Estate Planning and Elder Law
Proper estate planning is essential and should not be put off – particularly by aging clients. Wingfield & Corry, P.A., provides these clients and their families with comprehensive estate planning counseling for their diverse legal issues. As we age, we all face the need to address possible disability and long term care while preserving our financial assets as much as possible to maintain our desired lifestyles and pass along an inheritance to those we love or entities that are important to us.
Utilizing a variety of estate planning techniques with legal tools, including wills, trusts and powers of attorney, along with proper Medicaid planning, we are able to assist clients with the management and disposal of their estates during life, after death and for successive generations. It safeguards the financial well-being of the clients and their families and ensures their beneficiaries are taken care of and their assets are handled and distributed as they intend, eliminating any confusion at the time of death.
Our staff of attorneys and certified public accountants is experienced in the elder law and estate planning arenas and wants to help. We sit down with clients to assess their financial positions, goals and unique family and/or business dynamics then incorporate their retirement plans and investment strategies into an estate plan that includes:
• maximization of estate value through the deferral and/or reduction of a variety of federal and estate taxes and other fees;
• affordability of long term care expenses if they become necessary;
• maintenance of assets to pass on to successive generations; and
• avoidance of the burdensome probate court process if possible.
What is Probate?
Probate is the oftentimes expensive and time consuming legal process by which the validity of a deceased person’s Will is proven to a judge that also gives a representative appointed in the Will the right to transfer assets out of the deceased person’s name and distribute them according to the terms of the Will or in the absence of a Will, according to applicable state law.
Why Isn’t Just a Last Will & Testament Enough?
A Will simply outlines for the courts, your family and beneficiaries your preferences for an estate administrator and what assets you prefer to go whom and where after your death. It does not guarantee your estate will avoid the probate process as the only way to ensure that is to have no assets in your name upon death. A Will also does not ensure your estate will not be greatly diminished by or lost to long term care expenses. Only careful estate planning that takes into account the nuances of Medicaid law with an attorney experienced in elder law can accomplish that.
What Happens Once The Estate Plan is Complete?
We are always available to assist and counsel clients in maintaining their Wills and trusts as their family dynamics change.
We also are always available to help families navigate the legal aspects that come into play after a loved one passes. While it is always ideal to construct an estate plan that renders probate unnecessary using tools such as irrevocable trusts and life estate deeds for property transfers and payable-upon-death bank account designations that ensure no property is decedent-owned at death that does not always happen. Therefore, we also provide beneficiaries probate and estate trust administration that includes… . We also will represent estate and trusts before the Internal Revenue Service if necessary.