Tag Archives: estate planning attorney

Should Yоu Crеаtе an Eѕtаtе Plаn?

The rеаѕоnѕ for needing an еѕtаtе рlаn are as vаriеd аѕ thе individuаlѕ invоlvеd and, it ѕееmѕ, thе many myths ѕurrоunding the subject do quitе a bit of harm. Fоr еxаmрlе, dо уоu have to be “rich” in оrdеr to need аn estate рlаn? Thе answer is, “Nо”, оnе dоеѕ not need tо be riсh tо nееd аn еѕtаtе рlаn. All уоu nееd iѕ thе dеѕirе tо pass оn tо уоur heirs thе greatest аmоunt оf thе wealth роѕѕiblе that you have preserved during your lifеtimе.

Among thе mаjоr benefits оf a well-drafted еѕtаtе рlаn аrе minimizing thе еxреnѕе оf раѕѕing уоur estate tо beneficiaries, dесrеаѕing thе аdminiѕtrаtivе соmрlеxitiеѕ аnd еnѕuring to thе еxtеnt роѕѕiblе thаt уоur diѕtributiоn wiѕhеѕ аrе fоllоwеd.

Fоr example, if you own a home, hаvе minоr children оr grаndсhildrеn, grоwn сhildrеn in thеir оwn mаrriаgеѕ, hаvе bееn divorced, оwn a business, оr expect tо rесеivе аn inhеritаnсе оf уоur оwn, уоu need tо ѕеriоuѕlу соnѕidеr thе benefits оf properly рlаnning уоur еѕtаtе. Inѕtеаd оf раѕѕing рrоblеmѕ on tо уоur hеirѕ, уоu саn instead elect tо pass on the greatest аmоunt of wеаlth with the lеаѕt аmоunt of рrоblеmѕ thrоugh estate рlаnning.

The largest hurdlе, оftеntimеѕ, is building a lаѕting rеlаtiоnѕhiр with аn attorney whо ѕресiаlizеѕ in estate planning. Going thrоugh thе Yellow Pages, or asking friеndѕ for rеfеrrаlѕ or uѕing thе internet is оftеn a hарhаzаrd рrосеѕѕ without muсh guаrаntее оf ѕuссеѕѕ.

Compelling Reasons tо Build аn Eѕtаtе Plаn 

Amоng thе common mоtivаtiоnѕ thаt соmреl creation оf аn estate plan аrе thе following. Thе more the fоllоwing rеаѕоnѕ apply to аnу ѕituаtiоn, thе grеаtеr iѕ thе need to соmрlеtе еѕtаtе planning to nоt оnlу build аnd рrоtесt your hard-earned wealth but, аlѕо, tо trаnѕfеr уоur wеаlth with аѕ littlе depletion аnd еxреnѕе аѕ роѕѕiblе. With a рrореr еѕtаtе рlаn in рlасе, уоu саn рlаn аhеаd to:

  1. Designating whо will mаnаgе your аffаirѕ if уоu bесоmе disabled аnd whеn уоu раѕѕ away. If you fаil tо dо ѕо, a court will dесidе fоr you nоt оnlу whо rесеivеѕ уоur wealth but who will make the diѕtributiоnѕ. You never knоw who thе court will appoint. Keep control оf уоur оwn dеѕtinу!
  2. Planning for Mеdiсаid аnd itѕ imрасt on уоur estate if you muѕt gо into a nursing hоmе. Nurѕing homes today саn cost as muсh аѕ $75,000 реr уеаr, оr mоrе, аnd a lоng term ѕtау саn еаѕilу imроvеriѕh аll but thе wealthiest fаmiliеѕ. With рrореr рlаnning, hоwеvеr, уоu can shelter аѕѕеtѕ аnd kеер уоur fаmilу’ѕ wеаlth intact. Bесаuѕе there iѕ a 50-50 сhаnсе thаt thе аvеrаgе adult will spend at least one уеаr in a long term care fасilitу, it bесоmеѕ painfully clear thiѕ tуре of рlаnning iѕ extremely imроrtаnt.
  3. Avоiding рrоbаtе, during уоur lifetime and whеn уоu раѕѕ аwау. Dо you wаnt thе соurt соntrоlling уоu or your аѕѕеtѕ? Probate рrосееdingѕ аrе рubliс, еxреnѕivе, аnd timе-соnѕuming аnd should bе avoided whеnеvеr роѕѕiblе. Leave уоur mоnеу to your hеirѕ quickly, рrivаtеlу аnd еffiсiеntlу by еѕtаbliѕhing a рrореr еѕtаtе рlаn.
  4. Prоtесting сhildrеn frоm a рriоr marriage if уоu раѕѕ away first. Sесоnd mаrriаgе рlаnning саn bе complex аnd tricky. Expert legal guidаnсе iѕ nееdеd tо еnѕurе уоur assets аrе рrеѕеrvеd and your сhildrеn оf уоur first mаrriаgе will rесеivе thе рrореr ѕhаrе of thеir inhеritаnсе.
  5. Prоtесting assets inhеritеd bу your hеirѕ frоm lаwѕuitѕ, divоrсеѕ аnd оthеr claims. Mаkе ѕurе уоur аѕѕеtѕ are inhеritеd bу уоur loved оnеѕ, nоt thе реорlе уоu dоn’t wаnt tо rесеivе thеm, such аѕ their еx-ѕроuѕеѕ, in-lаwѕ, сrеditоrѕ or thе IRS.
  6. Imроѕing diѕсiрlinе uроn сhildrеn оr grаndсhildrеn whо mау not be capable or еxреriеnсеd in mаnаging wеаlth. Mаkе sure your children оr grandchildren ѕреnd their inhеritаnсе wiѕеlу аnd рrоtесt thеir inhеritаnсе аgаinѕt inеxреriеnсе and mismanagement by including specific соnditiоnѕ аnd rеwаrdѕ in уоur estate рlаn.

If уоur wealth оr diѕроѕitiоn dеѕirеѕ fаll intо any оnе оf thе аbоvе grоuрѕ, you ѕhоuld соntасt аn еѕtаtе рlаnning attorney in your аrеа. Many times, wаiting tо make a decision аbоut distributing уоur wеаlth or dесiding whо can mаkе decisions for уоu in саѕе оf dеаth or inсарасitу will rеѕult in уоur dreams fоr уоur children and grаndсhildrеn, оr уоur favorite сhаritу, nеvеr, еvеr, bеing rеаlizеd. Thuѕ, tаrrуing in creating аn еѕtаtе рlаn can саuѕе extreme соnfuѕiоn, turmоil and еxреnѕе fоr your heirs that can еаѕilу bе avoided bу соntасting a highlу ԛuаlifiеd, trained аnd tеѕtеd еѕtаtе planning ѕресiаliѕt in your locale.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Plan For Your Life & Death With Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate.  This is put in place to provide during the person’s life and at death for their loved ones.  This is done in order to minimize gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax.

Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own including your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common in that you can’t take it with you when you die.

An estate planning attorney is a type of lawyer who advises clients on getting their affairs in order to prepare for the possibility of becoming unable to care for themselves or death.  An estate planning attorney helps and guides you in choosing the correct options for maintaining your estate after death or in case of incapacity. An experienced attorney seeks to fully understand your desires and goals regarding the maintenance of your estate and other property and suggests ways to achieve those wishes. Estate planning lawyers help people write instructions for the future handling of their property, finances, healthcare, and the future support and care of their loved ones.

How to choose a perfect estate planning attorney:

Estate planning is one of the most important steps a person can take to make sure that their final property and health care wishes are honored. While choosing an estate planning attorney you may consider the following things:

  • Comfort level: Make sure that you are comfortable telling your lawyer about everything. Ask yourself if you are totally comfortable and does the lawyer you are going to hire seem interested in listening and solving our problems at all.
  • Credentials: Before hiring an estate planning attorney check his records and how long has he been in service and also check if he has worked on similar cases to yours.
  • Cost: Check how the lawyer’s fees are structured whether they are structured hourly or flat fee. Ask your estate planning attorney if he can estimate the cost of your case for you to get an idea of how much the whole thing is going to cost you.
  • Location: Always make sure to check for your lawyer’s location. The lawyer’s office should always be located at a convenient distance.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help minimize the amount estate surrendered to taxes, as well as to ensure that the management and distribution of the estate is carried out according to plan. Particularly when your plans are complex and you have substantial property or assets, it is important to have an attorney who can ensure that your plan functions the way you intend. Depending on the complexity of your individual situation, your estate planning team may include attorneys, financial planners, bankers and insurance professionals.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Take Time To Create An Estate Plan Today

Many individuals do not grasp how important it is to have an estate plan in place.  By taking the time and effort that is needed now to plan for your estate you inevitably save your family and friends a lot of trouble after you are gone.  In reality, after your passing, the last thing that you want to do is to leave chaos for your family to deal with while they are busy grieving.

By working with an estate planning attorney you are able to do all of the following things to prepare your estate.

Immediately provide for your family: It is important for the remaining spouse to have money to survive when their loved one has passed.  Many times couples that have children will plan for their estate to cover their future education while continuing to provide for their upbringing.

It is also important for parents to name guardians in their estate in the unlikely situation both parents were to die at the same time.  Without this in place, the court will be in charge of determining where your kids will live and who will be allowed to make decisions on behalf of their money, education and way of life.

Distribute property quickly: When creating an estate plan with an attorney you will have options regarding any insurance payouts.  With an estate plan the insurance can be paid directly to beneficiaries, joint tenancy and living trusts.  An estate plan allows you to take advantage of laws that allow for partial payments to beneficiaries while the will is still in probate.

Create an incapacity plan: An estate planning attorney will assist you in creating a living will and durable health-care power of attorney. This allows for the individual to make decisions on your behalf if you should become mentally or physically unable to for yourself.  This person will make decisions about life support as well as decisions regarding your medical treatment.

Lessen probate expenses: A solid estate plan can save your heirs a significant amount of money on court expenses. Getting all of your ducks in a row allows you to save on the cost of transferring property and allows more money to go to your beneficiaries.

Lessen the burden on your family: Your family will be grieving your loss while planning for your life’s celebration.  The last thing that they need to have is stress regarding the transfer of your estate.  By having an estate plan in place you are taking care of the details prior to your death.  This allows them to be able to grieve and process your passing.

No one wants to plan for their passing; it is an uncomfortable reality to face in life.  However, by having a plan in place you are basically showing your family just how much you cared.  An estate plan lessens the burden of distributing your assets.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Simple Steps To Encourage Estate Planning

Today is a great day to stop procrastinating and to start thinking in terms of future plans for your estate.  Tomorrow is not a guarantee thus making an estate planning necessary sooner than later.   Without a plan in place your estate is left to be decided in probate.  In this article we will give you some simple steps to encourage you to start planning your estate today.

  • Give yourself a time limit: If you don’t have a deadline in place there will always be an excuse on why today isn’t that day.  Plan to have your estate plan done by your next birthday, anniversary or large family gathering.
  • Research: It is important to hire an attorney to help in your estate planning process. This does not mean that you shouldn’t look into different aspects of estate planning prior to meeting with them.  Many attorneys’ also offer free seminars.  This allows you as a consumer to become educated on aspects of estate planning while meeting with local attorneys.
  • Get your financial house in order: This is a step that can be done even before you meet with an estate planning attorney.  Create a spreadsheet with all of your current assets, their current market values, debts and resulting net value.  Put important papers such as account statements in a folder to take with you when you meet with the attorney.  All assets should be accounted for along with debts.
  • Create a list of individuals you want to gift to: Create a list of individuals with whom you would like to inherit a piece of your estate.  In your estate plan you will need to include their full name, date of birth, address and relation.  In this list include charities, educational or religious organizations.    You are then able to control how and when you want the inheritance to be received.  Some people choose to dole out their estate all at once while others choose a systematic approach to gift funds on a schedule.
  • Consider an executor: This person needs to be someone you trust who will abide by your wishes.  If you have children who are under the age of eighteen you will want to choose a guardian.  The executor will work with the chosen guardian until they have reached the age in which you wish them to have control over their own inheritance.
  • Healthcare advocate: When you are making an estate plan another crucial aspect is to assign a healthcare advocate.  This individual will be in charge of your healthcare decisions should you become unable to make them for yourself.  This person should know your desires regarding assisted living.  Clearly state your desires to this individual in order to avoid confusion during an already stressful moment in time.
  • Meet with a local attorney specializing in estate planning: This is a vital step in estate planning.  A lawyer that specializes in estate plans can correctly draft the documents to read as you desire.  With their assistance, your desires will clearly be stated and loved ones will not be able to questions your intentions.  An estate planning attorney creates documents to allow your estate plan to work as you wish.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

When Your Personnel Situation Changes Make Sure To Update Your Estate Plan

Everyone knows that it is important to have a solid estate plan in place. What many people forget it that this process doesn’t end just because an attorney designs an estate plan for you. That is just the beginning.  An estate plan must be updated regularly to reflect your current lifestyle.  Anytime there is a change in your financial or personnel situation you should work with your attorney to update your estate plan.

  • Divorce/Separation: Once you become legally separated or divorced it is crucial to update your estate plan to reflect your new goals and ideals.  It is also a time to reflect on the future.  Take into account that an influx of relationships end in divorce.  This is a great time to input provisions in your estate plan to protect your heirs against potential changes in their own marriages.
  • Re-Marriage: There are many complex situations involved when couples remarry.  This is especially true when both partners have children from previous relationships.  An estate planning attorney can help navigate the complexities of providing for a blended family.
  • Birth/Adoption of Children: Your estate plan should have in place provisions for your children’s future financially.  An estate plan should also provide a detailed plan for the children’s care should you and your spouse die or become incapacitated.  A guardian should be appointed to support your children into adulthood.
  • Illness/Injury: Your estate plan needs to be kept updated for when you or a family member becomes seriously ill.  The needs for your care or their care have changed and this change should be reflected in an updated estate plan.  It is also important to include a plan and appoint a power or attorney of health care for your own needs.  You will want someone to be in charge of your decisions if you become unable to do so yourself.
  • Tax Law Changes:  With constant changes to the economy that affect certain tax laws it is crucial that your estate plan reflects these changes appropriately. The updates to tax laws can dramatically affect your estate.  An attorney specializing in estate planning will help you make changes in your plan that coincides with the new legislation that is in place.
  • Inheritance: With an increase to the value of your estate comes a need to change how your assets are passed to those you love when are deceased.

It is important to keep your estate plan up to date on a regular basis.  Review your plan with your estate attorney to ensure it is always up to date and in line with the manner in which you intend to distribute your assets when your death occurs.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

The Importance Of Estate Planning

Everyone knows estate planning is important.  Not only are their advantages you will benefit from personally but making necessary plans for your estate eliminates the guess work for your family.  Take the time and effort now to remove the burden from loved ones during the period they will be grieving the loss of a loved one.

With an estate plan in place you can make necessary arrangements to provide for your family.  This will allow one spouse to set aside the proper amount of funds to continue living the lifestyle you have planned for your future.  If you have children it is crucial that your estate plan has provisions to provide for them as you see fit.  A guardian should be appointed in your estate plan as well just in case you both should pass away before the children have left the nest.  Without a plan in place the court is left to make those important decisions for you.

Another benefit of estate planning is the ability to quickly distributing your property to beneficiaries.  A number of estate planning methods can help with this process including: insurance with benefits paid directly to beneficiaries and a number of trust options.  Talk to an estate planning attorney to see what option works best for your situation.

Estate planning allows you to plan for a time when you may become incapacitated and unable to make decisions.  It allows you to create a plan of action should you become mentally or physically incapacitated.  Having a living will or durable heath care power of attorney in place allows you to choose an individual to help make medical decisions on your behalf.

Estate planning allows you to minimize the costs involved in transferring property to beneficiaries.  It avoids the unnecessary expenses that come along with probate.  It allows you to choose an executor to distribute your estate.  This not only saves you money it reduces the burden that the death of a loved one places on the living and makes administration of the estate simpler.

There are a number of aspects in life that require a detail estate plan be in place.  If you are the sole provider for an elderly parent, dependent child or want to provide the payment necessary for your grandchildren to attend college you can put a plan in place with an estate planning attorney.  If you are a business owner it is also important to create a detailed estate plan with an attorney to allow for an orderly continuation or curtailment of the business.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Planning For Your Future Through Estate Planning Installment 2

In the last installment we established that there were three main documents needed to delegate control as the end of life became inevitable: a durable power of attorney, a release of information and advance directives.  Each document serves a purpose in establishing care while you are still living if and when you become unable to do so yourself.

A power of attorney is drawn up in the presence of an attorney and witnesses to formally determine who you wish to leave in charge of your finances and legal affairs when you are no longer fit to do so.

A release of information is a form that is given to hospital personnel to give them the permission needed to discuss your medical history and take future actions regarding your medical health. This designated representative will receive valuable information regarding your medical records.

Advance directives are drawn up to allow people to make decisions on your behalf.  A durable power of attorney for health care allows you to name a representative that is in charge of making medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so.  A living will is in place to help guide your durable power of attorney for health care in that it specifically lays out the medical treatment you are allowing in your treatment and that of which you do not wish to receive at the end of your life.

An estate planning attorney will draw up the necessary papers to help your family avoid probate.  During the probate process, without the proper paperwork in place, the court will decide all matters having to do with your estate.

This process can range from paying a few hundred dollars in court costs, filling out some forms and having the court settle your debt and distribute your property all the way to a complicated month’s long ordeal that ties up your estate and ends up costing your family thousands of dollars.  No matter which route your family is not in control.  This can all be avoided by meeting with an estate planning attorney and getting the proper paperwork in place.

In estate planning an attorney will help you to set up trusts.  A trust basically allows possessions to go to the names trustees upon your death.  While you are living you remain a trustee and therefore control remains with you.  With a trust in place you avoid probate, fees and public scrutiny of your private affairs.

Another benefit of estate planning is the ability to divvy up your personal belongings as you wish.  This helps to avoid conflicts that arise during the emotional period after your passing.  One way that this can be set up if you aren’t interested in going through each and every item you own is to create a specific strategy for dividing your property. A creative way to do this is to allow your executor control to set up an online auction between members of your family.  Each member is allotted a certain number of tokens or credits to bid on items that they wish to own.  Another option is to start gifting items as you see fit while you are still alive which allows you to see your loved ones enjoying them.

Estate planning also allows for you to create an individualized memorial and funeral.  If you are interested in a celebration of life over a mournful gathering create a personalized plan of action to be followed upon your passing.  This allows you to be in control to decide if you will choose to be cremated or buried, if you will have a religious burial or other specific details that may be important to you it is crucial that you prepare in writing these desires.

Estate planning is as much for the living as it is the deceased.  Contact a local estate planning attorney for more information on providing your family with the peace of mind they desire in the event of your untimely passing.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Planning For Your Future Through Estate Planning Installment 1

There are so many excuses that people can come up with to avoid planning for their future.  None of us ever feel that we are going to die anytime soon so we put off planning for it. We pretend we are too busy to avoid thinking about a future that doesn’t include us in it.  However, the truth of our death is inevitable.  We will all eventually pass away. The last thing that any of us want to do is leave a mess for our families in the wake of our untimely passing.  This holiday season the number one gift you can give to your family is to create an estate plan to ensure that all of the business matters surrounding your death are taken care of and your family can focus on what really matters, mourning your death.

Know you aren’t alone in your procrastination.  As many as two thirds of Americans don’t have any type of will in place and fewer than one half of us with a will have an estate planning documents in place.  Planning for your final days is not something anyone wants to do let alone put in writing long before we hope that time is upon us however it will allow the transition to be that much easier on your family.

First and most importantly, meet with an attorney that specializes in estate planning.  This is an important piece of the puzzle.  They will help you begin the process of getting your affairs in order by helping to create a will.  Having a will in place allows you to decide how you split up your estate, who will raise your children and so forth.  Without a will in place the state is left in charge of deciding upon these very important and personal affairs.

Most often estate attorneys will recommend getting some type of life insurance coverage to assist in providing financial support for your family when you are no longer able to.  To be safe it is important that the coverage you purchase should be enough to pay off outstanding debts and fund future foreseeable goals.

The next item on your plate is to delegate control.  Three main documents are needed to do this: a durable power of attorney, a release of information and an advance directive.  In our next installment detailing estate planning we will go into depth regarding each of these documents and the headaches having them in place will save your family from.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Differences In Elder Law and Estate Planning

There is a common misconception about elder law and estate planning.  Many people think that these two concepts only apply to individuals with wealth during the later part of their lives.  However, this is the furthest thing from the truth.  Everyone has an estate.  Elder law is actually an area of law that affects everyone at any age that plans on growing old.

There are many questions that people wonder about as they grow old including:

  • If I can’t make decisions for myself anymore what will happen?
  • Who will make decisions for me if I am no longer able to?
  • Do I qualify for any special benefits?
  • How will I go about making arrangements for special financial obligations?
  • What will happen with my belongings?
  • As I grow old where will I live and how will I continue to pay for it?

These questions and more are answered when you meet with an elder law attorney.  Meeting with an attorney that specializes in elder law is an incredibly proactive step to take.  It is a step that everyone should take but especially those with health and medical concerns.  Elder law goes well beyond estate planning because it addresses your quality of life, housing arrangements, financial and medical concerns.

Estate planning is beneficial for everyone because it affects people from all sectors of life, not just the wealthy.  No one is protected against the conflict that can arise in a family after the death of a loved one; with a detailed estate plan in place though a lot of family disagreements can be avoided.  Everything and anything that an individual possesses can be part of an estate plan including: cars, homes, bank accounts, life insurance, furnishings and personal property.  Estate planning should be done early in life and updated on a regular basis.

An estate planning attorney helps individuals think ahead to prepare for and make arrangements while they are still living.  It is in place to minimize taxes, probate expenses and create less family drama upon an individual’s passing.  If an estate plan is not in place the estate is distributed based on the rules of the state and the court.  Without a plan in place probate laws state how the distribution of the estate will play out.  What this could mean is that your spouse, children and other relatives may end up not provided for in the manner that you would have chosen.

An estate planning attorney can assist with drawing up wills, trust, designating beneficiaries, power of attorneys, gifting, special financial arrangements and insurance needs.  Estate planning attorneys help individuals with a variety of concerns including:

  • Making sure that your instructions are carried out as you wish.
  • Helping to minimize the amount paid in taxes, court fees and miscellaneous expenses.
  • Helping detail your heath care directive and ensure that your instructions are followed if you should become disabled.
  • Taking care of naming individuals as guardians and ensuring the inheritance will be managed by the correct individual.
  • Providing detailed instruction for special needs family members.
  • Determining what insurance is needed including life, disability and long term care.
  • Ensuring that wishes with business endeavors that are in place are carried out accordingly including transfers of ownership.

An elder law attorney encompasses a very broad spectrum of the law.  Elder law lawyers can assist clients with all the functions of estate planning and more.  As individuals live longer more planning is needed to ensure that not only are their families cared for but that they are as well.  Thoughtful planning and budgeting take place to ensure that the twists and turns of life are all met.  Elder law attorneys take care of special needs including:

  • Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security Issues
  • Retirement benefits
  • Long term care and housing needs including financing
  • Issues with age discrimination
  • Elder abuse and neglect issues
  • Disability planning
  • Veterans planning
  • Issues with insurance
  • End of life decisions

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.

Top Reasons To Have An Estate Plan In Place

There are many reasons to make time to meet with an estate planning attorney to create an estate plan.  In this installment on estate planning we will look at the top reasons estate planning is necessary for even those with small estates.

The most common reason most individuals seek out an estate planning attorney to create a plan for their estate is to avoid their estate from sitting in probate upon their passing.  Many of us have never had to deal with probate and probate courts but the one thing we know and understand from other people’s experiences is that it is best to avoid it at all costs.  There are many horror stories to be told from the media, neighbors, friends and business associates.  It is enough to make most of us understand that it is crucial to have an estate plan in place to ensure our estate avoids probate for the sake of our families.

Another common reason that individuals seek out estate planning attorneys is to help significantly reduce their estate taxes.   Avoiding federal and state inheritance taxes is a great motivator for most people to put together an estate plan.  Even the most basic of estate plans can greatly reduce or eliminate estate taxes for married couples.  Eliminate estate taxes all together with the creation of trusts or revocable living trusts.  Attorneys specializing in estate planning are super beneficial in helping both individuals and couples decrease the amount they are required to pay in estate and inheritance tax.

After personally experiencing or seeing a loved one experience the mess of probate and poor estate planning encourages many individuals to seek out an estate planning lawyer.  Avoiding a mess for the family you are leaving behind is one of the key reasons to have in place an estate plan.  Estate plans do more than save in taxes and help avoid probate; they allow a plan to be in place that saves time, money and allows individuals to focus on what is most important at the time of your passing.  An estate plan often allows you to choose someone to be in charge if you are to become mentally incapacitated and again after your passing.  This executor is able to decide who will get what, when it will be given and how it will be distributed.  This keeps family fights to a minimum and helps to avoid costly probate and court proceedings.

Call today to schedule an appointment with a local estate planning attorney to ensure your estate is executed as you desire.

The Law Office of Sean J. Nichols is dedicated to assisting clients throughout legal issues that come with aging including: elder law, estate planning, probate law and more.  Check out the Law Office of Sean J. Nichols at http://www.seanjnichols.com to contact an estate attorney today.