Estate Planning, Elder Law & Probate

ESTATE PLANNING

Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. Regardless of your age or income level, it is important for everyone to have a plan in place to outline your desires for how to handle your finances and health care decisions. At Wilson, Pinder & Snow, LLC, we offer a wide range of estate planning services.

Under Connecticut law, if you die without a will your spouse may be left with only one-half of your estate, with the other half distributed to your children — even if they are minors! We can also set up trusts for children so that if something happens to you before your children turn 21, their inheritance can be kept secure and used for the proper purposes until they are responsible enough. If you have a child with special needs, we can establish a Special Needs Trust for that child’s lifetime.

If you are interested in avoiding probate, we can assist by establishing a living trust. Any assets that are transferred into the living trust will pass to your designated beneficiaries without having to go through the probate process. Estate tax planning is part of the estate plan. Currently, Connecticut estate tax exemption is $2 million per person. If your estate is over the estate tax exemption, we may be able to establish an estate plan that eliminates estate taxes.  Estate planning also includes planning for potential incapacity. By establishing a health care directive, you can guide your loved ones in making health care decisions on your behalf in case there comes a day when you cannot make those decisions for yourself.

You can outline your own decisions regarding your finances by working with us to establish a power of attorney. There are several types of powers of attorney that can be used to fit your needs, including a general durable power of attorney that becomes immediately effective, or a springing durable power of attorney that becomes effective only when you become incapacitated. The lawyers at Wilson, Pinder & Snow, LLC encourage individuals, couples, and families to start planning now. We understand that people are often nervous about speaking with a lawyer. Our approach to working with people is to view estate planning as a collaborative process. Contact us for more information about our Estate Planning services.

ELDER LAW

As part of our estate planning services, we work with elderly people and the adult children of elderly parents to determine whether their assets will cover them for potential long-term care needs. We work with our clients to develop a plan of how to transfer, gift, or organize assets to ensure that there is enough money to pay for long-term care needs.

We often help our clients with organizing their assets in such a way that they will be able to qualify for Medicaid (Title 19). One common issue that arises in Medicaid estate planning is the look-back, where the transferor will be penalized from receiving Medicaid state aid for long-term care if he or she makes a gift during a certain period before applying for Medicaid. In February 2006, President Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act into law.  Among other things, this law significantly changes the look-back and penalty period.

Many times the concern is whether there will still be some money available for parents to leave to their children. We firmly believe that the earlier people start planning for long-term care, the more options that will be available to them.

Contact us for more information about our Elder Law or Medicaid Planning services.

LIFE CARE PLANNING

A Life Care Plan is a road map to guide families through the frustrating and confusing maze of their aging loved one’s chronic care needs. It provides a holistic approach to families’ needs by combining the legal expertise of an Elder Law attorney with a dedicated Elder Care Coordinator.

A Life Care Plan includes:

  • Legal Services of an experienced Elder Law Attorney to protect rights and preserve family wealth for future generations.
  • Medicaid Planning and strategies to access all available public benefits.
  • Wills, trusts, powers of attorney and advance directives.
  • Elder Care Coordination to advocate and maximize quality of life.
  • Training that teaches families when to call for services and where to get results.
  • At home and on-site assessments to identify care needs and provide assistance in meeting them.
  • Referrals, guidance and coordination with care facilities during all aspects of the care continuum.

Each Life Care Plan will be customized to fit the client’s desires and needs. The Life Care Plan provides the road map to achieve these care and asset protection goals. Unlike traditional elder law, a Life Care Plan is an ongoing relationship between the client and Wilson, Pinder & Snow, which means that when changes occur, the Wilson, Pinder & Snow Life Care Plan Team stays with clients and their families through the Care Continuum to help clients and families shift to another road as it becomes necessary.

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PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION

Probate is the legal process in which an estate’s assets are distributed and any remaining debts are paid off. We assist our clients at all stages of probate and estate administration. If you are the personal representative handling a will for someone who has passed away, we can guide you through the process of admitting the will to probate. If the person dies without a will (intestate), we determine the proper heirs according to the applicable Connecticut laws. We also assist with the rest of the probate process, including identifying and valuing the assets, determining how the assets will be distributed, determining whether there are any valid claims of creditors and paying off those claims.

If the estate is large, there may be federal or Connecticut death taxes due. We will prepare the necessary estate tax forms and calculate the estate taxes owed. The lawyers at Wilson, Pinder & Snow, LLC understand the intricacies of probate law and are experienced with helping people through the long and confusing probate process.

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130 East Main Street
Clinton, CT 06413
Phone: 860-669-1222
Fax: 860-664-9661

Disclaimer

The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. The information is provided by wpslaw.com and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied. Read More