Life throws us curve balls that we may never be prepared for. Estate planning provides a way for people to have some security in knowing that important life decisions will be planned for, and the planning devices will be enforceable under Kentucky law, such as trusts, wills, and guardianship appointments, among others. Whether you want to plan for future medical care, distribution of certain assets, or a transfer of ownership of a business upon someone’s death, estate planning can provide you peace of mind that the inevitable consequences of future life events are already taken care of.
We often hear individuals say that they do not own enough to need an Estate Plan.
An estate doesn’t have to be in the millions! Everyone has an estate and it includes your home, autos, stocks, bank account, personal collections and furniture. Make sure you take the time to create an estate plan that protects your family. With proper estate planning you, and not the government, decide how your affairs are handled for your family.
Each of our consultants specialize in several areas, and work with each other on each case. Below is a general list of services that we provide, though not a comprehensive list due to the incredibly broad nature of elderlaw. We've also included an overview of our services related to the Medicaid process. As complex and intricate as it can be, you'll need an expert working with you every step of the way. We are well-versed and experienced in all aspects of the process, and would love to help you!
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about any of our services. All of our consultations are free, so please don't hesitate to ask!
Wills & Trusts
Your last will and testament is just one part of a comprehensive estate plan. If a person dies without a Will they are said to have died "intestate" and state laws will determine how and to whom the person's assets will be distributed. Some things you should know about wills:
A will has no legal authority until after death. So, a will does not help manage a person's affairs when they are incapacitated, whether by illness or injury.
A will does not help an estate avoid probate. A will is the legal document submitted to the probate court, so it is basically an "admission ticket" to probate.
A will is a good place to nominate the guardians (or back-up parents) of your minor children if they are orphaned. All parents of minor children should document their choice of guardians. If you leave this to chance, you could be setting up a family battle royal, and your children could end up with the wrong guardians.
There are many types of trusts. They can be simple or complex, and serve a variety of legal, personal, investment or tax planning purposes. At the most basic level, a trust is a legal entity with at least three parties involved: the trust-maker, the trustee (trust manager), and the trust beneficiary.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document giving another person the legal right to do certain things for you. What those powers are depends on the terms of the document. A power of attorney may be very broad or very limited and specific.
Healthcare Documents (or Advanced Directives)
An advance directive is a document that specifies the type of medical and personal care you would want should you lose the ability to make and communicate your own decisions. Anyone over the age of 18 may execute an advance directive. Your advance directive can specify who will make and communicate decisions for you.
Guardianship is a legal relationship created when a court appoints an individual to care for a person who is no longer able to care for himself or herself. Guardianships are usually limited in scope and permit the guardian to make decisions on behalf of the individual.