Estate Planning Attorneys for Louisville, KY
One of the biggest responsibilities people have is developing a plan for their future or planning for an aging family member. We all understand that the future is fraught with uncertainty, and thinking about how you’ll handle things from a financial and legal standpoint can be quite intimidating. At McNeely Stephenson, we offer our clients estate plans based on their specific needs and concerns.
Estate planning tools include wills, asset protection strategies, long-term care options, powers of attorney and guardianships. These tools are used to set forth how a person’s assets will be handled after death, but they also provide a clear statement of how an individual wishes to be treated if they become unable to speak for themselves. For that reason, estate planning and elder care are closely linked and should be handled by attorneys who understand that connection.
Understanding Assets and Benefits
When you call McNeely Stephenson, our first step will be to evaluate the resources you have available to you. These resources include not only your estate and holdings, but also things such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or possibly even Veteran’s benefits. If you’re struggling to obtain benefits that you’re eligible for, we can help with that. Once we know exactly what you have available, we can help you create a plan that matches your wishes with your assets.
Establishing Your Vision for Distribution – Wills and Trusts
By planning your estate, you’ll be exercising control over how your assets are distributed. Wills, trusts and other estate planning tools will allow you to set forth your plan and give someone the authority to carry out your wishes. Regardless of how large or small your holdings are, it is essential to establish a plan that can be followed by the executor of your estate.
If you don’t make your vision for your estate clear, you’re effectively placing the distribution of your assets in the hands of others. If a will is vague or outdated, it places a greater burden on survivors to make these important decisions. In the absence of a will, a person’s assets will be distributed in accordance with state law, which means that neither you nor your survivors will have a say in the matter.
Creating a Plan for Elder Care – Power of Attorney and Guardianships
One vital part of an estate plan is a power of attorney. A power of attorney offers certain legal authorizations to a trusted caregiver. The signer is giving a trusted person the right to make decisions on his or her behalf if the need arises. There are many different power of attorney options available. The power of attorney can help safeguard the medical, financial, and family concerns that you or a loved one may face. If you don’t think you need one right now, it is possible to draft one that will go into effect only if certain conditions are met.
If a properly drafted power of attorney is not already in place, a guardianship may instead be utilized. These are court ordered, and the parties must appear in court. A guardianship is only granted under certain, necessary situations; however, they can be a huge help to families who are having difficulty getting things accomplished. Guardianships are usually more expensive than a power of attorney due to the need to appear in court, and the record keeping requirements are more extensive. If needed, this tool can be an important resource to protect the interests of you or your loved ones.
Find an Attorney That Understands Kentucky Laws
The laws regarding power of attorney, wills and other estate planning tools are different from state to state. If you live in Louisville, for example, it’s important that you work with an estate planning attorney that is familiar with Kentucky state law. An attorney will be able to advise you on the best tools to use, who should be charged with distributing your assets and what documents should be drafted to ensure you get the care you deserve if you become unable to make those decisions for yourself.
Whether you’re a full-time caregiver of an aging parent or someone who just wants to plan for your own future, working with our Louisville-based elder estate planning attorneys is an excellent first step to take. If you’d like more information about what we can do for you and your family, reach out to us at McNeely Stephenson today. We are proud to serve the Louisville, Kentucky, area in estate planning and elder care.