If I can't make legal, financial or healthcare decisions
for myself, how can I be sure my wishes are carried out?
Trusts, powers of attorney and advance directives for health care are tools used by estate planners to ensure that the most appropriate person will have the authority to handle financial and health care decision making in the event of incapacity.
How can I make sure my wealth and possessions
end up in the right hands when I'm gone?
Both trusts and wills provide instructions for distribution of property upon death. Properly drafted and funded trusts have the added benefit of avoiding probate.
My spouse needs more care than I can
give. Will we lose everything to pay for care, or are there options?
Many options are available to help a spouse protect assets and income when the other spouse requires long term care. Many spouses can qualify for Medicaid without having to “spend down” assets and suffer the loss of income.
My child is disabled. How can I provide
for her future?
Specialized estate planning involving “special needs trusts” are usually advisable to plan for disabled children and grandchildren. These trusts allow disabled family members to remain eligible for medical coverage while having a fund available to provide for special needs as well.
My parents are aging. What should I
know to help them when they need me?
You will be better able to help your parents when that time comes if your parents plan for their future by preparing powers of attorney, advance directives for health care and a will or trust depending on your situation. You can also help your parents understand that advanced planning can mean the difference between losing everything paying for the costs of long term care, or providing for a spouse or children.
My mother just passed away. What do
I do now?
It may be necessary to go through a court process known as “probate” in order to transfer assets from a decedent to her heirs. One of our highly trained attorneys will conduct a comprehensive review of the decedent’s estate to determine whether probate is required, or if there may be a less expensive alternative.
Do I have to be wealthy to benefit from
a living trust?
Middle class people probably have more to gain by using a revocable living trust than wealthy people do. Even estates of modest values must go through probate without proper planning. The costs of probate can reduce significantly the estate’s value.