Estate planning is important for families of all ages, not just people entering their golden years. Young parents need to nominate guardians to care for their children if they are unable to do so due to an unexpected tragedy. In the absence of estate planning, courts, social workers and and appointed attorneys will manage property and make decisions regarding the care and management of minors and their property.
Many married people assume that if they die without a will, their spouse will inherit all their assets. However, under the laws that govern intestate estates (person died without a will), children, whether minors or adults, will share in their deceased parent’s estate. Unmarried couples who fail to prepare an estate plan can have assets pass to unintended beneficiaries such as parents or siblings.
Planning for loved ones with special needs is extremely important. A person with a disability who receives public assistance, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is at risk of losing their benefits if they are the beneficiary of an inheritance. A properly drafted special needs trust can protect a loved one with special needs.
In the absence of a valid power of attorney designating a trusted agent, a person who becomes incapacitated as a result of disease or accident will need to be declared incompetent and appointed a guardian to handle their legal, financial and health care decisions. Properly drafted power of attorney documents can avoid the need for court intervention.
Every family’s situation is unique and deserves an estate plan that is individually tailored. For that reason, we do not create “one size fits all” out of the box solutions for complex problems. A living trust may be helpful for some families, but not the right solution for others. Whatever your situation, we can work with you to devise an estate plan that works for your family and meets your individual goals.