What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?

Date posted: September 23, 2022

An elder law attorney does many things as people age. They are tasked with both financial aspects of estate planning, as well as medical issues people face as they age. If you require both medical and financial help, an elder law attorney is the wisest choice for both of your needs as you face retirement, or are trying to set up your estate planning.

Elder Law Attorney

Your elder law attorney will help you decide on your future caregiving needs. Yes, you might have family in mind to care for you should you need it. But what if they’re unable to? Should your needs outweigh their ability, having documents in place stating your specific long term care desires, provides you with the peace of mind that your wishes are fulfilled at that time.

Not only that, but should you need to be in a residential facility, an elder law attorney can help set up funding. Paying for this is expensive, so setting it up ahead of time relieves the burden from your children or other family members.

Your elder law attorney can also help you decide who can help support you in the future with your best interest in mind. These aren’t the best conversations to have, but they are important. Deciding upon a power of attorney (POA) or guardianship is important should you become incapacitated. If you don’t have a POA, then the state can assign one.

Elder Law attorneys can also assist with drawing up wills, trusts, and estate planning. These actions will help to protect your assets, and help decide who will be in charge of them as you stipulate your wishes.

Seeking this type of counsel isn’t easy, and your affairs should be in order, before retirement. Finding a knowledgeable elder law attorney, as well as one that you can trust is important. At Wood, Seitl and Anderson, our practice centers on Estate planning which is an important facet of Elder law planning and representation. Contact us to learn more. We are here for you in both Sarasota and Venice.

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Estate Planning; is it a Big Deal?

Date posted: September 21, 2022

It doesn’t matter what the size of your estate is when you leave it behind. Estate planning is a big deal, and everyone should have an estate plan set in place. Things can change in a moment, and unexpected things happen. It is especially important if you have family members who depend on you.

estate planning

Why is estate planning such a big deal? Estate planning is here to protect you and your family in the event that you pass away. Your family is left behind and there are so many things for them to handle in your absence, the last thing that you, or they need to worry about is what happens with your assets. When you hire a knowledgeable estate planning attorney, they help you to ensure that your assets are taken care of properly by your family, or if you’re no longer able to make decisions about them due to being incapacitated, or upon your death.

When you don’t have proper estate planning in place, then your assets fall into the hands of the court. They will then assign someone, not a family member to decide what happens with your estate. To protect your assets, it’s imperative to hire an experienced estate planning attorney to set up your final wishes in a legal document to be distributed to your beneficiaries, as set forth in your final wishes.

Not only does this protect your assets, but as mentioned above, this saves your family from having to worry about this, and prevent arguing during a time of grieving.

It’s important to remember that estate plans do need updating from time to time to account for significant events in the family such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and even moves. They are an ever changing document, as your life, as well as your assets will change as life goes on.

At Wood, Seitl, & Anderson, estate planning is our area of expertise and has been one of our client focus areas for 70 years in the Sarasota, Venice, and Bradenton areas of Florida. Contact us today.

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Generic Health Care Proxy, Should You Sign It?

Date posted: August 26, 2022

Have you been to the hospital for a basic or even an emergency procedure and been asked to sign a generic health care proxy? When your life could be at risk, the hospital staff is required to ask you to sign one if you do not have one in place, should something happen where you cannot speak for yourself. But should you sign a generic health care proxy?

Hospitals use these in advance so they are allowed to treat patients in the case of an emergency. They are however generic in form. This means they are not tailored to your specific needs or your individual case. You should be cautious when being asked to sign these forms. Not only that, but because it is so important, you shouldn’t be waiting to sign one during a time of stress.

Generic Health Care Proxy

Having a health care proxy specifically designed for you is important. There are so many important items that should be included such as:

  • What happens should you stay impaired after your procedure
  • Do you wish to become an organ donor
  • Do you want pain medication
  • Should you be placed on life support
  • How long should you remain on life support

This is why it’s important to have a knowledgeable estate planning attorney on your side. Part of your estate planning includes completing a health care proxy. This is important because if provides your agent the knowledge to speak on your behalf should you become incapacitated about specific medical treatments you desire, and which ones you don’t. Your estate planning isn’t complete unless you complete a health care proxy.

If you don’t have a health care proxy drafted yet, contact an experienced estate planning attorney here at Wood, Seitl, & Anderson. We have offices conveniently located in both Sarasota and Venice and serve the nearby areas.

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5 Ways to Mitigate Potential Estate Tax Increases

Date posted: August 17, 2022

We don’t want to think about our loved ones passing away. We also don’t know what laws will be in place when that time comes. This makes it important to protect your estate while you can and mitigate estate tax increases now. There are several ways this can happen. Having a knowledgeable estate planning attorney is one of those ways in which you can accomplish this.

Estate Tax Increases

Meet with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to work closely with you to make plans for the best actions you can take, especially during these uncertain times. They will help you determine what the best decisions are for the future of your assets.

In 2022 the annual federal gift tax exclusion has increased from $15,000 to $16,000. This is a great way to prepare, and you can gift unlimited individuals per calendar year. The lifetime exemption also increased in 2022 from $11.7 million to $12.06 million.

These days, having a will isn’t the only thing necessary. You need to be sure that all of your assets are labeled accordingly. When you have a knowledgeable estate planning attorney, your survivors will be able to take advantage of exclusions, which is why properly titling assets is essential and depends on your individual financial situation as well as your individual family dynamics.

Making charitable contributions is another way to be sure that your estate planning techniques don’t fall awry. You don’t want to exceed the amount that makes you come out of the exempt benchmark, and there is no limit on the amount you can donate.

An Irrevocable Trust can be designed to reduce estate tax. A knowledgeable probate attorney can help set this up so the estate size is minimized, as well as minimizing the tax implications. When established correctly, they are great options.

Start planning for your future, and the future of your family now, we don’t know what laws will be enacted when. This is why the experienced estate planning attorneys at Wood Seitl & Anderson are here for you every step of the way to preserve your estate assets. Contact us to learn more.

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33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes

Date posted: June 11, 2021

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the federal estate tax exemption considerably. Before the tax reform law, it was $5.49 million per person for 2017. It’s up to $11.7 million for 2021 ($23.4 million for a married couple). So, now, even fewer taxpayers have to worry about federal estate taxes when they die. However, if your goal is to leave as much as you can to your heirs, then you should also pay attention to the state you choose for retirement.

Source / Read full Article on Kiplinger

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10 Ways to Talk to Your Aging Parents About Their Finances

Date posted: June 9, 2021

There’s a good chance that many adult children will have to get involved with their parents’ financial lives as they age. Yet, an overwhelming majority of adult children – 73% – have not had detailed conversations with their parents about their finances, according to a survey by GOBankingRates. One of the primary reasons why survey respondents said they haven’t had “the talk” yet with their parents is because they don’t know how to have the discussion.

Source / Read Full Article on Kiplinger

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What Happens to Your Digital Assets When You Die?

Date posted: June 8, 2021

Not very long ago, owning a personal computer was a novelty. Today we all interact personally and professionally using desktop or laptop computers and access the internet by way of cellphones. The constant presence of digital information in our lives has led to social and economic changes that would have been hard to anticipate only a few generations ago.

Source / Read Full Article on Kiplinger

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Now Is the Time to Protect Your Health Care Decision-Making Rights

Date posted: June 7, 2021

As hard as it is to get some people to embrace estate planning, getting them to take seriously the need for a health care decision-making plan is even more difficult. At least, that was the case pre-pandemic.

We are no longer in an era of hypotheticals. There is a growing sense that being incapacitated by a disease or serious injury is not something conjectural or out of the realm of possibility. The last 12 months have reminded us all that our health is fragile, regardless of our age or if we have an existing medical condition.

Source / Read Full Article on Kiplinger

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