Comprehensive Estate Planning Law Firm in Nebraska
Experienced attorneys dedicated to protecting your family’s future
As time goes on, it is important to consider what will happen to your family after you pass away or become incapacitated. By developing a thorough estate plan, you ensure that your wishes are upheld and that your loved ones are protected. At Hicks & Alhejaj, P.C., we have been representing clients throughout Nebraska since 1982. We genuinely care about our clients, which is why we work to create a unique solution based on your individual needs. We use our real-world experience to give you the reliable advice and knowledgeable representation you need when drafting estate documents.
Developing a secure estate plan in Nebraska
There are many different issues to consider when developing your estate plan. We make sure that you are properly prepared for every step of the process, including:
- Making a will. The goal of a last will and testament is to protect your family and your property after you die. If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the state’s intestacy laws, meaning it will go to your closest relatives first.
- Considering a trust. In a trust, you name a trustee to hold legal title of your property. You can be your own trustee for a living trust. The benefit of creating a living trust is protecting your family from the probate process after you die.
- Creating a healthcare directive. It is important to create a living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare, together called an advance healthcare directive. These documents specify your wishes for your medical treatment and name a person to make any necessary healthcare decisions in case you are not medically able.
- Naming a financial power of attorney. In a durable financial power of attorney document, you name a person to handle your finances and property if you become incapacitated.
- Protecting your children’s property. If you are leaving property or money to minor children, you must name an adult to manage those inheritances until your children are old enough to do so.
- Filing beneficiary forms. If you name a beneficiary for your bank accounts and retirement plans, those funds will be exempt from the probate process upon your death.
- Considering life insurance. Although life insurance is not a part of every person’s estate plan, it is useful for people who support their young children, spouse or disabled adult children. It can help your loved one’s pay any of your outstanding debts or cover funeral costs.
- Understanding estate taxes. In Nebraska, the amount of estate or inheritance tax you owe depends on your relationship to the deceased. Surviving spouses are always exempt, no matter how much they inherited. Close relatives do not owe any taxes unless they inherit more than $40,000. More distant relatives do not owe any taxes unless they inherit more than $15,000. Anyone else who inherits anything must pay taxes for any amount over $10,000.
- Covering funeral expenses. Funeral costs can be a burden on your family, which is why it is important to create a payable-upon-death bank account that can cover these expenses.
- Making final arrangements. If you have specific wishes for your burial or organ donation, you must make those known in your estate plan.
- Protecting your business. As a business owner, you need to make plans for what happens after you pass away. If you are the sole owner, you can create a succession plan. If you are a partner, you can draft a buyout agreement.
- Storing your documents. Ensure that the executor of your estate has access to all of your estate documents. By making your plan easily accessible, it creates less of a chance for disputes after you die.
Our attorneys explain every step of the estate planning process. We work closely with you to ensure that you create a plan that clearly states your wishes and covers all important issues.
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney
A comprehensive estate plan is an essential part of your life. The attorneys at Hicks & Alhejaj, P.C. have the skill and knowledge to help you create one. To schedule a FREE initial consultation, call us today at 402-401-4916 or contact us online. From our Omaha and Lincoln offices, we represent clients throughout Nebraska.