Articles of Interest: Estate Planning

Estate Planning

Why Not Use a Power of Attorney Form From Off the Shelf

A durable power of attorney for is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have. It allows you to appoint someone to act for you (your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) if you become incapacitated. Without a power of attorney, your loved ones would not be able to make health care decisions for you or manage your finances without asking the court to appoint a guardian, which is an expensive and time-consuming process. Read more...

Why You Should Choose an Elder Law Attorney

You have decided to take the advice of your friends, family and financial planner and have your estate planning documents prepared. Who should you hire – a traditional estate planner, or, an elder law attorney?

While most elder law attorneys are estate planners, most estate planners are not elder law attorneys. Traditional estate planners focus on the transfer of your property at your death and minimization of estate taxes. While elder law attorneys also plan for transfer of property at your death as well as estate tax minimization, in addition, the attorneys formulate plans that also help protect your assets while you are alive, both from the expense of long term care as well as from financial exploitation in your later years. Also, elder law attorneys craft plans that protect you and your estate if you become incapacitated.

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Read an article on choosing an elder law attorney

Avoiding Scams Concerning Living Trusts

Not everyone will benefit from a living trust and not everyone who offers them is reputable.

Tips of living trusts for seniors from National Consumer Law Center

Avoiding living trust scams for advocates from National Consumer Law Center

10 Common Estate Planning Questions

10 common estate planning questions

Role of the Power of Attorney for Property

article written by Attorney Janna Dutton, JD, CELA

Managing Someone Else's Money

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published three helpful resource guides.

-Help for Representative Payees and VA Fiduciaries

-Help for Trustees Under a Revocable Living Trust

-Help for Agents Under a Power of Attorney

Brochure Regarding Powers of Attorney

This brochure provides very general information on powers of attorney. Click here to download the publication.

Is My Will Still Valid If I Move to Another State?

Among all the changes you must make when you move to a new state—driver's license, voter registration—don't forget your will. While your will should still be valid in the new state, there may be differences in the new state's laws that may make certain provisions of the will invalid. In addition, moving is a good excuse to consult an attorney to make sure your estate plan in general is up to date.

Legal Planning for Living with a Chronic Medical Condition

In 1900, most people died younger from communicable diseases and after relatively short illnesses. Today, we are more likely to die older from one or more chronic conditions and after an extended period of illness. The decisions involved with planning for disability associated with chronic conditions can be difficult to make. Recognizing that developing a plan is the goal and that plans can (and should) be revised over time may help you assume a proactive role when it comes to legal matters. Click here to read an article, written by Janna Dutton, Certified Elder Law Attorney, regarding this important topic.