"Elder Law Estate and Personal Estate Planning" encompass the interrelated areas of estate planning and elder law that relate to the needs of an affluent group of citizens. Although most people would agree that the vast majority of Americans can benefit from having the same financial arrangements for their future as do the elderly, it is important to remember that they will also require legal assistance if they become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves. It is important to note that both the elderly and the affluent are often in need of financial advice and representation.
Estate planning is usually for the wealthy few who can pay for high-priced law firms, expensive probate, and extensive litigation. However, there are also a number of other situations where an individual may require the services of an estate planning attorney in a matter of life or death. If an elderly friend or relative has been diagnosed with a terminal illness or a serious injury that requires extensive medical care or has a chronic condition or disability that needs to be treated or managed, they may be able to represent themselves in a personal estate or probate estate planning situation.
Elder law attorneys are often appointed by a probate court for the reason that the client is unable to communicate their wishes in a manner that is meaningful and that meets the requirements of an intestate succession proceeding. While this type of situation is not likely to occur in the immediate future, it is always helpful to have a trained attorney that is knowledgeable in elder law to guide them through the process. It can be difficult to understand the intricacies of these complex processes.
Estate planning lawyers can help with issues like determining how to distribute an estate in the event of a deceased person's incapacity, how to settle a divorce involving a partner's death, what tax implications are related to a beneficiary's age, and how to determine what to do with assets owned jointly or owned by children when one or more of them pass on. Additionally, estate planning can help with property distribution and the settlement of creditors or heirs. This can be a complicated area of law where a competent estate or probate lawyer can be invaluable.
Estate and probate lawyers are also able to assist in the preparation of a living will, which is essentially a legally binding document that states your desires in regard to your future financial affairs. The living will also help protect the assets and possessions of your estate and appoints a person to administer your health, life insurance, pension, and retirement accounts. in case you become incapable of doing so.
A qualified estate planning attorney is the best advocate for an elderly or affluent client. An attorney is familiar with local elder law resources, such as tax laws, state laws, and the options available to an incapacitated adult, such as Medicaid and Medicare, which are often provided through the state's elder law agencies.
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