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Estate planning is a general term describing the assistance we provide to clients in planning for death or incapacity. An effective estate plan is a plan which considers and meets your personalized needs and objectives. In other words, there is no such thing as one-size fits all estate plan. Most estate plans include a will or trust, as well as a durable power of attorney and advanced health care directive. Depending upon your assets and goals, you may also need to consider more advanced tax-saving and asset protection techniques and strategies. Regardless of the size of your estate, we can help you develop an estate plan customized to meet your needs and objectives.
Trust-based estate planning may be used to assist clients with estate planning goals or personal needs that cannot be accomplished with only a will. Trusts can be used to help a family avoid probate, keep distributions and bequests private, delay distribution to beneficiaries, and provide additional asset protection for clients or their heirs.
What would happen if you passed away tomorrow? How would your property be distributed? Who would take care of your children? By creating an effective Last Will and Testament you can ensure that your property is distributed to the people, and in the amounts, that you direct -- rather than the manner directed by the government. Moreover, you can nominate a personal representative you trust to carry out these distributions. Perhaps most importantly, you can determine who will be the guardian of your child or children after your passing.
Probate is the legal process by which a court designates an Personal Representative (Executor/Administrator) of an estate and oversees the transfer of property and assets from a deceased individual to their heirs or specified beneficiaries. We can assist you the decedent's representative with the requirements for proper filing and processing, reporting to the court, and resolving issues related to asset distribution in a probate proceeding. Similarly, if you are the Trustee of a Trust, we can help you understand and follow the appropriate requirements and procedures in the administration of the Trust Estate.
Our Firm assists and represents beneficiaries, heirs, personal representatives, trustees, and claimants to resolve issues arising from trust administration or probate. In some cases, litigation is necessary to resolve disputes between the parties connected to the execution or distribution of a will or trust.
Special needs planning is a term describing the process by which we help families make proper arrangements for a child or other relative who has a disability. We work with families to ensure their estate planning documents provide for the particular needs and circumstances of their loved one with a disability. In addition, when a person with a disability receives an inheritance outright or a settlement or jury award in a personal injury lawsuit, care must be taken to ensure that person remains eligible for certain means-tested public benefits. We advise families on their options in such circumstances, which may include certain types of special needs trusts (sometimes called supplemental needs trusts) or other alternatives available to ensure public benefits are not reduced or eliminated.
With an increasingly aging population, the laws surrounding medicaid benefits eligibility are continually evolving. However, with proper planning, you may be able to protect some of your assets against possible loss arising from long term care and the receipt of medicaid benefits. We believe in taking a comprehensive approach to Medicaid and long-term care planning, and help guide you through the medicaid benefits application process.
In the event you become incapacitated through illness, injury, or aging, you can appoint another person to handle your finances and other affairs by executing a Power of Attorney. A Durable Power of Attorney is a valuable tool that can help save substantial time and money by avoiding the need to obtain a court-appointed conservatorship.
Advance Health Care Directives are legal documents that specify advance medical instructions regarding your preferred medical treatment and your final wishes for life support. We can assist you in preparing an Advance Health Care Directive in order to ensure your wishes are carried out in the event you are no longer able to speak for yourself.
Guardianships and Conservatorships are legal proceedings whereby an individual may seek control of another person's finances and personal care. Because of the nature of these proceedings, there are a number procedural and substantive requirements which may be overwhelming without the assistance of an experienced attorney. We can provide you with support and assistance with such proceedings in the least stressful and most time-efficient manner possible.
Trusts · Estates · Elder Law
Attorney at Law