Services

Kids Protection Plan.

Did you know that 69% of parents have not yet named guardians for their kids?

And of the 31% who have, most have made one of

6 common mistakes? Click this link to review the 6 common mistakes most parents (and some lawyers!) make when naming legal guardians.

Having a Will Alone Simply Does Not Ensure the Care of Your Kids If the Unthinkable Happens to You!

If you are a parent of minor children, or those with special needs, who are counting on you, your estate plan must ensure your children would always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what happens.

At Liz Smith Law, one of our areas of greatest expertise is planning for the well-being and care of the children you love.

Without proper planning, if something happens to you, here’s what could happen:

  • Your children could be placed into the care of strangers even if you have a will or living trust in place while your legal documents are located or your family is identified. Or worse, your kids could be left in the care of the one person in your family you would never want raising them.
  • A Judge who doesn’t know you, or your family, will decide who will raise your kids, even if it’s the last person you would ever want.
  • Approximately 5% of the total value of your assets could be lost due to probate, a court process that can tie up your assets for months or years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably.
  • When your kids turn 18, they get a check for whatever assets are left – outright with no protection.

Yes, these things scare us too. That’s why we offer a Kids Protection Plan® with every estate plan we prepare for families with young children.

What is a Kids Protection Plan®?

A Kids Protection Plan® is a set of instructions, legal documents and even an ID card for your wallet, which you need to have if you have kids at home who count on you for their well-being and care.

If you are in an accident, your Kids Protection Plan® will make sure your children are never taken into the custody of strangers or the care of anyone you wouldn’t want because the authorities don’t have clear instructions from you.  And your Kids Protection Plan® will ensure your children are raised by people you choose, not someone chosen by a Judge who doesn’t know you.

To get started with your Kids Protection Plan®contact us, or click the link below to get started on your own!!

In 10 minutes, this FREE website will help you protect your kids if something unthinkable happens to you prior to creating your formal estate plan. This of it as the first step to ensuring your kids are raised by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what.

Estate planning.

Planning for Everyone You Love and Everything You Have

Do you know what would happen legally- to you, your loved ones, your money and everything else you care about – if something unexpected happened to you?

If you have an estate plan and it’s out of date, your assets could be lost to the State Department of Unclaimed Property, or to an unnecessary Court process.

If you don’t know exactly what would happen for everyone you love and everything you own, then the first step is to find out exactly what would happen, legally and financially, so that you can decide if the current state of your affairs is okay with you.

How Do We Help You With Estate Planning?

We conduct a Life and Legacy Planning Session, where we spend time together and you’ll get informed.  Before your Life and Legacy Planning Session, you will complete a Life and Legacy Inventory and Assessment, which will help you to get clear about what you own and what you have to think about when it comes to planning for the well-being and care of your loved ones and loved belongings. If you decide the current state of affairs is unacceptable, and if we both decide that it’s a fit to work together, then we can design an estate plan together that will best suit the needs of your family.

The foundation of your estate plan may include a revocable living trust; you transfer your property into this trust for your benefit during your life.  One of the benefits of a revocable living trust is that, when done correctly and maintained over time, your estate plan should help your family to avoid the cost and delay of probate and minimize or eliminate estate taxes.

Can I DIY My Estate Plan?

Unfortunately, most plans don’t work because much of what passes for estate planning is little more than word processing. You are asked a few questions and then the drafter, or software, decides which “plan” is right for you, and fits you into a template. This is not estate planning; it is little more than a “search and replace” of your family’s name and then a hit of the “print” button which spits out form documents.

In some situations, a DIY plan online may suit your needs. But don’t you want to know for sure? If you have a specific goal in mind, it is important that you put a plan in place to actually achieve that goal, otherwise it is a wasted money. In fact, it may be better to do nothing than to put a plan in place that does not meet your goals.

To invest in your education to ensure you are protected, book an appointment with me today.

We Are Professional Estate Planners

Liz Smith will educate you, take the time to get to know you, your family, your concerns, your goals and your issues and will gladly and patiently answer all your questions to produce an estate plan that is exactly right for you and will keep your loved one’s out of court and out of conflict.

If you are a family with young children, then your estate plan should begin with a foundation that ensures your children would always be taken care of, no matter what happens.  At Liz Smith Law, one of our areas of greatest expertise is protecting minor children.

Asset Protection Planning.

Nobody expects to be sued. Just ask the 20 million people involved in lawsuits last year.

Divorce, inheritance, health issues, creditors, employees, theft, changing markets, malpractice suits, sexual harassment claims, natural disasters and disgruntled business partners are just a few issues that can result in devastating lawsuits for unprepared business owners. The highest level of risk falls on those who think they are immune.

Americans are now more concerned than ever about protecting their assets from creditor claims, taxes, divorce and other disasters. Rightly so.

The more success you have (especially in business, professional practice or real estate activities), the more at risk you are as others see your success grow.

Here’s some of the “risky behavior” you may be engaging in right now:

Will you be signing loan documents, a personal guaranty or a lease? Do you have rental properties or employees? Are you an attorney or physician? Do you work in construction or perform professional services? Are you getting married and have children from a prior marriage or separate property assets you are bringing into the marriage?

Here’s the thing: all of these activities are activities we want to see you do more of! They are, in many ways, the spice of life.  But we don’t want that spice to become too hot and impact your life negatively.

That’s where we come in. We can set up your business and life structures to ensure that you can take maximum risk with minimum worry.

We assist our clients in determining the appropriate level of asset protection planning for their particular circumstances. We will consider insurance, prenuptial agreements, asset segregation, choice of jurisdiction, gifting, LLCs, partnerships, corporations, and asset protection trusts. Customized combinations are layered depending on the needs of the client and as appropriate.

There are many different strategies to accomplish the protection of your assets while you are alive and after you are gone. To find out which strategies may be right for you, contact us for a Life and Legacy Planning Session.