Category Archives: Estate Planning Lawyer

Finding the best estate planning lawyer in Massachusetts

Searching for best estate planning attorneys in Massachusetts.If demography is destiny, then estate planning lawyers will be very busy in the decades ahead.

That’s because the American public is skewing older, so the need for competent estate planning figures to be greater than ever. Given the high stakes involved, it’s important to choose the right attorney. After all, choosing the wrong one may lead to missed opportunities or could even put your family’s future security at risk. You don’t want to place your financial legacy in the hands of someone who doesn’t have your full confidence.

So what’s the best process for finding the right estate planning lawyer? First, you should look for experience. Find an attorney who focuses on estate planning or makes it a significant portion of the practice. This way you ensure you’re represented by someone who has comprehensive knowledge of both estate law and related areas that may affect your estate.

Along with experience, it’s important to find someone local. Massachusetts residents are typically best served by firms that know the landscape. There’s no substitute for local relationships. Additionally, an attorney with a local office should be more responsive, if for no other reason than proximity.

A third factor is reputation. It’s a good idea to make inquiries about prospective candidates. Receiving positive feedback can help make you comfortable with your decision, and in the rare case you hear something negative, those inquiries can prompt you to dig deeper and avoid a potential mistake.

Once you’re ready to hire, there are a variety of resources to tap. These include bar associations, attorney directories and — perhaps best of all — references from friends, family or attorneys who practice in a different area.

With some diligent research you can connect with the right estate lawyer. Doing so will give you peace of mind, knowing that you’ve done your part to secure your family’s financial future.

What can a Massachusetts Estate Planning Attorney Do for You?

A Massachusetts estate planning attorney that is knowledgeable in elder law can assist in all legal and financial issues pertaining to your parents’ needs.

The Sandwich Generation

Millions of Americans are facing an unprecedented situation in having to deal with the needs of their parents, their children and their own retirement all at the same time. The increased life expectancy of the current senior population has created what many demographers and planners refer to as the “sandwich generation.”

A number of new laws and regulations have come into effect over the past few decades in recognition of these new demographics. Many of these laws pertain to the care of those over 65 years of age and create the special area of legal practice called elder law.

Working with a Massachusetts estate planning lawyer who is knowledgeable in elder law is an important resource to adequately deal with your parent’s financial, legal and medical needs. There are significant issues that require attention to ensure that the most effective and efficient approaches to dealing with each of these key areas are utilized. The failure to exercise the proper diligence can cost tens of thousands of dollars and create serious legal consequences.

Maintaining a Difficult Balancing Act

Those children that find themselves caring for elderly parents often face a number of difficult decisions in a variety of areas. These individuals are called on to balance their love and concern with practical issues that have serious consequences. Just a few examples of these include;

  • If a parent can no longer drive safely, who takes the initiative in taking away the car keys? What are the legal liabilities if the parent is your responsibility and you fail to do so?
  • What financial decisions are best if it comes to the time to place a parent in a long-term care facility? What advance planning is essential?
  • When and how should legal guardianship of the parent(s) be sought?

A qualified and experienced Massachusetts estate planning attorney fully understands the impact of elder law on these areas of concern. They will be able to provide important information and guidance on these and many other issues, and with those insights, you will be well-prepared to face these challenges.

Preventing Complications with a Massachusetts Estate Planning Attorney

When a loved one passes away without a will or when an elderly family member is planning to write up a will, it is important to understand the probate laws in the state. Working with a Massachusetts estate planning attorney can help simplify the process, but having some basic knowledge before talking to a lawyer will make the process of creating a will easier.

Following the Will

Working with a Massachusetts estate planning lawyer to create a will is the best way to prevent complications for loved ones. A lawyer can explain the laws regarding inheritance so that it is easier to determine who will receive different items.

In the state of Massachusetts, the legal system follows the will. Unless the will is contested, items are passed along according to the desires of the individual who created the will.

When a Will is Not Created

When a will was not established before a loved one passed away, hiring a probate lawyer may become a necessity. The probate lawyer can help determine if a case is possible and explain the inheritance laws in the state.

In Massachusetts, property that is owned jointly will automatically transfer full ownership to the other party. Tenancy by the Entirety also applies to married couples in Massachusetts, so a spouse will usually inherit a house or similar property, even if it was not a joint asset.

Any funds that were set aside in a Payable Upon Death account will go to the stated beneficiary. The state does not take Payable Upon Death accounts to probate.

If certain assets are not held jointly or there is a debate about who will receive the assets, then the case may go to court. The case will ultimately decide the division of assets based on the relationship with the deceased party.

It is best to work with a Massachusetts estate planning lawyer before passing away. Creating a will prevents loved ones from going to court and ensures that assets are given to the appropriate individuals.

Long-term Care Planning and Responsibilities of Being the Family Caregiver

Long-term care planning and responsibilities of being the family caregiverFamily caregivers of elderly parents face unique challenges. Long-term planning include estate planning are essential for family caregivers. Attorneys specializing in the field of elder law have experience and knowledge specific to the elderly population and are more aware of the difficulties that are often involved with the aging process and how that affects the legal process. Concerning elder law attorneys, the non-profit organization Area Agency on Aging states, “Because of their broad knowledge base they are able to more thoroughly address the legal needs of their clients.”

The special circumstances for caregivers when elderly parents or relatives reside in a nursing home facility are served best by attorneys experienced in elder law in respective individual states. In Massachusetts, with each state’s unique laws, a Massachusetts nursing home attorney can best serve the needs of caregivers in this state.

When planning an estate, an elder law attorney is aware of the need to take into consideration the health of the elderly individuals being cared for, with their individual needs and wishes. In the case of estate planning, a Massachusetts estate planning lawyer specialist will provide the most cost-effective and thorough services with the least opportunity for friction between all individuals involved. AARP advises that an “elder law attorney” can help resolves disputes as “a mediator” when there may be multiple caregivers, or between siblings or other involved parties.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a publication entitled The Family Caregiver Handbookstates in reference to legal matters unique to elder care, that “it can still be a challenge to find someone with the appropriate expertise.” And the non-profit Family Caregiver Alliance in an article entitled, Legal Issues in Planning for Incapacity advises that “it is important to find an attorney with whom you feel comfortable and who has the expertise to advise you on these matters.”

A fully qualified Massachusetts elder law attorney will provide the expertise to handle legal matters unique to elder care in a dignified and professional manner, advocating for their client’s needs.

Do You Need a Nursing Home Lawyer?

When to hire a Massachusetts nursing home attorneyPutting a loved one in a nursing home isn’t something that should be taken lightly. No, it’s likely a last ditch type of scenario where you’re doing what’s best for your elderly loved one in order to ensure that the proper care, assistance, treatment and attention is paid to the person in question. No, it’s never an easy decision, but often times it’s the right decision and the best decision. Another thing that you need to start thinking about when you make this move is hiring a Massachusetts elder law attorney to handle your loved one’s will. Often times, this Massachusetts nursing home attorney is necessary to act on behalf of your elderly loved one when they’re no longer willing or able to.

So why exactly is it important to hire a Massachusetts estate planning lawyer? Simple, it’s so that your loved one’s possessions and safe keepings are looked after when they can no longer properly care for them. And while it can be difficult and depressing to begin thinking this way, it certainly beats a battle in the courts after your loved one’s passing to divide possessions and estates.

We get it and we know that it’s not fun to think of losing a loved one, whether it’s a parent, uncle, aunt or friend of the family. But you owe it to yourself and to your loved one to make sure that their will and estate is taken care of well before they’re gone. It makes everything else that much more easy when the time finally does come.

For more information on planning a will or an estate, contact one of our Massachusetts estate planning lawyers today.

Understanding the Mediation Process in Elder Care Law

The ultimate goal of any mediation process for elder care law, a Massachusetts elder law attorney will tell you, is to ensure the needs and desires of the individual are met above anyone else’s desires. This is a private, less expensive method for preserving the overall desires of the individual while ensuring legal standards are met as well.

The process involves bringing together those who need to make decisions about their property and estate and want to do so in a legally binding manner. This area of law can focus on a range of topics, not just estate planning and wills, but also in Medicaid benefits, retirement benefits, planning for end of life, and working through issues related to disability. For families, including the children of the aged individual, taking steps to get into this process is often a very good decision. Not only does it reduce worry and risk, but it also helps the family to know that the loved one’s wishes are being met.

There is no law that states when elder care needs must be met, nor when mediation is necessary. However, there is little reason to put off such an event. Coming together with a trusted attorney is the best way to safeguard your needs. You can meet with a Massachusetts nursing home attorney to discuss your needs and questions long before you make decisions, too. This gives you the best opportunity to learn about your options.

How Does Mediation Work?

In short, you and your family come in to meet with an attorney who discusses with you the rules of the state as well as your rights. You learn about the factors that affect you, including your estate planning concerns, estate, and wills. Then, you make decisions to protect your desires.

There is no reason not to meet with a Massachusetts elder law attorney to discuss your situation and needs. We can help you to get questions answered while also guiding you in the legal process.

Power of Attorney Versus Guardianship: Which Is Right For You?

Massachusettes Elder Law Lawyer

Massachusetts estate planning makes use of two similar legal arrangements. Each is backed up by separate authorities.

A power of attorney is useful if your loved one is somewhat incapacitated yet able to choose someone to handle their affairs. Your lawyer can write a contract assigning someone else legal authority over your loved one’s financial affairs. The power of attorney can be for a specific activity, such as the sale of a house or estate, or it can be a general power of attorney over all financial matters.

Guardianship gets its authority from a probate court. The court decides that an individual is incapable of handling their affairs and assigns decision-making authority to a guardian.

In order to get a Guardianship order, you’ll need evidence that your loved one is incompetent or incapable of handling their affairs. This is usually caused by mental illness, cognitive impairment, or loss of health. An elderly person who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, may fall into that category.

Like a power of attorney, Guardianship may be obtained for specific areas of decision making. For example, you may be granted control over a loved one’s medical choices or given power to sell assets in the event of a sudden and rapid decline in health.To obtain Guardianship, you must first obtain medical documentation proving your loved one is unable to handle their affairs. Then you file a petition in probate court. Notice of Guardianship is sent out to heirs and closest living relatives. A hearing is scheduled to allow all interested parties a chance to object to the Guardianship order.For a power of attorney, you simply have your lawyer draft the papers and your loved one signs it.

Effective estate planning in Massachusetts can starts with proper legal documentation. You should seek legal counsel early on to ensure your elderly loved one’s assets are protected and managed well.

Massachusetts Estate Planning Advice — How Should I Divide My Assets?

Knowing how to divide your assets with estate planning lawyer.Whether you are getting older and want to make sure your assets are in order, or you are helping an elderly parent to plan their estate, it is important to consult a Massachusetts estate planning lawyer when making these important decisions. A person who is qualified in estate planning law can help you make some tough decisions, especially when it comes to dividing assets among spouses, children, siblings and personal friends. The following are three tips you can use when dividing your estate.

  • Start by choosing who you want to receive certain items and monetary inheritances. It is important that the people you wish to include are included in your estate plan. Be sure to specify when and how they should receive their inheritance, whether it is monetary or a tangible item.
  • Keep in mind what personal property items might have sentimental value to specific heirs. You will want to outline everything as explicitly as possible. Once you or your loved one has passed away, the only binding document that will be left is the will.
  • Make sure you have selected a trustee who is responsible, honest and trustworthy. This will be the person who helps to distribute the estate to the rightful heirs. You will want to select a person who you know personally, and who you can trust will be objective when it comes to dealing with all of the heirs involved.

Your personal Massachusetts estate planning lawyer can help you maneuver through this difficult process, but these three basic tips will help you get started. When you come to your first planning meeting prepared, you will find that the process of dividing your assets and planning your estate will be much less cumbersome. It is important that involved parties such as living spouses attend these meetings as well, so that everyone is on the same page and is prepared when the time comes.

Will the Government Cover My Long Term Care?

For more information about government long-term elder care and medicaid contact the Law Offices of Adam Tobin, Today!Millions of elderly adults enter retirement assuming that their Medicare coverage will pay for their long-term care. Unfortunately, only a handful of the Medicare Advantage Plans pay for this kind of care, and these plans only help with medical expenses. An elder attorney can help adult children and family members find other solutions for affordable custodial care.

Start by determining if your parents’ current Medicare plan supports medical long-term care. An estate planning lawyer can help you go through the paperwork to determine if this is the case. If their plan doesn’t cover it, you will need to find a solution that helps with both custodial and medical services. Custodial care includes home cleaning, meal preparation and basic companionship.

If they would like to dedicate a portion of their existing savings to cover their care, have a Massachusetts elder attorney create a legal outline to specify this. Starting the estate management process early with the help of a trustworthy elder law practitioner is the best way to maintain control over their living arrangements for the rest of their life.

Hire an nursing home attorney to investigate the reputation of any long-care term facility before moving family members there as well. Establishments with lawsuits pending against them should be avoided entirely. Check that any complaints were addressed if there was an issue in the past.

Estate Planning To Do Check List

estate-planning-checklistDo you have elderly parents or relatives that need help with managing their money ? A MA elder lawyer can help you with wills, trusts, healthcare issues, and asset protection. An experienced elder law attorney helps you plan for the complicated issues that the elderly face with medical care, housing, and money management.

Do you need to appoint someone in the family to handle the finances ? A durable power of attorney handles the finances . when the elderly person cannot. An elder lawyer can help you choose a person if there is no one in the family to appoint and help you draw up the legal documents. A will is a complicated legal document that an elder lawyer can help you with. The elder lawyer can help draw up a document to insure family members keep certain assets in the family. He will meet with you to discuss the details and devise a sensible plan.

Some elderly clients with many assets to distribute will create trusts. A Massachusetts estate planning attorney can help you write up this document. A trust lets you pass on your assets to family or friends without court interference. There are many types of trusts: basic, special needs, living, irrevocable that an experience elder lawyer can help you set up. They can discuss which one is best for your family. After the person making a trust dies, an elder attorney can help your family protect and manage the trust fairly.

An MA elder law attorney can help you with health care proxies, Medicaid planning, probate, real estate, and even elder abuse. Whatever your needs an experienced elder lawyer can help you provide peace of mind to elderly relatives and friends that need assistance with complicated living and money issues.