A comprehensive estate plan should plan for both disability and death, and should include financial and medical powers of attorney, a last will and testament, and medical directives. It might also need to include trusts, business planning, marital or pre-marital agreements, and re-titling assets or updating beneficiaries.
We work to understand your family and financial situation, and then provide the guidance to make sure that your plan fits your circumstances and accomplishes your goals.
The options for paying for significant in-home or nursing home care costs are limited, and for most people the eventual result is depletion of their estate and reliance upon Medicaid to pay for the majority of care.
Carefully planning that spend-down can allow a healthy spouse to maintain more financial security, can preserve an estate to pass on to children, and can potentially allow for an improved standard of living for the person on Medicaid.
Plsnning for long-term care can involve having appropriate estate planning documents, finding the right type of care and the right type of care provider, and evaluating the resources available to help pay for care, including insurance and public benefits programs such as Medicaid.
We get to know our clients' goals so that we can help them plan for their future care needs. We also advise those who are trying to assist a spouse, parent or other family member in obtaining quality care matched to their needs.
Whether you are a professional fiduciary or a family member who has accepted a role as a personal representative or trustee, we can assist you.
At its most basic, estate and trust administration includes
identifying assets and taking steps to secure them, paying creditor claims, making proper distributions, and keeping accurate records.
Though the basic steps are simple, every situation is unique, so it helps to have good advice to help you know what to do next, how to handle unexpected situations, and to answer questions along the way.
When someone needs to rely on government programs such as SSI or Medicaid to help pay for care and support, a Special Needs Trust can help the person maintain or establish eligibility for those programs and supplement the services Medicaid does not cover by purchasing a home for the individual, paying for renovations that will allow the individual to live with greater independence, paying for wheelchair accessible vehicles, supplementing care, therapy, and other necessary services, and improving the person's quaility of life.
A Special Needs Trust must meet specific requirements in how it is drafted and in how it is administered. Whether you are investigating whether a Special Needs Trust is appropriate for your situation, or seeking advice on how to establish or administer a trust, we can help you.
If a person has become incapable of understanding or communicating, such that she or he no longer has the ability to make independent financial decisions or provide for his or her personal care and needs, the court may be asked to appoint a legal guardian or conservator to manage that person’s personal and financial affairs.
Although proper planning can often avoid the need for court intervention, it may be necessary to involve the courts, and the responsibility of making that decision often falls to family members.
We can help you evaluate your options when dealing with a loved one's incapacity, and assist you in pursuing court intervention if it is necessary.