AREAS OF PRACTICE
COMPREHENSIVE ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES
Successful estate planning results from a close and trusting working relationship between you and your attorney. I will typically spend one hour with you at your initial consultation in order to learn about your particular planning needs, goals, concerns, current planning (if any), the types of assets you own and how you own them, and the overall size of your taxable estate. Only after educating myself about you am I in a position to educate you about the best options and strategies for the implementation of your estate plan. Your initial consultation is charged on an hourly basis.
Revocable Living Trusts
Estate Tax Planning
Asset Protection Planning
Family Limited Partnerships/Limited Liability Companies
Life Insurance Planning and Life Insurance Trusts
Special Needs Trusts
Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
Kristin walked my wife and me through our estate planning options in a manner that was friendly and competent. I would recommend Ms. Reeder to others.
Probate is the procedure used by the courts to transfer the assets of a decendent to those entitled to receive those assets, whether or not the deceased person had a will. The general functions of probate are as follows:
To appoint a representative for the estate. Either an executor (if such person is named as such in the will) or an administrator (if the decedent died without a will) and once appointed, collect all of the assets that were owned by the decedent.
To arrange for the payment of all of the decedent’s proper debts and taxes to be paid from the assets of the estate. The probate court requires persons or entities who claim that the decedent owed them money (creditors) to present their claims to the representative of the estate or the court within a certain period of time. If these creditors fail to present their claims within a certain period of time, they may never collect those amounts.
Finally, to distribute the estate to the persons, trusts or charities who are entitled to receive the assets of the estate.
Elder law is defined by the client to be served, as opposed to technical legal distinctions. In other words, lawyers who practice elder law may have varied responsibilities, but their specific clientele will predominantly consist of seniors.
Elder law attorneys focus on the legal needs of the elderly, and work with a variety of legal tools and techniques to meet the goals and objectives of the older client.
The elder law practitioner handles general estate planning issues, with the additional responsibility of counseling clients about planning for incapacity with alternative decision-making documents. Elder law attorneys also assist their clients in planning for possible long-term care needs, including in-home care, assisted living, adult family home and skilled nursing care. Locating the appropriate type of care, coordinating private and public resources to finance the cost of care, and working to ensure the client’s right to quality care — these obligations are all part of the elder law practice.
When a loved one reaches a point in his or her life where, due to either old age or disability, he or she cannot effectively care for personal, medical and financial matters, and he or she did not or could not execute other planning tools such as powers of attorney, it may be wise to consider a legal guardianship or conservatorship.
The appointment of a legal guardian is something that is not taken lightly by the court. The ward can be stripped of many decision-making powers. However, the legal guardian will be limited to only those decisions that will meet the level of the ward’s incapacity. Some of these may include, but not be limited to:
- Choice of where the ward resides
- Acceptance or denial of medical care
- Control of food, clothing and shelter
- Control of financial and contractual affairs
- Estate and asset preservation planning
- Restriction of ward’s civil rights and personal freedom