As an estate planning attorney, people are always quick to tell me about some terrible situation they or a friend experienced as the result of some family dynamic or “lifetime television” type of drama when it comes to money and family.
And for the record, we have dealt with a ton of those types of situations in our practice. But what you don’t always hear are the success stories. Situations where having an attorney in your life has made life better and easier.
So to start off 2022, we wanted to give you three examples from 2021 of how having a lawyer in your life made what could have been a disastrous situation a better outcome for all involved.
We had a client that was diagnosed mid-year with a terminal illness. She was given no more than 6 months to live. With the proper plan in place, a plan that had been drafted years before and updated as needed, we were able to retitle assets and take care of her in such a way, that at her passing, a sizable estate was able to pass to her family outside of probate, while allowing for all her care to be managed in an orderly and timely fashion. No drama, just what the client wanted.
Long Term Care:
We helped a client whose family was starting to struggle with the long-term care costs of two parents in a nursing home. Privately this cost would have been about 25,000 a month. But with some planning and guidance, we were able to apply for Medicaid for both parents, protect the sales proceeds of the primary residence, and allow those sales proceeds to be used to improve the quality of life of both parents while in the nursing home. The plan also allows for the improved possibility that there will still be a legacy left to the family.
Ideally, we get the planning done ahead of time, but in many cases for reasons that continue to escape us, people just wait until the absolute last minute. In two situations this year we were able to do literally “death bed planning”. In one case, we were able to avoid probate issues on a piece of property so that the property could transfer to the family in line with the client's wishes, and in another get a trust set up at the last minute to provide for minor children and protect the assets from a possible messy family situation.
These are just three examples of some estate planning, elder law, probate successes, and the success was only possible because the families involved knew where to turn. Otherwise, without our advice and guidance, the three situations outlined above could have been messy and costly for all involved.
For our current clients, thank you for your business, and for prospective clients, if avoiding similar situations outlined above sounds like a better way to spend 2022, please give us a call.