Carl Werner & Associates

(210) 377-4242

How We Can Help

Wills and Incapacity Planning

Regardless of a person’s financial situation, EVERYONE needs a will and documents to protect them in case they become incapacitated and unable to make medical or financial decisions for themselves. Before death or incapacity strikes, we help our clients create a plan, so their decisions will be respected. Our clients understand that, if they do not have a plan, their loved ones could face legal problems at the worst possible time. Having a sound plan in place can reduce or eliminate problems and overall cost and will streamline the transition for survivors and caretakers.

Typically, an estate plan involves a Will and impaired-judgment documents, such as financial and health care powers of attorney, a directive to physicians (addressing end-of-life options), and a release of medical information authorization. An estate plan also might involve trusts for spouses and children or other descendants, marital agreements, entity formation, and related instruments.

One size does not fit all when it comes to an estate plan. Therefore, we carefully listen to each client’s wishes and collaborate with them to create a tailor-made plan that works for their unique situation.

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Probate Estates

In the aftermath of a death, survivors are faced with many different types of challenges at once. We routinely help clients deal with the legal issues that arise upon a person’s death, such as deciding whether to probate a Will or open an estate administration, deciding which court process (if any) is necessary and available, identifying and securing the deceased person’s assets for the estate, paying taxes and other debts of the estate, and timing when to distribute assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.

We guide our clients through these legal steps smoothly, so they can deal with all of the other aspects of adjusting to a "new normal" without their loved one.

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Trusts

A trust can be a useful tool in an estate plan. Where appropriate, we help our clients determine whether a trust would be a good fit to achieve their desired outcomes and discuss what the trust would look like and how it would operate.

In administering a person’s estate upon their death, different rules and steps apply if a trust is involved, whether the trust was created during the decedent’s life or at their death by their Will. Therefore, we provide advice on trust-related matters including setting up the trust, the duties and obligations of the trustee, the rights of beneficiaries, proper record-keeping and reporting by the trustee if required, communication between the trustee and beneficiaries, and tax reporting requirements. We have experience advising both individual and corporate trustees.

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Protecting Assets

Some clients desire to structure their assets in ways that protect them and their financial health from a variety of risks, such as business failures, lawsuits, malpractice claims against professionals, or the financial impact of divorce. Where appropriate, we develop and implement structures that are tailored to each client’s goals, whether included as part of their estate planning or done independently.

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Personal and Fiduciary Concerns

We help clients to understand their roles and rights when they find themselves named as a beneficiary of an estate or trust, named as an executor or trustee of an estate, planning to marry or facing divorce, or starting, reorganizing, or transferring family business interests.

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Minimizing Taxes

The tax landscape in the United States is ever changing, and it is prudent to consider the income and transfer tax implications when determining any estate plan. Where applicable, we take steps to minimize income, estate, gift, or generation-skipping transfer taxes, if those steps can be implemented without sacrificing your core planning goals.

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How can we help you?

Call us, or send us an email! We can answer your questions and help you decide on your next step.