Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of managing assets in anticipation of passing them to your loved ones upon death. A sound plan aims to safeguard the maximum amount of your total property (be it large or small) to go to your family. Property includes real estate, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds and personal property.

Estate planning—protecting your family

At the Law Office of Bruce Hopson, we know that estate planning can be daunting in its complexity. That’s why we break it down, making sure at every step you understand and feel comfortable with the tailored-to-your-needs plan we prepare to protect your family’s future.

Proper planning will ensure the “who, when and how” of your estate. Regardless of the make up of your family or its size or wealth, we work with you like the hundreds of our other clients throughout the State of Missouri and in the greater St. Louis area to make certain your assets go to those who you choose, when you want and how you want.

Call for an initial consultation

Contact the Law Office of Bruce Hopson to discuss your customized estate plan. Take the first step towards protecting your family with a one-on-one consultation.

Call 314-621-0500  or e-mail Bruce.

The importance of estate planning now

Although it may be difficult to prepare for death or incapacity, now is the time to tackle your estate planning, because later could be too late. You’ll have peace of mind that your family will be protected. They won’t have to suffer needlessly through probate, taxes will be minimized and the government won’t take what you intended for those you leave behind.

The right estate planning attorney

Selecting the right estate planning attorney is crucial because there so many ways to manage and optimize the assets you spent a lifetime building. With nearly 20 years of experience, we at the Law Office of Bruce Hopson pledge to walk you through the maze of options available and create a plan that is suited to your individual needs.

Estate planning options

  • Will
  • Trusts
  • Power of attorney
  • Living will/advanced directive
  • Beneficiary designation
  • Lifetime gifting
  • Charitable giving
  • Joint ownership
  • Designation of agent

Estate planning for the GLBT community

Bruce Hopson was the first openly gay officer of the 6,000-member Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, holding offices of president-elect and president.

The Law Office of Bruce Hopson is an informed resource for the unique legal and personal needs of the GLBT community. We understand that your primary concern is most likely establishing protection and security for your partner or spouse and children. GLBT individuals and families have to take extra steps to build that protection. Sometimes that calls for creating additional documents, but usually it takes know-how to navigate basic estate planning with the fine eye necessary to safeguard same-sex couples and their families.

Our firm has extensive experience in both estate planning and the local and federal laws concerning the GLBT community. We offer you a variety of options depending on your family situation, estate size and what you want to do with your money. 

GLBT community:  some special estate planning issues

  • Maintaining control over assets—A will enables you to maintain control over who gets your assets, even if you have joint accounts and property held jointly.
  • Guardianship issues—A proper estate plan ensures that, if you’re not around, your kids will be raised by the guardian you select. Consider also naming your partner as trustee if you think guardianship will be contested. Establishing shared custody agreements and naming bridge guardians may be options for you.
  • A living trust—May be an alternative for you.  If you choose, your partner can be both trustee (can manage affairs if you become incapacitated) and beneficiary.  A living trust also ensures privacy because probate and open court records are avoided.
  • Retirement accounts—You may be able to leave your 401(k) account to a domestic partner, who can roll the money into an inherited IRA to grow tax-deferred.
  • Taxation—GLBT couples need to be careful about tax issues. Avoid double-taxation of assets and other tax traps with proper planning.
  • Designation of agent—Lets everyone know that your partner is your family and he or she is entitled to be with you when you’re in the emergency room or in a nursing home, to receive your property when you go there and to make your funeral arrangements so your wishes are carried out and your partner is not left out of the process.
  • Update and update again—Make sure you update your estate plan as federal and state laws change.

Call for an initial consultation

Contact the Law Office of Bruce Hopson to discuss your customized estate plan. Take the first step towards protecting your family with a one-on-one consultation. Call 314-621-0500 or e-mail Bruce.

The Law Office of Bruce Hopson is based in St. Louis, Missouri and serves clients throughout the State of Missouri and the Metropolitan St. Louis area, including the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County.

Law Office of Bruce Hopson
1221 Locust St., Suite 800
St. Louis, MO 63103
Phone: 314-621-0500

Fax: 314-621-8821

E-mail: bruce.hopsonlaw@sbcglobal.net

 

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