Elder law and estate planning – what's the difference?
Estate planning focuses on helping clients plan for disability, minimize taxes and transfer their estate to the desired beneficiaries. In other words, estate planning handles the client's estate and what happens to it after the client passes away. Estate planning also includes retirement planning, asset protection, as well as business succession planning.
Elder law is similar to estate planning, but it is primarily focused on the senior population. As we age, our needs change. Both our physical and legal needs evolve as we age. Elder law is designed for seniors who want to plan their retirement, use special services and transfer assets to the desired beneficiaries. Attorneys specialized in elder law and estate planning in Hollywood help their clients find long-term care and provide legal assistance. Also, helping people with disabilities is an important area of elder law. Similarly, elder law attorneys can assist war-time veterans in obtaining long-term care-related benefits.
Let's delve deeper and learn more about elder law and estate planning:
Estate planning is about planning for the inevitable – death. It's a proactive task which establishes the who, the how, the when and what happens to your estate after you pass away. The estate plan provides a precise roadmap for your family to follow after your death. The plan is designed by you, together with your attorney, so it includes your wishes and particular preferences. Learn more about elder law and estate planning in Hollywood by contacting an expert elder law attorney.
For instance, the client will express his or her wishes about the distribution of assets after their death. In this situation, the attorney will present various strategies to accomplish what the client needs or wants. Every case is unique, but it typically involves drafting a simple will or testament. Also, depending on the client's situation, an irrevocable trust, a special needs trust or a revocable living trust may be drafted. Other important documents can also be provided by your attorney in estate planning in Hollywood, such as business formation documents, pour-over wills or various documents used to transfer assets to beneficiaries.
Estate planning is crucially important because it makes the asset distribution process much easier and simple. Without a proper estate plan, the court will decide how your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries. In this case, the results can be disastrous for families, and your assets may end up in wrong hands. If you have an estate plan, you will know precisely who receives your assets, who will care for the children and what happens to you if you become physically or mentally impaired. What's more, you avoid the difficult, time-consuming probate process.
Estate planning should be an ongoing task. You should update your estate plan whenever you go through important, life-changing events. For instance, you should update the plan when you get married, when you buy a house, sell a house, have children or divorce. Talk to your attorney in estate planning in Hollywood to learn when you should update your estate plan in order to avoid future legal issues.
Estate planning attorneys have another important role – they can help you minimize estate taxes. A good estate plan will include various provisions on name executors, children caretakers, beneficiaries of your IRAs, life insurance details, financial plans, funeral arrangements, personal property distributions and various charitable contributions. Estate plans also include power of attorney documents, as well as medical power of attorney documents. These documents give a person authority over medical and financial decisions if something happens to you, and you become incapacitated. If these documents are absent, your family will have to sue the client in order to have authority to make these decisions. The process is very time-consuming and may cause immense medical problems.
As mentioned above, elder law is quite similar to estate planning. The main difference between these two legal concepts is the client. Elder law is primarily focused on the senior person and his or her legal needs. Elder law handles the legal needs of the senior population. For instance, it is focused on preserving a senior person's assets, but also on getting the required long-term care for the client, especially if the client is incapacitated.
Elder law is about planning for the long-term. A good elder law attorney will know how to plan for the future and provide legal assistance to a senior person. For instance, assistance can be provided in order to obtain Medicaid or Veteran's benefits. A good attorney can advise the client on how to protect their assets, qualify for aid and find the best long-term care services. Many elder law attorneys are experts at Medicaid planning and asset protection. Although Medicaid is a federal program for seniors, qualifying for it can be quite problematic and legal assistance is required. An attorney can help seniors file and submit applications, handle Medicaid hearings or appeals, but also talk to long-term service providers. Talk to an attorney in estate planning in Hollywood to learn more about the Medicaid application process.
Elder law also covers other legal aspects, such as senior rights, elder abuse, age discrimination and other issues that affect the senior community. For example, seniors can often become victims of crime and discrimination. An elder law attorney can help clients battle these legal issues and provide legal assistance. Most states have initiated support groups and crime units to stop the spread of violence and discrimination against seniors. A good elder law attorney can help you recognize these legal problems, report them and can make sure you receive the best legal protection.
Learn more about elder law and estate planning in Hollywood by contacting an expert elder law attorney.
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