Bill Hesch is a Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky elder law attorney who focuses on the complicated legal, tax, and financial planning issues confronting senior citizens. Elder Law, or special needs law, is unique in that it is defined by the needs of the client rather than a particular field of law or other legal distinction.
An elder law attorney will normally address issues including:
If you own anything of value you would like passed on to a friend or loved one at your death, you have an estate. In order to ensure the assets of your estate are distributed according to your personal wishes, there must be an estate plan. This plan can include legal instruments like a will, a power of attorney, a trust, a living will, and a health care power of attorney. To put it quite simply, an estate plan consists of the accumulation, conservation and distribution of an estate and ensures your financial goals are met after you die.
Estate administration is the process of collecting, managing and distributing assets upon a person’s death. All debts and taxes must be paid and the remaining assets must be distributed to any beneficiaries who stand to inherit under an existing will. If there is no will, the laws of the particular state will decide who serves as the personal representative of the estate and who the beneficiaries will be, as well as, what each beneficiary’s share of the estate will be. The absence of a will can make estate administration a much longer and sometimes more costly process. A well-executed will, designed by an experienced elder law attorney will make estate administration a much smoother process for everyone involved.
Trust creation and administration
A trust is a legal mechanism used to not only help manage property during a person’s lifetime, but also to supplement an existing will after death. Trusts not only allow you to pass on assets to different people, but it also allows you to place certain conditions on how and when estate assets will be distributed upon your death. Trusts can also help to reduce any possible estate taxes and avoid the delay and publicity of probate court. The creation of a trust can be a very important part of your estate plan.
Planning for possible long-term care needs, including nursing home care
Statistics show that approximately 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will require some type of long-term care services. Most people put off any type of long-term care planning simply because they just don’t want to think about it. Part of the long-term care planning process may include the preparation of a living will in which you determine the medical care you want in the event you are unable to make these decisions for yourself. A medical power of attorney may be prepared to allow you to name someone as the person who will make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so yourself. Proper financial planning is important because long-term care can be very expensive and Medicare and most other health insurance programs don’t cover many long-term care services. Planning ahead gives you the time to determine payment options that will work best for you, and also gives you the time to save for possible long-term care needs.
An experienced elder law attorney understands that your needs extend beyond basic legal services and a variety of legal tools and techniques are used to specifically meet your personal goals and objectives.
William E. Hesch Law Firm offers a wide variety of services to help assist you in your elder law planning. Our estate planning attorneys explain how Ohio, Kentucky, and federal estate tax laws may affect the assets that are transferred to your loved ones upon your death. Please contact us to arrange a free 30 minute consultation with one of our experienced Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky elder law attorneys to learn more about how we may identify strategies to protect your life savings in your later years from being depleted by your nursing home care costs, estate taxes, and probate administration costs, as well as seek asset protection from your creditors.