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RI Elder Law Attorney

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Estate Planning

Elder Law Attorney for Rhode Island, Eastern Connecticut and Southeastern Massachusetts

Estate planning is important for people of any age since it addresses financial, personal and healthcare decisions that have cross-generational implications for quality of life.  Estate planning is just as important for younger adults and couples as it is for older individuals and couples.

 

It is especially important for families with young children in the event that misfortune occur that could threaten their security.  

 

An estate plan ensures that personal wishes are honored, and it should evolve with each key family event—marriage, births, deaths, home purchases.  At a minimum, it should contain a Last Will and Testament, name a guardian for minor children, identify and take care of beneficiaries with special needs,  insurance, investments, durable powers of attorney, and healthcare directives.  

A well-drafted estate plan saves tax, court, and attorney costs. More importantly, mourning loved ones will not be burdened by unnecessary “red tape” and financial confusion at a time when they most need stability.  Without thoughtful estate planning, your beneficiaries may not receive their intended inheritance, instead, leaving those decisions to the courts.  Estate planning can also protect assets in the event that you require long-term care.

At Connelly Law, our elder law attorneys can assist you in evaluating the many facets of your personal situation and identify your unique needs.  Through careful consideration of your wishes and goals, it’s possible to build a plan that protects your family’s interests today and into the future.

Essential Estate Planning Documents

Last Will and Testament

A will gives you the power to decide what is in the best interests of your children and pets after you’re gone. It also can help you determine what will happen to possessions with financial or sentimental value. It typically names an executor — someone who will be in charge of following your directions. Finally, you should have funeral plans included as well.  Your will should name guardians for those under your care, including minor children and pets. It should also designate any assets you are leaving for their care.  Read more about wills by clicking on the photo on the right.

 

Revocable Living Trust

A living trust is another tool for passing assets to heirs while avoiding potentially expensive and time-consuming probate court proceedings.  You name a trustee — perhaps a spouse, family member or attorney — to manage your property. Unlike a will, a trust can be used to distribute property now or after your death.  You can change a revocable living trust as long as you’re mentally competent and if you have substantial property or wealth, a trust can provide tax savings.  Read more about trusts by clicking on the photo on the right.

Durable Power of Attorney

Choose someone to act on your behalf, financially and legally, in the event that you can’t make decisions.  This needs to be done now to avoid the court naming someone who may not have your best wishes in mind.  If you do not designate a power of attorney, your family’s hands could be tied should you become incapacitated, which can happen to young people as well as the elderly.  Read more about a Durable Power of Attorney by clicking on the photo on the right.

Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will

To ensure that someone can make medical decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated, establish a health care power of attorney — also called a durable health care power of attorney. This is different from the durable power of attorney for financial and legal affairs.

 

A living will let you explain in advance of your death what types of care you do and do not want, in case you can’t communicate that in the future.  Read more about Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Wills by clicking on the photo on the right.

Long Term Care Planning

 

The high cost of long-term care has made planning a critically important issue for most middle-class seniors and their families.  In fact, most seniors will likely require some form of long-term care. Planning for this in your estate plan can avoid financial devastation should such a need arise.  Planning for long term care insurance or Medicaid should be a part of your plan.  Read more about long-term care planning and medical assistance by clicking on the photo on the right.

Beneficiary Designations

When you purchase life insurance or open a retirement plan or bank account, you’re often asked to name a beneficiary, which is the person you want to inherit the proceeds when you die. These designations are powerful, and they take precedence over instructions in a will.

Keep beneficiary designation papers with your estate-planning documents. Review and update them as your life changes.

Digital Assets

Decide what to do with your digital assets, including your computer hard drive, digital photos, information stored in the cloud, and online accounts such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google and Twitter. Be sure to include a list of your passwords.

List of Important Documents

Make certain your family knows where to find everything you’ve prepared. Make a list of documents, including where each is stored. Include papers for:

  • Life insurance policies

  • Annuities

  • Pension or retirement accounts

  • Bank accounts

  • Divorce records

  • Birth and adoption certificates

  • Real estate deeds

  • Stocks, bonds and mutual funds

 

Another item helpful for your heirs is a list of bills and accounts, including contact information and account numbers for each, so your representative can settle and close these accounts.

"Just about everyone can benefit from the development of an estate plan. young or old, wealthy or middle class, an estate plan can reduce the taxes and expenses of an estate, simplify and speed the transfer of assets to the next generation and help ensure that beneficiaries are protected.  Our firm has decades of experience in developing individualized estate plans that meet your unique needs! "

Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Eastern Connecticut Elder Law Attorney

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Call Connelly Law Today

Rhode Island Elder Law Attorney

855-724-9400

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This website includes general information about legal issues, issues affecting seniors and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues and/or problems.