Estate Planning

Overview of the Estate Planning Process

At Flood, Sheehan & Tobin, we understand that creating an estate plan is a personal process. We strive to help our clients achieve their unique goals for the transfer of their assets at death and for the care of loved ones. A thoughtfully prepared estate plan can not only minimize taxes and administrative costs, it can also help to preserve family relationships and safeguard assets after the client’s death or leave a lasting legacy to charity. Estate planning can also ensure that during any period of incapacity, clients’ wishes regarding their health care treatment and the management of their assets are followed.

To begin the process, clients complete our firm’s Estate Planning Questionnaire and meet with us to discuss their needs and objectives. We review various options with each of our clients and develop a plan to meet the client’s goals. We then prepare and explain draft documents, and, upon the client’s approval of the drafts, the documents are finalized and signed.

Once the estate planning documents are signed, we address with each client the proper titling of assets and the proper completion of any life insurance and retirement plan beneficiary designations. To ensure that an estate plan continues to work as intended, it should be reviewed periodically to address changes in the law and the client’s family situation.

Depending on the client’s objectives and the nature of the client’s assets, we can provide basic estate planning services or employ more sophisticated estate planning techniques.

Basic Estate Planning

The following are the basic documents at the core of every estate plan:

*Although not required, many clients choose to include a revocable trust.

Sophisticated Estate Planning

In addition to the basic documents, there are a number of more sophisticated estate planning techniques that can help a client preserve assets for future generations, reduce or postpone estate, gift or generation-skipping transfer tax liability, plan for the succession of a business or a family vacation property, address the distribution of assets outside of New Hampshire, and accomplish philanthropic goals. These sophisticated estate planning techniques may include one or more of the following documents:

  • Marital Deduction and Estate Tax Exemption Trusts
  • Disclaimer Wills and Trusts
  • Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Trusts and Dynasty Trusts
  • Incentive Trusts
  • Trusts for Minors
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
  • Charitable Giving through Trusts, Bequests or Conservation Easements
  • Family Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Family Realty Trusts
  • Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts

At Flood, Sheehan & Tobin, we have many years of experience working with high net worth clients to develop and implement comprehensive strategies to further each client’s unique objectives. When developing a sophisticated estate plan, we are committed to working closely with a client’s accountant, financial planner and other advisors to coordinate all aspects of the client’s plan.