Estate planning is the process of reviewing your assets, debt, health, family, and goals in order to put together a legal plan detailing your wishes. This process not only involves deciding who will inherit your property and your home, but it also involves designating who will manage your finances, health care, and end-of-life affairs.
Estate planning is more than a series of legal documents. A proper estate plan requires an estate planning attorney to provide you a holistic, all-inclusive approach intended to address all of your concerns regarding money, assets, liabilities, health, and family, both now and into the future. Our office will thoroughly analyze your assets and strategize the best means of transferring your assets to your beneficiaries while minimizing tax liability and exposure to probate court. Further, we will help you establish guardianship for your minor children, care for your beloved pets, and support charitable causes near and dear to you.
Legal documents that are common to an estate plan are wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare surrogates, living wills, HIPAA releases, and preneed guardian designations.
Special needs planning involves the planning for a developmentally disabled person. If you have a special needs child or a loved one you provide care for, you likely know the delicate balancing act required to ensure that your child or loved one continues to receive his or her governmental assistance. Leaving your special needs loved one monies or property as part of your estate plan can result in your loved one losing his or her government assistance.
Our office can assist by providing for your loved one in such a way that is intended to allow your loved one to receive additional assistance from you, all the while protecting and preserving their government benefits. This may include the preparation of a supplemental needs trust to hold assets for the benefit of your child or loved one. These trusts can be created as part of your estate plan or as a stand-alone trust.
Supplemental needs trusts must meet several requirements in order to be effective in preserving government benefits. As the name suggests, the purpose of the trust is to supplement, not replace, government benefits. We can assist you through this process to ensure that your child or loved one’s supplemental needs are met now and into the future.