What We Do at Stinson Legal, LLC.

Many people think estate planning is only about distributing their assets when they pass, but it is so much more than that! It is true that a main purpose is to distribute your assets at death but it also involves carefully considering how you hold those assets during your lifetime.

You can create a plan which reflects your wishes during your lifetime, in cases of possible incapacity, and at death.

You can exercise controls over your assets after you pass in any number of ways. You have so many options that sometimes it seems like you may have too many options! The wonderful thing about estate planning is that you get to decide how you want to proceed based on your priorities which allows you to have some control over how complicated, or not, your plan becomes; the downside is that if you don’t create an estate plan, the state legislature has a plan for you which may or may not be the same plan you had in mind, there is an excellent chance the Courts will need to be involved, and you lose the ability to direct your assets.

My goal is to help you work through the process so that, in the end, you know what assets you have and how they are held (meaning titled or owned), you have purposefully directed those assets so that your estate plan works the way you want it to, and you have the documents you need to make your plan work for you and your family.

Estate Planning

What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan goes beyond who gets your “stuff” when you pass. It is also about considering and planning ahead for difficult and uncomfortable possibilities that may occur while you are alive, in an effort to have those situations handled according to your wishes, give appropriate authorities to those people who will need them, and try to make difficult situations as smooth as possible.

My goal is to educate you on various estate planning tools available to you, work with you to evaluate your assets, clarify your priorities, and then you get to decide how you want to proceed to create the plan that best fits your needs and wishes. We also give you direction on how to maintain your plan into the future. There is a lot to consider but we do our best to walk you through it to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

Building a Roadmap

Asset Evaluation

What assets do you have? This can have a big impact on what type of estate plan is most suitable to your situation. At the end of the process, we will have created a spreadsheet of your assets, discussed your options, and determined a clear path for titling and holding your assets.

  • Documenting & organizing your assets

  • Discussing your options

  • Choosing the best course of action

Choosing Your Path

Trust-Based Plan or Will-Based Plan?

After completing your roadmap, you will need to decide which type of plan you would like to move forward with. I’ll guide you through the process and help you understand the pros and cons of each.

Some attorneys absolutely love trusts due to their flexibility, probate avoidance, that they are great at handling financial issues during a person’s temporary or permanent incapacity, and allow you to direct the use of assets after you die. But, trusts need to be maintained or they won’t do what they are supposed to, and can be more complicated.

Will-based plans are not as rock-solid as a properly funded trust BUT can be very effective at handling assets at death and there are steps to take to address incapacity issues. Surprising to some, you can often avoid probate even with a will depending on your assets and if you plan ahead.

Powers of Attorney

Financial & Medical Powers of Attorney

Estate planning also involves planning ahead for if you become unable to manage your financial or medical decisions because of some type of incapacity, permanent or temporary. A power of attorney is a very powerful document which needs to be considered carefully but which can, if accepted, allow a person of your choice to make decisions on your behalf.

Your estate plan will include both a Financial Power of Attorney that allows your agent to make decisions relating to your finances AND a Medical Power of Attorney that will allow your agent to make decisions relating to your medical care when you are not able to do so.

Your estate plan will include a Medical Power of Attorney, as well as a Medical Directive to the agent holding your Medical Power of Attorney and a Living Will.

Putting It All Togther

Custom Estate Planning Based on Your Unique Situation.

This is a process. Will this take some effort on your part?  Yes.  Will this cost some money?  Yes.  Will it be worth it?  In my opinion, absolutely!

A carefully designed plan will help you to protect yourself, your family, assets, money, and dignity, which will make life easier for you and them by avoiding court action and reducing financial and emotional stress. Plus, if you are like most, you will have peace of mind because your plan is finally created and in order.  My goals are that you learn your options based on your individual situation, choose the plan you want, and understand the plan you choose.


Read reviews from our happy clients.

  • susan s.
    We built (and I mean built) our will and trust as engineered by Kristine in late 2020/2021. We worked with Kristine remotely due to the Pandemic. The remote process was simple and seamless.What I liked best about Kristine was her patience, knowledge and professionalism. She didn't mind my naïve questions or my "what if" questions, and patiently explained our options and the pros and cons of each. Nor did she seem to mind repeating answers, or dealing with "last minute" changes. (Please keep those to a minimum)Kristine would always remind us that this was OUR document and we could form it as we wanted. BUT she'd always explain the potential ramifications of our "not so smart" decisions and language recommendations.If you want a comfortable, friendly, and top notch attorney to address this "less than fun" obligation. ....I recently lost my mother and I clearly understand that IT IS AN OBLIGATION TO YOUR LOVED ONES!Kristine will make building your will and/or trust go smoothly and accurately. She will help you express your wishes in a way that best accommodates you and your beneficiaries for both the short and long term.And when it's all done, you and your loved ones have easy access to all of your signed and notarized documents in an indexed binder. Nobody will need to figure out how to access your PC, to get this information in times of chaos. Anyone that knows me, knows I'm all about electronic records. But I can appreciate the value of original hard copies when it comes to my will and trust.
  • Wayne H.
    We had a very good experience with Kristine working through some complicated estate planning. She was patient and took the time to explain everything carefully. Great follow up support and guidance as well. Highly recommend!
  • Joelle D.
    Kristine was a pleasure to work with. Her extensive knowledge regarding estate planning was greatly appreciated. She made the whole process go seamlessly. Her sense of humor offered us relief during a time that could have been much more stressful for us.
  • Tabitha E.
    Kristine did an amazing job helping us build our trust. She was patient with our busy schedules and explained everything in easy to understand terms. We would recommend her to anyone and would work with her again.
  • anonymous
    Patient and Thorough Ms. Stinson assisted in in creating and implementing a family trust. She was thorough in her development of our documents, patient in explaining the laws and all that we needed to consider, and provided extremely competent counsel that we found refreshing and trustworthy. We give her the highest possible recommendation for anyone preparing for the future wellbeing of their family.

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