The Law Office of Paul D. Hardy is devoted to estate planning in a wide range of areas. Whether you need protection for a beloved elderly person, help with long-term care planning, or guidance in establishing a will or trust, we’re here to help. Our estate planning legal services include the following…
Whether it’s preparing for your own future or seeking help and protection for a loved one, a San Antonio estate planning lawyer from this office can help. Call us at (210) 405-1985 or contact us online today.
Legal protection for the elderly covers a lot of territory. It includes ensuring their wishes are respected through medical directives and the granting of powers of attorney in the event of mental or physical incapacitation. Elder law further includes working to get justice for senior citizens who suffer the indignity of being exploited, abused, or neglected.
Long Term Care Planning
The costs of assisted living and other expenses associated with long-term health care can grow exponentially and even people that consider themselves financially comfortable can see their assets placed at risk. A good long-term care planning strategy involves everything from financing to foreseeing possible end-of-life scenarios and putting one’s wishes in writing.
There are times when a senior citizen is no longer capable of managing their affairs. The legal answer is a guardianship, where another person gains authority to act on behalf of someone else. In order to become a guardian, one must show clear and convincing evidence of a person’s incapacitation, after which a guardian can assume serious legal responsibilities.
Simply having a will won’t spare your heirs from probate court, with its attendant costs and potential legal challenges. A lawyer is required under Texas law to work with the executor to disperse the assets of the deceased in accord with the terms of the will. An attorney can provide further guidance if any disputes arise–especially if the deceased left no will at all behind.
We will work within your budget and offer payment plan options.
We will work day and night for your case.
We are 100% attorney run – every motion, mediation, filing or question you have will be answered directly.
A living trust is the way you avoid probate, and drafting a will is a part of the process. We’ll work with you to both create your trust, as well as decide whether it should be a revocable or irrevocable financial mechanism. This decision has tax implications. Further decisions may need to be made regarding the timeframe for distribution of your assets and under what conditions.
Medicaid is a government program that is associated with the poor, due to the fact there are income limits on those who qualify for its benefits. But when Medicare–the program for the elderly–and private insurance don’t pay for assisted living, where do you turn? A good long-term care strategy involves understanding how Medicaid might fit into your plans.
The Law Office of Paul D. Hardy has a background in family law, something that can be invaluable in developing a deeper understanding of the nuanced issues that are in estate law, with all of its family dynamics. We’re honored to serve the people of the San Antonio area, including Comal County, Kendall County, and Hayes County.
Isn’t Estate Planning for People Who Are Rich?
No! The word “estate” can conjure up images of a sprawling yard and luxurious mansion, as though we’re on the set of Downton Abbey. Reality is different. Your estate is simply the money and property you own at the time of your death. Estate planning consists of the various legal mechanisms that are used to ensure your wishes are known and respected, that you get the best possible tax treatment based on your goals and that prudent steps are taken to protect your assets as much as possible in your final years of life.
Can You Avoid Probate With a Will?
A will alone will not be enough for your heirs to avoid going through probate court, with its attendant fees. The way to keep your assets out of probate court is through the establishment of a living trust.
What Happens Without a Will?
When you die without a will, your estate becomes subject to the intestacy laws in the state of Texas. The state seeks to place your assets in the hands of living spouses, children, siblings and parents and has clear guidelines for different family scenarios. The problem is that the law for an entire state is simply not able to anticipate the particular wishes of a deceased person. That’s why it’s strongly advised to put your last will and testament into writing. That way, everyone knows what your wishes are, and courts will be able to enforce it.
What Are the Benefits of a Trust?
Staying out of probate court is just one of the advantages that a living trust can offer. A trust can be structured so as to minimize your tax exposure ,while still allowing you to gift money into it while you’re alive. If you believe the benefits to your beneficiaries are best deferred to a later date or spread out over time, you can appoint a trustee who can administer that after your passing. A trust offers you flexibility and allows your beneficiaries to avoid dealing with probate court .