Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney
Estate planning is not just about money.
Estate planning is the responsible way
of planning for and protecting you and
your family. While nobody wants to
think about death, incapacity, or disability, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, it can also spare your loved ones of the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away, become incapacitated, or disabled.
Probate is a judicial proceeding
wherein a decedent's financial affairs
are settled. A probate is not always
necessary when a person passes away,
however we assist clients to determine if probate is necessary or not. If probate is necessary, we assist clients with every aspect of the probate process, including the initial filing to commence the probate, dealing with any creditors of the estate, and distribution of the decedent's assets.
Special Needs Trusts
A special needs trust is an irrevocable trust in which assets are sheltered to allow the disabled beneficiary to remain eligible for government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Assets in the form of
future inheritance, personal injury litigation settlements, or the disabled beneficiary’s own assets, are examples of assets that can be held in a special needs trust. For example, if Joe and Suzie have a daughter with Autism, Joe and Suzie should create a special needs trust so that some day when they pass away, their daughter’s inheritance will be placed in the special needs trust, rather than pass directly to their daughter. Otherwise, their daughter will become ineligible for government benefits when she inherits her parents’ estate.
We are experts in assisting people establish special needs trust of all types, as well as providing continuing advice on their administration.
If a person has not created the necessary estate planning documents, and becomes incapacitated, a guardianship may be necessary to manage the incapacitated person's financial affairs and medical treatment. Likewise, a person born with an incapacitating condition should have a legal guardian appointed prior to reaching the age of 18 to protect them from financial exploitation and manage their financial and medical affairs. We assist clients with everything involved in guardianships, such as petitioning the court to become someone's guardian, and preparing and obtaining court approval of all the reports and accountings required by the court.
Long Term Care
and Asset Preservation
The cost of long term care continues to rise and can quickly deplete assets. We assist clients in considering all available options to finance long term care and preserve assets. We also consult with clients to help them determine if they are eligible for any government assistance, such as Medicaid.
Some probates and guardianships are contested and the parties cannot resolve their dispute on their own. Mediation is often helpful at resolving the dispute,
without spending the time and money involved in a court battle. Steve Avery serves as a mediator to help resolve difficult probate and guardianship disputes.