Areas of Experience Definitions

    • Simple Will:   A simple will provides for the outright distribution of all assets in an uncomplicated estate and includes no itemized gifts to specific individuals. A simple will generally leaves everything to a spouse or grown children.
    • Complex Will: A complex will provides more complex clauses than a simple will to protect property, child care and inheritance, and have specific needs and wishes.
    • Living Wills:  Also known as a medical directive or advance directive. A written document that states a person’s wishes regarding life-support or other medical treatment in certain circumstances, usually when death is imminent.
    • Wills with Testamentary Trusts:  A trust created by a will, effective only upon the death of the will maker.
    • Revocable Living Trusts:  A trust set up during life that can be revoked at any time before death. Revocable living trusts are a common and excellent way to avoid the cost and hassle of probate, because the property held in the trust during life passes directly to the trust beneficiaries after the trust maker’s death, without probate court proceedings. The successor trustee – the person appointed to handle the trust after the trust maker’s death –simply transfers ownership to the beneficiaries named in the trust. Certain revocable living trusts can also reduce federal estate tax. Also called “inter vivos trust.”
    • Life Insurance Trusts:  A trust set up to own a life insurance policy, so that the policy proceeds aren’t subject to estate tax when the original policy owner dies. Life insurance trusts are usually irrevocable.
    • Qualified Medicaid Income Protection Trusts: A Qualified Income Trust, also known as a Miller Trust, is an account in which you deposit enough income — earned, pension, Social Security, etc. — to reduce your qualifying income for Medicaid coverage of nursing home placement.  Placing funds into a QIT allows you to qualify for Medicaid in the event your income exceeds the amount allowed.
    • Special Needs Trusts:  A trust designed to hold and disburse property for the benefit of an SSI recipient so that SSI and Medicaid won’t consider the trust property or disbursements to be a resource or income. To accomplish this purpose, the trust typically gives the trustee sole discretion over trust disbursements and bars the trustee from making disbursements that would impair the beneficiary’s eligibility for SSI and Medicaid. In addition, the trust must be for the beneficiary’s sole benefit and bar creditors from going after trust assets. A special needs trust funded with the beneficiary’s own property (a self-settled trust) is subject to additional restrictions. Also called a supplemental needs trust.
    • Family Limited Partnerships: A family limited partnership is a traditional limited partnership where all the partners are family members. In a family situation, the parents put their assets into the partnership. Initially, the parents are both the general partners and the limited partners. Then, under the most common and simplest form, they gift their limited partnership interests to their children.
    • General Powers of Attorney: A legal instrument authorizing one to act as another’s attorney or agent.
    • Healthcare Powers of Attorney: Gives a person the right to make medical treatment decisions for the Principal when the principal is unable to do so. The agent may decide on the use of extraordinary life support measures, such as artificial breathing machines.
    • Asset Protection Planning: is the process of organizing one’s assets and affairs in advance to guard against risks to which the assets would otherwise be subject, such as creditors, judgments and taxes.   Asset protection planning may be applied to protect every type of asset, including an operating business or a professional practice
    • Long-Term Care Planning: Long-term care is a variety of services and supports to meet health or personal care needs over an extended period of time. Most long-term care is non-skilled personal care assistance, such as help performing everyday Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).  The goal of long-term care services is to help you maximize your independence and functioning at a time when you are unable to be fully independent.