Family is a priority for me and all the attorneys and staff I work with. As the children of aging parents, brothers, sisters, and parents ourselves, we know what it is like to be concerned for those we care about. As experienced attorneys we also know the legal issues that can devastate family finances and cause family conflict long after a crisis has occurred. That is why we are passionate about protecting families and preserving their property through proper estate planning.
Following a tradition of concern for families
My father was the lawyer familys turned to in times of crisis. I learned from him. But the present is more complicated than the past was. My firm focuses on Estate Planning rather than the general practice of law.
As a son, brother of seven siblings, and then husband and father himself, Jesse understands how life events can try a family. After twenty three years of practice, he has seen how a poorly formed estate plan or no plan can destroy family wealth and give rise to conflicts.
Jesse’s father and mentor Judge Pat Bifulco was considered by his local bar to be one of the last of a dying breed – the family’s lawyer. The person people turn to in crisis to protect the family. Under his father’s counsel, and with the guidance of some of the best in the area, Jesse developed his skills in the crucible of NYC. The Bifulco’s clients spanned the breadth and depth of the city they practiced in, the children and grandchildren of the old farm families, successful entrepreneurs. Folks with extraordinary and modest estates, but with a common goal: parents and grandparents looking for security in their old age, to pass on maybe a little more than their wisdom, and offer some protection for the people and causes they care about as part of their legacy.
People Over 65 Who Will Need Nursing Home Care
People Without Even A Last Will
People Over 65 Who Say They Want to Age In Place
Jesse Bifulco grew up in a family with eight kids. He is married to his wife Kristen, and they have three children. “Estate Planning should be approached from the perspective of how can I protect this family? How can I preserve their property, and prevent family conflict?”
Estate Planning in Maine Has Changed Over the Years
In 1995 when I began practicing, many clients could get by with a simple will. But even then, times were changing. The gift tax credit was much lower. We wrote testamentary trusts. Many WWII, and Korea War vets, people in their seventies then were dividing the property between the husband and wife, and creating credit shelter trusts. Perhaps they had a house they bought for $30,000 that was now worth six hundred thousand. With an IRA or a savings account, and then the family camp, or lake house their estate was over the top.
Today there are added complications. If the federal estate and gift credit is different than the state, than many of these credit shelter trust wills will actually cause an estate tax to be paid at the state level.
While many clients do not need tax planning, many do. Even if your estate is not subject to estate and gift taxes, your property may still be subject to capital gains income tax. Good estate planning takes into account capital gains and basis issues that could cost your heirs hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes.
A Simple Will Can Cost You Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
However, with nursing home costs at $9000 to $14,000 per month they are concerned. If one spouse of a married couple had to go into a nursing home, it could wipe out their savings. Such a cost devastates family wealth.
Estate Planning for High Net Worth Individuals in Maine
As our clients have grown, we have had to grow as well. While many of our clients do not need gift tax planning, many do. Many of our clients are considered high net worth individuals. Estate Planning for high net worth individuals is specialized and complex. In the past, high net worth individuals would have to travel to large metropolitan areas to find a lawyer or firm knowledgeable in this area of law. But now Penbay Estate Planning Law Firm is a law firm in Camden Maine that offers high net worth estate planning services in Midcoast Maine. Many of our clients have low basis property and wish to have a stream of income without incurring confiscatory capital gains taxes. They also have causes and charities they believe in and would like to support. Charitable estate planning is alive and well in Midcoast Maine. There is a way to obtain both objectives.
Your Will or Estate Plan Should Be Reviewed Periodically
Many people come to us to review their estate plans. We have seen some examples of costly mistakes. Whether it is Medicaid asset protection planning or planning for high net worth individuals, a bad plan or no plan will cost you. But the cost is not merely money. Poor planning causes family conflict.
Estate Planning is Not for the General Practitioner or Online Forms
Simple wills can do more harm than good. General practitioners, and online legal services are not estate planning lawyers, as we define it. The estate planning lawyer you choose should concentrate in that area of law. They should earn your trust.
Come and learn how to make a plan for your estate for free
Penbay Estate Planning Law Center teaches estate planning workshops and estate planning seminars. The goal of these estate planning workshops is to give people the information they need to avoid the pitfalls. We can teach you how to protect your house against Medicaid liens and nursing home costs. Our workshops teach families how to leave their vacation home or beach house to the kids for generations to come.
More than just wills and trusts, our clients put their own family into our estate planning documents. We offer estate plans for younger families with minor children, estate planning for the parents of college-aged children, estate and gift tax savings plans for high net worth individuals, and estate plans for business owners with partners.
We will also review your existing will or trust to see if it will achieve your estate planning objectives.