Elder Law Lawyer in St. Paul, Minnesota
An elder law lawyer established in St. Paul, Minnesota encourages individuals to consider if an estate plan is right for them. Many people assume that an estate is only reserved for the wealthy, but in fact, any person with an income and assets like a car, house, or real estate, may benefit from creating an estate plan. An estate plan is one way that elderly individuals and their loved ones can secure their wealth for their family, as well as anticipate important life events. If you don’t know if an estate plan is something you should create as part of your financial planning strategy, then it may help to consult a lawyer who specializes in elder law, such as Johnston Martineau, PLLP.
Elder Law Lawyer in St. Paul, MN
The term estate may conjure images of expensive houses and fancy cars. It is a misconception that only high-income individuals have an estate. An estate simply refers to all the possessions a person has accumulated or acquired in their life, particularly at the time of their passing. It can consist of things such as cash, vehicles, houses, property, stocks, and life insurance. Taking the early steps to secure your estate is encouraged if you want to avoid dealing with potential legal problems that may occur.
Benefits of an Estate Plan
Estate planning is useful for many reasons. The goal of estate planning is to enhance protections of your wealth and ensure that your assets are handed down to your family without issue. It also allows you to put instructions regarding decisions concerning your long-term healthcare needs on record, such as life support. A detailed, carefully developed estate plan can address many topics, such as:
- Naming beneficiaries
- Providing for your family
- Reducing taxes
- Minimizing expenses
- Preventing family arguments
- Transferring assets
- Donating to charity
- Protecting your business
- Preparing for retirement
- Planning for incapacitation
Do I Need an Elder Law Attorney?
It can be difficult to know how to best approach estate planning, especially for the elderly and their families. Obtaining legal help from an experienced lawyer who can offer guidance and propose solutions that address your particular needs can streamline the process. An attorney like one from Johnston Martineau, PLLP can evaluate your unique situation. In addition to estate planning, the following are topics that a St. Paul, MN elder law lawyer can help you with:
- Drafting legal documents
- Creating a power of attorney
- Health care planning
- Advanced directives
- Choosing a nursing home
- Understanding patient rights
- General financial planning
Other Aspects of Estate Planning to Consider
It is important to understand all of the aspects of estate planning. Setting up wills, guardianships and Power of Attorneys are some of the most important documents that you and your family will want to have established. There exist different types of wills also that should be carefully considered. There are also different kinds of Power of Attorney’s that should be understood as well due to them offering different administering powers under certain circumstances. An elder law lawyer in St. Paul, Minnesota from Johnston Martineau, PLLP can be of assistance in setting up these powers. With years of experience, our lawyers are ready to help you with your elder law needs and to set up any documents that you deem necessary.
Powers of Attorney
A few different Powers of Attorney exist that give power under different circumstances. One of these POA’s is a General Power of Attorney. A General Power of Attorney will give a designated person the power to control specific powers as instructed by the individual. Some of the typically elected powers include dealing with taxes, insurance, finances and other familial affairs. These powers are given while the individual is still alert and of sound mind, but unable to tend to these issues on their own.
A differing type of Power of Attorney is the Durable Power of Attorney. The Durable is comparable to the general POA, but has one crucial difference. That crucial difference is that the Durable Power of Attorney is still in effect when the individual has become incapacitated and is unable to make decisions on their own due to the incapacitation. This document will list out the specific things that the designated Durable Power of Attorney can tend to like medical issues or financial things. Talking with an elder law lawyer in St. Paul, MN about these things may help you out as there are a number of nuances that need to be considered.
Different Types of Wills
Just as with Power of Attorneys, there are also different types of wills that should be known about. Generally, when people think about a will they are referring to a last will. This document spells out the wishes of the individual in the event that they have passed away. The document will list what items or finances of the estate go to whom and also may designate any guardianship decisions. Another type of will is the living will. This document is something that the individual establishes in order to already have in place some decisions that they wish to happen upon their potential incapacitation. The document will reveal whether or not they want to be on life support and/or for how long. It also might list out other types of care and medicines that they desire or do not desire.
Lawyers from Johnston Martineau, PLLP can help you out with navigating through these different types of wills and put in place the desires that you and your family have when dealing with these issues.
A Trusted Legal Team
If you are elderly or have an elderly loved one, it may be beneficial for you and your family to consult with a lawyer about estate planning or other topics within elder law. It can be a challenging topic to discuss, but it is important that you talk with your loved ones about planning appropriately for the future. Let an experienced and trusted attorney guide you through your estate planning goals and other important matters. To discuss your legal options, contact our office at your convenience to schedule a free consultation to get started.
Plan Your Future with Us
When you contact an elder law lawyer in St. Paul, Minnesota, you’re taking an important step. Not only are you planning for your future (and any possible emergencies), you’re also ensuring your family will have proper instructions to follow after your death.
Grieving after the loss of a loved one is hard enough, but family drama and infighting over an estate can make things worse. Without a living trust, your family will have to deal with probate, which is stressful and frustrating to say the least. And without a will, your family could potentially tear itself apart in a bitter fight over the assets you’ve left behind.
It’s not pleasant to dwell on our own mortality, but establishing a will or a living trust is an important part of life: You’re making a plan for your family and friends to follow, and you’re minimizing the chances of any drama after you pass. Fortunately, an elder law lawyer in St. Paul, MN, can answer any questions you may have as you plan your estate.
Will or Living Trust?
Wills and trusts are both important for planning your estate. By drafting a will, you can spare your family the uncertainty and fighting that might affect them after your death. But even if you have a will, they’ll have to go through the probate process. Probate is a challenge: It involves deciding who should manage the estate, and then tracking down your assets, paying off your debts, and finally – finally – distributing your assets to your beneficiaries. It’s not uncommon for probate to take up the better part of a year.
If you want to spare your family a painful probate process, you can establish a living trust. Like a will, a living trust provides instructions for your loved ones to follow in the event of your death. Unlike a will, however, a living trust requires a bit more input and active management. This may seem like a downside at first, but it means a living trust is actually active the moment it’s created. This means you can add or remove assets from your living trust whenever you’d like.
A will is easier to create than a living trust. It means a minimal amount of management, but a potential battle for your loved ones after your death. On the other hand, a living trust requires active management after it’s completed, but it provides a safety net that prevents any potential drama after your death.
How an Elder Law Lawyer Can Help You
An elder law lawyer is an important and reliable resource for your estate planning needs. There are many questions you might have about establishing a living trust, and the right lawyer can provide all the information you need. While it may seem stressful to plan out how your estate will be managed after your death, it’s an important step to ensuring your family has proper instructions to follow.
At Johnston Martineau, PLLP, we understand the importance of family, and we understand the importance of estate planning. By committing to a will or a living trust (or both) you are taking extra steps to provide the best future possible for your family – even when you won’t be there for them. Reach out to a qualified elder law lawyer in St. Paul, MN, and see how Johnston Martineau, PLLP can help you plan your tomorrow.