Estate Law Matters We Handle
Drafting a Will
A will is a document which instructs how you wish your assets to passed on after your death. Importantly, a will does not avoid probate. Instead, it provides instruction to the local register of wills as to how the estate will be probated.
Your will should name who you wish to act as the executor (or personal representative) of your estate. If you have minor children, the will should also name a guardian for those children.
Establishing a Revocable Living Trust
Various types of trusts are used for a number of legal purposes. Revocable living trusts are designed to hold assets during your lifetime so that your assets may pass without incurring the time, cost, and expense of probate after your death. Revocable living trusts can receive additional assets after your death, as well, usually by beneficiary designation.
The revocable living trust protects you and your assets if you become incapacitated during your lifetime. Much like a traditional will, a revocable living trust allows you to leave instructions for what happens to the assets after death.
Revocable trusts can be created by an individual or married couple. When you create this type of trust, you retain complete access and control of the trust assets during your lifetime. You can name backup decision-makers, called successor trustees, to manage the trust in the event of incapacity or death.
Establishing an Irrevocable Asset Protection Trust
There are various types of irrevocable trusts that can be incorporated to meet different estate planning objectives. Healthy senior clients who wish to protect their life savings from the devastating cost of long term care often consider an irrevocable asset protection trust.
This type of trust is designed to hold some assets immediately so that if a future long term care event is needed, the assets in the trust are excluded for financial eligibility purposes. This can help you qualify for long term care Medicaid and/or VA benefits more quickly, protecting those assets.
Asset protection trusts requires you to understand how the trust will work during your lifetime and at death. We carefully design the trust to work for you and your family, funding it with appropriate assets.
Determining Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney allows you to designate a trusted person to manage your legal and financial affairs should you become unable to do so. You may appoint one or multiple trusted people to act on your behalf. You also have the ability to make it effective right away, or only after a medical doctor declares you incapacitated.
The power of attorney should give broad and specific authority so that your trusted person may take any action to protect you after your incapacity. Failing to authorize the right people or restricting their ability to protect you can have a devastating impact on your future long term care planning.
Creating an Advance Health Care Directive
Advance health care directives allows you to name a medical decision maker who can only act in the event of your incapacity. Sometimes referred to as a living will, this document also allows you to give critical instructions to your decision maker and treatment professionals, including end of life wishes. Organ donation wishes are also detailed in the health care directive.
Reach out to DiPietro Law LLC for Estate Assistance
The advantages of estate planning are many, including the minimization of taxes and costs associated with court and other administrative proceedings, long term care, and legal fees. Our firm provides comprehensive help with all these matters, including probate avoidance, estate plan maintenance through our Bridge Program and Asset Protection Planning.
Ready to get started with your estate plan? Talk to our attorney serving Millsboro and surrounding areas throughout Delaware & Maryland. Contact us at (302) 240-9969 today.
Estate Planning Lawyer in Millsboro, Delaware
Caring Legal Assistance with Wills, Trusts & Estate Matters
Most people are so busy with their lives that they seldom think about their estate plan. Sometimes, a crisis occurs that puts this legal matter front and center.
An estate plan represents several documents dictating your wishes when you are no longer able to state them yourself. This broad area of law covers everything from drafting wills and trusts to establishing specific powers of attorney. No matter how many assets you have, it is critical to have an estate plan in place.
With more than 15 years of experience, we provide critical estate planning services to individuals and families in Delaware and Maryland out of our office in Millsboro. We offer comprehensive estate plan packages which address not only the legal documents, but also the alignment of assets with the plan. With the right estate plan, you can have peace of mind knowing that your and your family’s needs will be taken care of.
The Importance of Estate Planning
Some people believe that estate planning is only for the wealthy who have a large “estate.” However, everyone over the age of 18 should have a plan for incapacity that addresses legal, financial and medical decisions.
Moreover, if you own anything at all, you have an estate. Making a plan to deal with your estate upon your death can help you communicate your wishes about those assets, appoint appropriate decision-makers, protect assets from the cost of long term care, and avoid probate, which can be costly and time consuming.
Every estate plan should address the following questions:
- Who will make legal, financial and medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated?
- What instructions will you leave about the disposition of your assets after your death?
- Who will be appointed to see those instructions through?
Several strategies are available to avoid probate, minimize taxes, ensure a special needs relative is taken care of, and ensure that the individuals or charitable groups you designate get what you wish them to have in Sussex County.