We Can Help You
The best time to begin incapacity planning and meet with a plantation Medicaid planning attorney is now. While most of our clients come to us in times of medical crisis, it is always easier when we can plan ahead. Advanced planning puts all the pieces of the Medicaid puzzle in place for when you need them. This provides our elder law clients with options and control for when long-term care is needed.
Medicaid Planning Lawyer
Medicaid Application Help
How to Pay For Nursing Home Care
How to Pay For Home Health Care
How to Pay For ALF Care
Special Needs Trust
Personal Services Contracts
Miller Trust/Qualified Income Trust
estate planning for everyone
Living Will - Designed to communicate your wishes in the event that you are incapacitated or are otherwise unable to communicate them yourself.
Last Will and Testament - A post-mortem planning document that explains one’s final wishes as to who gets your assets after you pass away.
Revocable Trust - A popular estate planning tool to use alongside the Last Will and Testament, because they are not required to go through probate (although one may choose to do so).
Durable Power of Attorney - A durable power of attorney (unlike a traditional POA) continues upon a patient being deemed incapacitated and is one of several essential incapacity planning documents.
estate planning for young families
Who will be the executor or trustee for your estate?
The executor or trustee of your estate will be responsible for handling your financial affairs in the event of your death. They will need to be willing and able to handle paying final bills, distributing assets, hiring attorneys, and any other final decisions that need to be made.
Who will you name as guardian for your minor children?
In most situations, if something happens to one parent, the other parent will continue to raise their children. What you need to make sure you have a plan for is if something were to happen to both of you. This is a difficult but important decision to make - if you fail to name a guardian the court will appoint one regardless of your wishes.
What instructions do you need to outline for the distribution of your assets?
Most couples will leave all of their assets to their spouse in the event of their death, and generally, if both parents pass, the assets will go towards caring for their children. If there are any specific instructions for your assets you need to make sure to put them in writing. - A durable power of attorney (unlike a traditional POA) continues upon a patient being deemed incapacitated and is one of several essential incapacity planning documents.
Who will be the manager of your children’s inheritance?
Most parents have specific wishes for how their children will inherit assets. Without a detailed plan and a manager of the inheritance, children will generally get all of their inheritance when they turn 18. If you would rather your children get their inheritance over time instead of all at once, a trust is a great option.
What are your life and other insurance needs?
Do you have life insurance? Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance? These policies can go a long way in protecting and providing for your young family in the instance of your passing.
What is your plan for disability or incapacity?
Death isn’t the only situation that may make it impossible for you to continue to provide for and take care of your family. You will want to make sure you have a plan in place that will provide instructions should you become incapacitated or disabled.
When someone dies, they are either intestate (meaning they do not have a Last Will & Testament) or testate (in which case they do have a Will). In either situation, their estate must go through probate. During probate, there is a specific procedure to determine if a Will is valid and if no Will is present the courts will determine the allocation of assets.
Some steps you should consider discussing with an estate planning attorney in order to help your heirs avoid probate are:
• Setting up a living trust
• Naming beneficiaries for financial accounts
• Naming beneficiaries for insurance policies
• Joint ownership of assets
If you have questions about going through probate for a loved one who has passed recently, we can help with that too. Reach out today for a consultation.
We believe that avoiding guardianship if at all possible is always the best route to go. There are other ways to make sure someone who is incapacitated is well taken care of. The best possible step to take is a proactive one. Setting up an enhanced durable power of attorney long before someone is unable to care for themselves ensures that they will be placed in the hands of someone they trust.
There are still some situations where guardianship will be necessary. If a person is completely and totally incapacitated when their family seeks Medicaid planning or other estate planning services, and if there is no previous document outlining the incapacity plan, then we will need to go through the steps of guardianship.
Guardians should consult with an Elder Care Attorney to discuss how best to preserve the incapacitated person's assets so they can receive the best quality of care possible.An Experienced Elder Law Attorney can also assist with estate planning. Elderly estate planning is unique and is best handled by an attorney that is familiar with Elder Law, and not just with traditional estate plans.