Why an Elder Law Attorney?

  • For most it is much more than just about who will inherit or avoiding probate.
  • It’s about planning for long term care costs
  • It’s about putting in place documents in the event of incapacity while we are alive.
  • A real Elder Law Attorney is much more than just an estate planner…

What makes an elder law attorney different?
What additional services does an elder law attorney provide?
Are Will forms from the internet sufficient?
What is a Will?
What is a Living Trust?

 

What makes an elder law attorney different?

Estate Planning is only one service an “Elder Law Attorney” has legal knowledge to offer clients.

 

What additional services does an elder law attorney offer?

  • An Elder Law Attorney can also assist with advice related to appropriate probate avoiding concepts,
  • How to avoid guardianship with use of Durable Power of Attorney with appropriate clauses for the elderly. (Not just a boilerplate DPOA)
  • Advice on Medicare Part A, B, and D and supplemental insurance
  • How to plan for long term care costs,
  • Nursing Home resident rights
  • Medicaid Planning to pay for long term care nursing.
  • Advice on Long Term care Insurance

Are forms from the internet sufficient?

With most seniors the answer is no. Forms found on the internet do not take into consideration the persons own circumstances. It is plain boilerplate language. Typically boilerplate forms from the internet are not state specific or do not cover issues related to an elderly persons life circumstances. For seniors it is important to have a Will documents that address the seniors concerns.

What is a Will?

  • A Will (also called a Last Will and Testament) is a document a person creates that identifies who is to receive his or her assets when he or she passes away. A Will also allows a person to name the individual who will be the Executor (Personal Representative of the estate) who will be responsible for managing, marshal and distributing the assets of the person after the person has passed away.
  • Having a Will advises the world who the person is you have entrusted to manage your estate upon your passing (Names the personal representative) and who receives the assets (beneficiaries).

What is a Living Trust?

  • A Living Trust (also known as a Revocable Living Trust) has been marketed for years as “The” way to avoid probate. The Living Trust names a Trustee as well as beneficiaries of the trust who receive the benefits and use of the property.

Who should have a Living Trust?

  • A person who wants to make sure his or her assets in the trust are used for his or her care and benefit during life time once they have become incapable of manage their own affairs. The person is called the Settlor. The person also acts as his or her own Trustee until her or she is incapable of managing the trust assets any longer. The Trustee is the manager of the trust assets.
  • In a well drafted trust a Successor Trustee is given instructions in the trust on how to use the trust assets to care for the Settlor upon the Settlors incapability of serving as his or her own Trustee.
  • A person who owns property in multiple states should have a Living Trust to help avoid additional probates in other states.
  • A person who wants to after death, make sure trust assets are managed for a child who has been named a beneficiary of the trust who is disabled, a minor, or has creditor issues, or spends too much.

 

Seven Benefits of having a Will

 

  1. Allows the maker to define how property in the maker’s name alone is to be distributed
  2. Allows the Maker to define certain assets to be given to specific individuals or even charities. (Specific Devise)
  3. A Will can have provisions where maker/parent can name a guardian for minor children or other dependents, such as a handicapped adult child.
  4. Permits the maker to name the personal representative (Manager of the estate affairs) who distributes the assets of the maker and is authorized by the probate court to deal with creditors of the maker.
  5. A testamentary trust can be added to a Will for the purposes of managing distributions of assets to a minor child or disabled child of the maker.
  6. A testamentary trust can afford protection against a beneficiary’s creditors.
  7. Reduces the burden on the family. At the maker’s death, the family will most likely have to handle the maker’s personal affairs. Without a will, this job can become more difficult.

Gregory G. Glenn, Esq. is a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. He has practiced elder law since 1995. Prior to law school Mr. Glenn worked as a management consultant at the Big Eight accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand, CPA’s and also at Dunn & Roth, CPA’s as a staff accountant. He has his law degree from MSU and completed his legal studies at the University of Miami School of law. His focus in elder law is on estate planning for the over 65, disability planning, probate, and Medicaid eligibility planning. His office is in Boynton Beach, Florida.