Helping You Deal With Difficult Estate Planning Concerns
Death and tax planning are not always the easiest subjects to discuss. However, early planning is a preferable approach, allowing individuals and families to assume more control over the estate planning process.
At Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., our goal is to help make estate planning easier for you and your family. When it comes to future planning, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
When Should Estate Planning Be Done?
Many people have the misconception that estate planning is something you do at a later stage in life. Estate planning is perhaps best done earlier in life when you have begun acquiring assets or have had children.
Your estate planning documents — including wills and trusts — can be updated at any time during your life. This can ensure that your planning is based on your most recent financial information.
We can help you prepare the following estate planning tools:
- Wills — A will is part of a cohesive plan that can designate beneficiaries, asset distribution and other preferences of an individual.
- Trusts — We can help you prepare life insurance trusts, living trusts, marital trusts, generation-skipping trusts, bypass trusts, spendthrift trusts and QTIP trusts.
Other components of the estate planning process are:
- Elder law planning
- Advanced medical directives (living wills)
- Powers of attorney (POA) — including durable POA, health care POA and financial POA
Our role is to assist and advise personal representatives to allow them to administer and effectively manage the estate. Our firm can assist with all aspects of the probate/estate administration process: probate filings, collection of assets, identification and payment of debts and obligations, distribution of assets and estate, and preparation and filing of tax returns.
Attorneys Assisting Elderly Individuals
There are a number of legal issues that specifically affect older adults. At Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., we provide legal services in elder law, helping clients plan for the future, protect their assets and address health care issues.
The Estate Planning Services We Provide
Whether you are an individual planning for your future, or you are a concerned family member, Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., can help you with the following:
- Estate planning guidance — We can help you plan for the future through wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives and other estate planning tools.
- Guardianships — Assigning a guardianship is a court process in which one individual is given the legal authority to act on behalf of another. A guardian may be responsible for day-to-day living issues, wealth and financial protection, health care issues and more.
- Disability planning — A number of issues can be addressed in disability planning, including Medicaid eligibility, nursing care, the use of assistive devices and more.
- Medicaid planning — We can discuss ways of protecting your assets while maintaining eligibility for Medicaid and other benefits.
Today you may be healthy and have little concern about the distant future. However, if the day comes when you become unable to care for yourself, unable to make decisions on your own or become disabled, preplanning can be invaluable.
Our firm’s attorneys can explain your options for protecting your future and your family. We have experience working with various agencies that deal directly with elder law issues.
Questions About Guardianship? Contact Us.
Careful Preparation Of Your Will
After a lifetime of building and accruing assets, it only makes sense to make use of all available tools to protect those assets and ensure your efforts will benefit your family when you are gone.
At Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., we will use our more than 30 years of experience to help you meet your asset protection and allocation goals through careful planning for the future.
Attorneys Who Understand Will Requirements
A will is a legal document, effective upon your death, which allocates your assets and property. The executor, named in the will, is responsible for managing your estate, which includes paying debts and taxes on your estate and ensuring that the remaining assets are distributed according to the process outlined in the will.
A living will is a legal document instructing how your health care is to be handled in the event that you should become incapacitated and are in an end of life stage medical condition. Power of attorney is a legal document in which you appoint an agent to handle your financial and/or medical affairs. It is usually used if you are unable to handle your own affairs.
A will can be challenged in probate court (called a will contest) for a number of reasons, including:
- Lack of proper formalities in will preparation, such as having two witnesses to the will
- Lack of capacity of the person creating the will
- Undue influence on the person creating the will by a caretaker, relative or friend
If you think that one of these problems occurred in association with a loved one’s will, our Harrisburg planning lawyers will carefully listen to your concerns and work diligently to achieve your goals.