Estate Planning Services
Serving the Middlesex & Worcester County Areas
The areas of estate planning and elder law cover many different things, including planning for your long-term care, ensuring you have an estate plan in place that will help your loved ones easily settle your estate, planning for the care of any minor children, and even planning for your beloved pets. There are so many important aspects of estate planning and elder law, making it essential that you have a highly experienced Massachusetts estate planning attorney by your side from start to finish.
Whatever your age, if you are considering having an estate plan prepared, Attorney James Miller can guide you through the process. If you are thinking about your long-term future, including nursing home planning, or you are trying to determine how to plan for a special needs child, we can help. These are issues that should not be put off; accidents and illnesses happen to all of us. Being prepared for the future is not as difficult as you might think. Contact the Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C., for highly experienced assistance in estate planning and elder law issues.
Elder law covers a variety of issues specific to those over the age of 60, advocating strongly for the elderly and their loved ones. Your elder law attorney can help you with issues related to health care, long-term planning, nursing homes, Medicaid, guardianship, retirement, and many other important matters. Elder law attorneys handle important financial and estate planning matters, and also help clients handle day-to-day issues such as life planning. You may decide it is time to have a comprehensive estate plan prepared, or that you need a durable power of attorney. Perhaps you want to discuss your long-term care options, including how you or a loved one will be able to pay for nursing home care without spending every bit of money you have saved. You could be interested in having a health care power of attorney prepared in the event you were to become incapacitated. You may have a greater interest in what you will leave behind for your loved ones, therefore, you could want to know about the right way to leave your assets to your heirs, including estate and gift tax matters. You could also want to know what your rights—or the rights of a loved one—are, when in a nursing home or long-term care facility, or you could have issues related to guardianship. Whatever elder law issues you may have, the Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C., can help!
Like elder law, estate planning can cover many different areas, including wills, trusts, probate, legacy planning, pet planning, and planning for a special needs child. While many people believe only the super-rich have an “estate,” in fact, most adults have an estate, even if it only includes home and personal effects. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to have a will, along with a health care proxy and a durable power of attorney, to cover you in the event of incapacitation. If you have minor children, you will want to name a guardian in your will, as that cannot be done in a trust. Depending on your situation, you might benefit more from a trust, or you might need both a will and a trust. The right way to determine what your estate plan should include is to speak to an experienced Massachusetts estate planning attorney at your earliest convenience.
Most of us think of estate planning as only containing tangible assets, however, there is another aspect of estate planning, known as legacy planning. Legacy planning allows you to leave family “treasures,” including your history, heirlooms, plans for a family-owned business, family wisdom, and stories to your loved ones. Other things, such as your community involvement or charitable contributions, as well as the responsible values you would want to see passed down to future generations, can all be a part of legacy planning.
Medicaid—MassHealth in Massachusetts—is something that should be done before it is actually needed. Far too many adults wait until it is time for them to go into a nursing home, then find that they have too many assets to qualify for MassHealth nursing home benefits. There are many things that can be done ahead of time to plan for the possibility that you or a loved one might one day have to rely on a nursing home for care. Because nursing homes can cost more than $140,000 a year, only the super-wealthy are usually able to self-pay. Those on the other end of the income spectrum probably already qualify for MassHealth benefits. Those in the middle, however, probably have some level of assets—and would also like these assets to go to loved ones, rather than to a nursing home. An experienced Medicaid planning attorney can help you transfer certain assets, so they are not “counted,” thus allowing you to qualify for MassHealth nursing home.
Nursing Home Planning
Nobody ever imagines they will one day end up in a nursing home, yet a significant number of American adults will. Because of this, it is important to begin nursing home planning early on, before it is necessary. You will want to consider what will happen if one spouse needs nursing home care, but the other is still able to live in the family home, and how that nursing home care will be paid for. There are some types of insurance policies that cover long-term care, but the cost is usually fairly high, and premiums can go up without warning. Having an experienced Massachusetts nursing home planning attorney in your corner ensures your nursing home planning experience is as simple as possible, with the results you desire.
Many of us have well-loved pets that we would want to ensure were taken care of in the event of our death or incapacity. You can make provisions for your pets while you are planning your estate; your attorney can guide you through the process, determining the right possible scenario for your four-legged friends.
Probate and Trust Administration
If you have ever been left to deal with probating the estate of a loved one, you probably understand why many people try to avoid probate. It is time-consuming, expensive, and is a public process, just to name a few of the reasons for avoiding probate. You may need help with probate and trust administration or may want to ensure you leave your estate so that none of your loved ones have to deal with the probate process. Whatever your needs, regarding probate and trust administration, the Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C., can help.
Special Needs Planning
If you have a special needs child, grandchild, or other loved one, there are a number of things you can do now to plan for his or her future. This includes a special needs trust, whether as a standalone trust or as a part of your will or trust. There are different types of special needs trusts; your Massachusetts estate planning attorney can help you choose the right one for your needs.
Estate Planning for Young Families
Many young adults think estate planning is only for the elderly. In fact, any young adult, particularly those with children, should engage in estate planning. After all, you would not want your child to be left without a guardian or without money for their education and basic needs. Your Massachusetts attorney can help you decide what documents you need for your estate plan, then will help you update your estate plan as your life changes.
For all your estate planning needs, legacy planning needs, elder care issues, and nursing home planning needs, contact the Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. We will help you get the plan that is right for you—one that suits your present needs and can grow with you as your life changes.