Wills, Estates and Elder Law

People need to protect their assets for the retirement years so they are financially stable and secure.   They rightly fear a catastrophic illness or event will leave them unprotected and destitute. It is a natural wish to securely live out senior   years and be able to leave an estate to family or loved ones. Good legal planning can help achieve these goals.

A  Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Living Will, Living Revocable Trust, Living Irrevocable Trust, Life Estate Deed, Joint Bank Account, Long Term Care Insurance, Reverse Mortgage, Supplemental Needs Trust and Planning for Medicaid Application are legal options which a client should discuss with an Elder Law Attorney.

To properly represent a client in these matters, an attorney should be given sufficient information by means of a written questionnaire or interview. The attorney then can explain the legal concepts and planning options as they relate to client’s specific circumstances and needs.

The classic definition of a Will is: “The Legal declaration of a person’s intention, which he or she wills to be performed after his or her death”. Working with the client, an attorney can craft a will which meets the client’s intention.  The attorney could also recommend other means of asset transfers thereby avoiding probate.

Other legal documents which should be viewed as necessity are those related to your health. A  Health Care Proxy and a Living Will allow you to dictate your medical wishes to health care providers when you no longer are able to do so.

A Durable Power of Attorney allows a mentally competent individual to give specific or general powers to act on his or her behalf to a trusted agent even after the individual has become incompetent. The Power of Attorney should be given with caution only after a thorough explanation by the attorney of benefits and possible disadvantages.

Much of Elder Law planning has to do with protecting a client’s assets in case of an illness requiring long term care. A thorough and comprehensive approach to each situation is required.  These are areas where an Elder Law Attorney can be very helpful.

If you desire an appointment to discuss these matters, please call 585-768-2261 or email mamwelsh@frontier.com.