Estate administration involves identifying the family members and loved ones of a person who has died, finding the Will and/or Trust, if any, and taking any necessary steps to have the Will admitted to probate and to have someone appointed to administer the estate. If the deceased person has a Will, this person is the Executor or Personal Representative. Otherwise, this person is called the Administrator. In either case, the appointed person must collect the assets of the deceased person and distribute them according to the terms of the Will or, if there is no Will, according to the laws of Kentucky that apply in such circumstances. This person also must report to the court, the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet and possibly the Internal Revenue Service. Many people need sound legal advice to proceed smoothly through this process. Call for an appointment to see how we can help you!
Estate Planning and Elder Law
Many issues confront persons trying to complete their estate planning. Among them are lessening ability to manage one’s own affairs, financial obligations to others, property rights, long term care options, Medicaid eligibility, providing for loved ones when resources are limited, or when there are special needs, and deciding who will help you at various stages of your life. Call for an appointment to see what help we can provide as you work through these issues.
A living will, also called an advance directive, informs doctors who will speak for you when it becomes necessary to make decisions about life support. It also tells both the doctors and the the person you have named whether or not you want life support if you are terminally ill, permanently unconscious and brain dead. Call to see if this is a document you should have as you plan for the remainder of your life.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney gives someone other than yourself the ability to assist you with your everyday affairs, whether it is using your checkbook to pay your electric bill, or filing your income tax return, to give you just a few examples. You keep full power to act for yourself and do not give up any of your rights, but someone else has the authority to help when you need it, without going to court. Call for an appointment to see if you should have a power of attorney and, if so, to help you figure out what powers to give and who should have the powers to help you.
Special Needs Trusts or Supplemental Needs Trusts
Those of us who have loved ones with special needs face special challenges as we attempt to figure out what will happen to our loved ones when we are gone. Currently, three types of special needs trusts are available to help you plan, a first party special needs trust, a third party special needs trust and a pooled trust. Please call for an appointment to find out which of these is best for your situation and how we can help you accomplish your speical needs planning goals.
Trusts and Estates
If you want your property to pass to your heirs as smoothly as possible after your death, if you value privacy, or if you have a very large estate or any special circumstances, you may want or need a trust. To find out more, please call for an appointment.
A Will is the document where you name the person who will handle your estate for you after you die, and where you tell everyone who will receive various parts of your estate. If you have a minor child, you can also name a guardian in your Will, and can even have a trust inside your Will to manage your child’s inheritance until he or she becomes an adult. If you don’t have a Will, when you die, the state has already written its plan for who will receive your estate – and you may not like it. Call for a consultation to see if you need to have a Will, or to revise an existing one.