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Elder Law Tools

Certain tools are advisable or necessary in implementing Medicaid planning and VA Aid and Attendance planning strategies. Some of these tools are as follows:

Power of Attorney

If a person becomes incapacitated, by reason of dementia, Alzheimer's, or other reason, and the person does not have a Power of Attorney, health insurance companies, life insurance companies, banks in which checking accounts, saving accounts, and CDs are held, investment firms in which mutual funds, annuities, stocks, and bonds are held, and parties with whom contracts have been entered with the person, may not, and are not required to, converse with an individual acting on behalf of the person without a Power of Attorney.

A Power of Attorney is a document that gives a person of your choosing the right to make decisions on your behalf should you be unable. The agreement can take effect immediately, or only under certain conditions and allows for as many or as few powers as you wish. You should not automatically assume your spouse would be able to step in and make important decisions on your behalf. For example, your spouse will not be able to transfer or sell jointly owned property or property owned only by you without your signature. By signing a Power of Attorney, transactions are easier and more cost-efficient. Further, should you become incapacitated, a Durable Power of Attorney will extend this power past your incapacity to assure your intent is honored.

Health Care Representative Appointment

This is a written appointment that you make of an individual of your choosing who can make medical care decisions for you should you become unable to make such decisions on your own behalf due to your health condition.

Guardianships

The reasons a Power of Attorney is needed are applicable for a guardianship when a person for whom the guardianship is sought does not have capacity to sign a Power of Attorney.

If there is an immediate need for a guardian, a temporary guardianship, which is effective for sixty (60) days, can be obtained relatively quickly. A permanent guardianship, after a guardianship hearing is held on the petition for guardianship, can usually be held within forty-five (45) days. At the hearing, the Court may enter an order of permanent guardianship. Prior to the entry of an order for permanent guardianship, the spouse and adult children of the person, and if none, the parents of the person, and if none, closest known relatives, and, any person that has care and custody of the person, must receive notice of the hearing. Also, the person for whom guardianship is sought must be provided notice of and an opportunity to attend the hearing.

Estate Planning Attorney for Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend, LaGrange County and Surrounding Areas

Many people find it difficult to confront their own mortality and plan for the future financial stability of their loved ones. During these challenging times, it is wise to have a thorough wills and trusts attorney to guide you through your tough decisions.

A scary statistic: nearly 60% of American adults do not currently have a Will or Trust. The result should you die? The law and sometimes the courts, - not you - determine who will gain guardianship of your children and how your estate will be divided among your survivors. Preparing a Will ahead of time can protect your family from this unpleasant, sometimes costly and time consuming, experience.

At the law office of Paul D. Eash, we work extensively with our clients to determine what their needs are, what their goals are and what documents should be drafted to protect their needs and goals. Our clients rely on our firm to be thorough, detailed and realistic throughout. We pride ourselves on tailoring the estate plan to provide the maximum amount of protection and control possible.

  • Wills: Creating a will can be the cornerstone of effective estate planning. A will controls what, when and how much of an inheritance devisees receive. A will is a document that spells out your wished in a very direct manner.
  • Revocable Living Trusts: For some individuals, the Living Trust can be the single most important tool they'll ever need. A Living Trust is a legal document that allows you to gather all of your significant property into one (1) place and assign a Trustee, usually yourself or a trusted individual. During your lifetime, you maintain complete control of the Trust and the assets held in the Trust, and also retain the use of any income and principal from the assets. You are free to transfer assets in or out, or to change any details of the Trust at any time.

Why do people find the Living Trust so appealing? The Living Trust allows you to transfer control of your assets to a trusted individual or corporation of your choosing should you suddenly become unable to make important decisions regarding your estate. Also, when you die, a Living Trust ensures your Trust assets are quickly and easily distributed to those you choose upon your death, to help your family avoid probate costs. The assets in a Living Trust, at your death, are distributed to whom you direct in your Living Trust, just like a Will. However, before assets can be transferred pursuant to a Will, probate has to be opened and administered in court. Assets owned by a Trust are distributed by the Trustee to the beneficiary(ies) without input from the court. You should supplement your Living Trust with a simple pour-over Will so that assets that have not been titled to your Living Trust during your lifetime are transferred by a probate court to the Living Trust for distribution, according to the direction of the pour-over Will.

  • Other Trusts: Different types of irrevocable Trusts, including Special Needs Trusts, can offer protection for the continuance of Medicaid and SSI benefits, and can help reduce taxes with certain circumstances.
  • Transfer on death deeds: In Indiana, a property owner can create a transfer on death deed to transfer ownership of real estate to a beneficiary upon the original property owner's death, to avoid probate administration and conserve costs.

Clients count on our firm to work with them to determine the best documents to use throughout the estate planning process. Through an extensive interview, Paul can help decide what steps need to be taken. We will draft detailed, unique and effective documents to fit the needs of our clients.

Contact the Firm

If you have questions regarding estate planning, contact the law office of Paul D. Eash to schedule an appointment. We are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are available for home, hospital or nursing home visits when absolutely necessary. We accept MasterCard, Visa and Discover for payment of most services.