Our Attorneys at Law can assist you with the following estate planning and elder law issues
- Testate Estates
- Intestate Estates
- Special Needs Trusts
- Supplemental Needs Trusts
- Revocable Living Trusts
- Irrevocable Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
- Living Trusts
- Asset Protection
- Medicaid Laws
- Gifts to Minors
- Probate Litigation
- Power of Attorney
- Will Contests
- Family Business Succession Planning
Estate Planning – Protect your family, protect your assets!
Estate planning is often thought to be something for people close to retirement or wealthy people as they prepare for the end of their lives. This misconception could not be farther from the truth. If you have minor children, a car, home, investments, savings account, or personal possessions, you should contact an estate planning attorney to ensure a smooth transition in the event of your passing. While it may seem early to consider estate planning, it is the most responsible way to ensure the well-being of your family. Our estate planning attorney will help make this transaction comfortable for you, while putting your mind at ease about the future.
Why is estate planning important?
Without an estate plan, the probate court will have control of the distribution of your assets. If you become disabled and are unable to manage your assets, the court will appoint a conservator to handle your assets. You may need a guardian to be appointed to make healthcare decisions and determine where you live.
In the event of your death, the probate court will determine the distribution of your assets according to probate laws, which may not be consistent with your personal wishes. For example, if you have minor children, there may be a dispute over where they live or the handling of assets on their behalf. Without estate planning, the court may provide a result you may not want.
Most importantly, without an estate plan, your family may face increased costs. Having an estate planning attorney create an estate plan can minimize court fees and other fees that take away from your family.
Estate planning allows matters of disability care or death to be handled by those who know and understand your wishes, rather than leaving important legal decisions up to the courts. Our estate planning attorneys have experience with this and other elder law issues such as guardianships and conservatorships. These will be attributes that will make you comfortable with future plans.
How does Probate Effect Estate Planning?
Probate is the process by which a will is given legal effect and a personal representative (also known as an “executor”) for your estate is appointed. The probate court considers the validity of a person’s will and determines the distribution of property listed in the will. The probate process can be quite lengthy. All wills must be filed with the probate court to be effective. If a person’s estate exceeds a certain amount (defined by state and federal laws), the estate is required to pay estate taxes to the state and federal government.
Without a will, the family of the deceased must file the probate “intestate” and must follow the laws which determine what happens to pay creditors and distribute assets of the estate. How things pass to heirs, “intestate”, is determined by the assets held and who survives at the time of death. The “state” effectively writes a will for you. Having a will allows you to specify your wishes for the distribution of your estate, giving you and your family control instead of having to follow intestate laws. Avoid a lengthy process for your loved ones, contact an estate planning attorney, elder law attorney, or one of our guardianship attorneys today.
Experienced Estate Planning Attorney with Compassion
Contact an estate planning attorney and start your Estate Planning today!