Protecting Legacies Since 1996
You want to provide for your loved ones, even if you cannot be present to offer that support. However, without a will in place, the state may define your legacy. This can leave some of your loved ones without the assets that you wanted to give them after your passing, and it may leave some of the people who matter most without any inheritance at all. Creating an estate plan can be key to ensuring that your wishes for your legacy are known and respected.
At Courtney & Mann, LLP, we have provided clients in Elmore County with estate planning guidance for more than two decades. We will use this experience to help you create a will that reflects your wishes, guide you through the process of probating a will or administering an estate for an individual who did not have a will and create a trust to protect unique assets like firearms.
Writing A Will To Provide For Your Loved Ones
While many people believe that they should wait to write a will until later in life or maybe not even write a will at all. The truth is that creating a will can protect your loved ones, offer you peace of mind at any stage of life and make help those that survive you to avoid a more complicated probate process that includes the posting of a bond and a requirement for the submission of additional documents to the Court that could have simply been waived through the directions set forth in a will. Failing to have a Last Will and Testament in place at the time of your death causes additional expense and frustration to those who are required to deal with the property that you are leaving behind. Our experienced lawyers assist a variety of clients with writing wills that specify their wishes, as well as simplify the issues regarding your property. Often, you may name guardians for underage children in your will. Our attorneys can also help you create additional documents like a power of attorney and advance health care directives that offer your loved ones guidance if you become incapacitated due to an illness or injury.
Protecting Your Firearms Through A Gun Trust
Avid hunters, target shooters and gun collectors alike may wonder whether they can leave their firearms to their loved ones in their estate plan. One valuable tool for passing these heirlooms to the next generation is the gun trust, and our attorneys can guide you through the process of establishing a trust to protect this part of your legacy. A gun trust has many benefits, including:
- A gun trust may allow more than one person to possess and use a firearm. This will possibly help to avoid anyone from committing an “accidental felony” due to illegal possession or usage.
- Firearms that are held in a gun trust remain in that trust, even after the owner’s death. This enables the owner to pass his or her collection of firearms in the desired manner, as well as avoid the probate process.
- Possibly avoid the applicable CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) signature requirement. To acquire an NFA (National Firearms Act) item individually, he/she is often required to obtain their local CLEO’s official approval and submit to fingerprinting.
- Keeping the Executor of your estate who is distributing items that are not protected by a gun trust from breaking criminal laws by sending the gun to a state where it is prohibited or by giving it to someone who may not legally own it. If your firearms are in a gun trust, it is administered by a Trustee, not the Executor of the estate, so it is possible to name different individuals to administer your gun trust and your estate, so that you may choose the proper individual with the proper knowledge and background to serve in these capacities.