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This website has been created by Zlokower & Miller, LLP to provide visitors with information about our firm and about issues and ideas relating to our law practice.  Nothing on this website is intended in any way to constitute legal advice and in no way establishes an attorney-client relationship with website visitors.  Visitors are advised to see our full disclaimer

OUR PRACTICE
Estate Planning

At Zlokower & Miller, LLP  we have the experience, knowledge and compassion to help you plan for the disposition of your estate.
Who needs an Estate Plan

The Process of preparing your Estate Plan with us

The Cost of an Estate Plan

Parts of the Estate Plan

Who needs an Estate Plan?



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The Process of preparing your Estate Plan with us.

The estate planning process begins when you call us for an appointment.  The first meeting should be no more than 90 minutes.   At that time we will discuss your needs and will suggest an estate plan that is best suited to your needs.  You will also be told  the cost of each plan.  You decide which plan is best for you and your pocketbook.  If you decide not to continue with us, there is no charge for the first meeting.  If you decide to let us prepare your estate plan, the first meeting is included in the total cost. 

The Cost of an Estate Plan.

From our many years of experience we realize the necessity of a good estate plan.  Therefore we will do our best to structure a plan that is affordable for you.  Additionally there is no cost for the first meeting where we are able to determine what plan best meets your needs.
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Parts of an Estate Plan.

Will

Your Will distributes property which is owned solely by you.  A Will generally does not affect the distribution of assets like life insurance, retirement plans or annuities unless you do not name a beneficiary.  You appoint your executor in your Will.  Your executor manages your estate after your death, paying your bills and distributing your estate according to your directions as stated in your Will.
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Appointment of Health Care Representative

You appoint a person to make health care decisions, including end of life decisions,for you in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes. 

Living Will
 
You make your wishes known with regard to end of life decisions to your health care representative along with your family, your friends, clergy and health care professionals.

Durable Power of Attorney 
This document is only valid while your are alive and is perhaps your most important document because it ensures that your affairs will be managed by someone you trust in the event you become incapable of mananging your affairs for yourself.  You select the person who will manage your bank accounts, real estate and financial affairs.  However, the person you appoint must be completely trust worthy as he or she will have complete access to your financial life.
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Appointment of Guardian and Standby Guardian 
You name the person or persons you wish to take care of your minor children in the event of your incapacity or death.

Designation of Conservator  
If you become legally incapacitated as determined by the Probate Court and do not have a  the Probate Court will appoint a Conservator of your person and/or estate.  The Designation of Conservator tells the court who you would prefer to be appointed.
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Funeral Directions
Leaving written instructions and naming a person to enforce your directions will save your family a lot of emotional strain.
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Trusts
Trusts can be a useful part of an Estate Plan and can be used for various purposes. 

Trusts can be used


A Trust is just an agreement between you (the grantor) and someone you trust (the trustee) to follow your directions as to how the property you give to the trustee will be used for the beneficiaries (who you also choose, such as children, or a spouse or even yourself). 

Types of Trusts







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Beneficiary Designations  
Any asset such as life insurance, 401(k) plans, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) or annuities that have beneficiary designations, will be distributed the way your beneficiary designation directs.  Your Will has no affect on the distribution of these assets unless you neglect to designate a beneficiary.  For many reasons it is almost never beneficial to your heirs to  have these assets go to your estate.  In many instances we believe your beneficiary designations are more important than your Will and we work with you to make sure the beneficiary designation forms reflect your particular wishes.
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Joint Property
Property you own with someone else with rights of survivorship, such as real estate or bank accounts, will automatically be distributed to that person if you die first.  We work with you to make sure that your property is owned correctly so that it will be distributed according to your wishes.
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Transfer on Death and Payable on Death Accounts
Many financial institutions offer the ability to name individuals who will receive the assets in your account upon your death.  The naming of a person to whom these type of accounts will override anything in a Will or Trust.  In some instances this may be an appropriate way of transferring your assets.   We work with our clients to use the method for transfer that is most appropriate for their circumstances.

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901 Farmington Avenue
West Hartford, Connecticut  06119
voice & fax 860.523.8381