What is estate planning?
Estate planning refers to the process by which individuals arrange and direct their property at death, as well as manage and dispose of their property during life. Every estate plan has an objective. However, that objective is different for every person, and it can quickly change at any moment.
There are many tools available to plan your estate. Through the use of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare directives, living wills, and beneficiary designations, nearly every person is capable of crafting a plan that will accomplish their goals.
What is long-term care planning?
The first thing most people realize is that assisted living and nursing homes are expensive. It is not long before our parents, grandparents, or spouses are forced to utilize life savings to pay for this care. After this, we start to ask what forms of assistance are available to help with these costs, as Medicare generally does not cover room and board in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Most families are directed towards the Medicaid program and the qualifying rules associated with it. The earlier you can plan for the possible need for Medicaid, the better.
What is special needs planning?
Special needs planning encompasses the use of specially crafted wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other documents to address the special needs that we or our loved ones may have. Proper planning can prepare for a wide range of disabilities for you, your parents, or your children. There are various special needs trusts that can be utilized to protect or accelerate the need for public benefits through federal and state programs.
What is estate administration?
Estate Administration refers to the process of administering a will through the probate process, moving an intestate estate through courts, or helping trustees manage their duties under a trust agreement. Different laws apply to each situation. Administrators, executors, and trustees must be mindful of their legal and ethical obligations imposed upon them during this time.
What is a conservatorship?
Conservatorship proceedings involve the use of the local court systems to appoint an individual to oversee and manage the affairs of another adult. Most conservatorship proceedings involve protecting the best interest of a parent or an adult child when that person can no longer make effective or responsible decisions for themselves. They are also an effective means to protect another from fraud, abuse, or neglect.
What is estate litigation?
Unfortunately, sometimes the administration of estates and trusts can become bogged down due to irresponsible executors/trustees or uncooperative beneficiaries. Other times there are serious questions about the validity of certain testamentary documents and transfers of property. These issues arise in cases of undue influence, fraud, or lack of capacity on the part of the deceased individual. It is important to note that these cases are not limited large estates, as well as not being limited to fights about inheritances.
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