Areas of Expert Practice at Eastman Law
Estate planning is the process of arranging and preparing a person's assets, during their life, for the management and transfer of those assets to family or individuals after passing away or becoming incapacitated. Without a secure estate plan, the assets can be contested among family members and other individuals. If a legal trust is not in place, loved ones are left to confront the issue in court. The process can take years and cause rifts and arguments among those involved. Preparing an estate plan protects your intentions and ensures that the people you love are protected as well.
A trust is a legal arrangement that sets up an entity to safely hold your assets. A trust is written in such a way that you can appoint new trustees to step in if you lose capacity or die, and they would be the new beneficiaries upon your death. Essentially, a trust is a legal entity that outlives you and has a lot of flexibility in terms of how you want to structure things for your beneficiaries. With a trust in place, your loved ones can be spared the burden of difficult financial decisions and court fees in their time of loss and grief.
When the death of a loved one inevitably comes, the difficulty of that loss can be compounded by the financial affairs and obligations that immediately ensue. What if that loved one had debt? What if they owe taxes? Inheritances don't just automatically fall into the laps of their loved ones. Professional representation is almost always required to iron out these affairs.
If you have a child or a loved one with special needs, planning may be required to ensure that this person is provided for when you are no longer able to provide. It is never too early to put legal protective measures in place. We will help you take action to see that your special needs family member is not left vulnerable or subject to the decision making of others.
A conservatorship is necessary for those individuals who have neither a power of attorney or healthcare directive, and have lost the ability to make informed decisions and/or care for themselves. A conservatorship may also be necessary for other reasons, such as an invalid or fraudulent power of attorney document.
If your spouse, parent, or loved one is in need of long term care, the costs of such care can rapidly deplete his or her assets. We assist clients in Medicaid and Veteran’s benefits planning for long term care. Our goal is to ensure that your loved one becomes eligible for public assistance in the most efficient manner that is allowable under the law and regulations in this area.