Aging requires all kinds of adjustments — physical, emotional, and financial. It is wonderful to have loved ones to support us through the inevitable changes that go along with getting older, but we also need professionals. Even the most fortunate among us will need medical and legal specialists to protect us and our estates. This is why it’s so important to seek out excellent healthcare specialists who are particularly tuned in to our changing health issues and elder law attorneys who have comprehensive knowledge of our legal needs.
There are many reasons for working closely with wise legal counsel as the years pass. First, we want to keep our estate plans current both in terms of changing laws and in terms of our own changing life circumstances (births, marriages, illnesses, divorces, deaths). Second, we want to make sure we prepare for expected and unexpected life events that may alter our carefully created plans. For most of us, our goals involve remaining comfortable and well-tended as we age as well as leaving our loved ones with as substantial an inheritance as possible.
Ways Elder Law/Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help
There are a number of ways your elder law/estate planning attorney can assist you in protecting your assets. Experienced legal advocates can:
Set up trusts to
- Keep your assets safe from excessive taxation, creditors and even predators seeking potentially vulnerable victims
- Make sure your special needs loved ones will be able to benefit from your assets without losing their government benefits
- Keep your spendthrift or otherwise irresponsible relatives from indulging their own worst impulses by having their inheritance doled out by a trustee at reasonable intervals or for particular needs
- Make arrangements for the care of your pets should you predecease them
Draft and review documents to
- Provide for your children if you die before they reach adulthood
- Make arrangements for your potential incapacity and/or long-term care (e.g. help you qualify for Medicaid)
- Determine a means for smooth business succession when you pass away
- Make certain you leave the charitable legacy you intend
- Make sure your end-of-life care wishes are respected
- Clarify the reasons for your decisions regarding heirs and beneficiaries so your family is not left in turmoil when you pass away
By preparing your will, crafting trusts appropriate for your particular circumstances, helping you to avoid complex probate, and taking care of all the rest of the above-mentioned tasks, your elder/estate planning attorney will protect you and your family in ways you may never even have considered.
If, in spite of all precautionary measures, complications arise, having a competent elder law/estate planning attorney with whom you already have a strong working relationship can make a tremendous difference in resolving the situation efficiently and effectively. Because your lawyer has carefully worded every document to be legally binding as well as understandable, the solution should be easy to arrange. In any case, your attorney will be there to take over the burden of straightening things out.
Start the Process Early — You’ll Be Glad You Did!
Being prepared is the key to success. The time to look for an outstanding estate planning attorney is early in life. Beginning the process of shaping your future while you are young puts you in a proper mindset to take a productive overview of your goals and dreams. While your life will undoubtedly be filled with unimagined twists and turns, having a guide to help you navigate will always be an advantage.