
  • Med/Ed Exclusion Gifts
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)
  • Installment Sale to a Grantor Trust
  • Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs) and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
  • Leveraged Gifts


What do I need to put in place to ensure the timely settlement and effective administration of my estate after death?


  • Funding Revocable Trusts
  • Coordinating Non-Probate Assets and Beneficiary Designations
  • Appointing Executors, Trustees and Fiduciaries to:
    • Manage Estate Assets
    • Handle Debts and Expenses
    • Fund the Bequests
    • Settle the Estate
    • Administer Trusts
  • How do I incorporate charitable giving into my estate plan? 


  • Outright Gifting
  • Donor Advised Fund
  • Charitable Lead Trust
  • Charitable Gift Annuity
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
  • Private Foundation


How do I structure and plan for the succession of my closely-held business?


  • Entity Selection:  Partnerships, LLCs, LLPs
  • Corporate Governance
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Cross-Purchase Agreements
  • Key Man Insurance


Where do I want to live upon retirement? 


  • Assessing the Tax Implications of Various States of Residence and Domicile


Our Estate Planning Process

Our attorneys work with you to design and implement the appropriate long-term strategy for your estate plan.  Our process involves the following steps:

Step 1:  Information Gathering -- Documenting your personal, professional and financial situation

Step 2:  Client Needs Analysis -- Understanding your needs, concerns and objectives

Step 3:  Strategy Development -- Providing tax-efficient estate planning recommendations based on your specific goals and needs

Step 4:  Plan Implementation -- Preparing the appropriate legal documents

Step 5:  Estate Settlement -- Handling probate and death tax matters

Step 6:  Trust Administration -- Assisting with the proper administration of trusts for your beneficiaries

Regular Estate Planning Reviews

Changes in the law, new opportunities and myriad life events can all affect your estate plan.  By performing regular reviews, we can help you make adjustments to your estate plan as necessary to ensure that your plan continues to match your future goals in a tax-efficient manner.

Coordination and Collaboration

We routinely work with our clients’ accountants, wealth advisors, financial planners and insurance professionals in order to recommend the most appropriate and effective estate planning solutions.  Our trusts and estates attorneys also collaborate with other Cummings & Lockwood attorneys who can address your varied corporate, finance, litigation and/or real estate needs.

If you are interested in developing a comprehensive estate plan based on your particular situation, contact a Cummings & Lockwood trusts and estates attorney for assistance.





Attorney Advertising.  This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.  We also have simplified technical aspects of the law in the interest of clear communication.  We would be pleased to provide you with more details about this topic and/or legal advice specific to your situation, if desired.

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