Common Estate Planning Questions and Answers

What is Estate Planning? Estate Planning is preparing for the orderly transfer of everything you own at your death. In short, it is legally arranging to give what you have to those who you want to receive it. It can also include when and how you want them to receive it. Without Estate Planning, your family will have to go through the probate court in order for your assets to be transferred. Also, without such preparations, you will have no say in who your assets are transferred to or who is responsible for administering your estate. Estate planning allows loved ones to receive your assets with less: Taxes Court costs Legal fees Hassle Estate planning is also preparing for the possibility of

Care Options For a Loved One With a Debilitating Disease

Besides the obvious choice of a nursing home, there are other options to create a more customized care plan for your loved one. In-Home Nursing: In-hone nurses can be hired through an agency or privately. Using an agency may be a better choice in the long run because the agency will handle all of the paperwork involving income taxes, background check its employees, and replace a worker if they are on vacation or take a sick day. Adult Foster Care: This is an option that allows you to care for a loved one if you work during the day. Adult Foster Care centers can be very expensive but the expenses can sometimes be covered through Medicaid under the MI choice waiver program. Assisted Living: As

Chose Your Agent Wisely

One of the most important documents in your estate planning portfolio is a Durable Power of Attorney. This document allows an individual to name someone to handle all of their financial decisions if they are ever unable to make them for themselves. It is a common misconception that a spouse or child will automatically step up and take care of their finances if an accident or illness leaves them incapacitated. However, there are only two ways to obtain the legal authority to handle the finances of another. The first is by petitioning the court for the right to act on behalf of a loved one. The second and much simpler option is to create and sign a durable power of attorney before capacity is

Protecting Assets From Probate

When an individual with sole ownership of a property dies, the probate court will usually determine who the property will go to. Without any designated beneficiaries, the property will pass to the individual’s heirs as decided by state law. If there is a will, the property and other assets will be passed on according to the wills terms. There is however, a way to pass property to an heir without going through the probate court. Avoiding probate is desirable to many people because of the cost and time of the probate process. Often the best way to avoid the probate court is by a revocable living trust. A trust allows an individual to transfer their property and assets into the name of the trus

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust is a legal document that includes instructions concerning what should be done with your assets after you die. While a will does the same thing, a trust avoids the probate court while a will does not. When creating the trust, you will become the Grantor of the trust which means the trust belongs to you and only you can make changes to it. You will also need to appoint someone as Trustee to manage the assets in the trust during your life and after your death or incapacity. You can appoint yourself, a family member, friend or a bank. Finally, you will need to designate the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are the people or organizations that will receive your assets aft

Life Sustaining Measures

When completing your estate planning, difficult questions arise concerning end of life measures. With new advances in medicine, it is possible to extend one’s life using medication or machines to help with breathing, eating, or waste removal. Before deciding on end of life measures, it is important to understand what medical treatment is available and what different life sustaining treatments consist of. Life sustaining measures are used when a patient is unable to properly function on its own. Unlike other forms of medical treatment, life sustaining measures are used solely to prolong life rather than treat a medical condition. Artificial nutrition and hydration is used when a patient is no

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The Elder and Estate Planning Law Firm

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