Estate Planning & Administration
In our estate planning and administration practice, we help clients plan for a time when they may not be able to handle their own affairs or for when they have passed away. As part of our in-take process, we sit with our clients to obtain an understanding of their family and financial situations, to see if they have specific goals and desires, and to provide them with general guidance as needed about estate planning and related issues – such as the difference between wills and trusts, what happens if someone dies without a will, how probate works, whether probate is even necessary when someone dies, when health care powers of attorney become effective, what authority a health care agent has, who should be named as someone’s power of attorney, and the like. These are all important questions, and there are many more.
At Lombardi Law Offices, we recognize that estate planning is very personal, which for many can make the process more challenging or intimidating than other legal matters. We firmly believe, therefore, that part of our duty is to help our clients develop a level of comfort with the process and a level of trust with us, as their legal advisor, to guide them through that process. Our initial meeting is designed to help clients reach those levels of comfort and trust, in addition to answering their specific questions and reviewing their options to meet their objectives.
To be clear, estate planning is not just for those who have significant wealth. It is for any individual or couple – young or old, with children or without, with many assets or few – who wishes to engage in a certain level of planning for the future, to make sure someone they trust will be available to make decisions for them if they become unable to do so, and to make sure their financial and physical assets are distributed to the people they choose when they die. For most older clients, these are both primary considerations. For younger couples with minor children, the most important priority often is designating guardians for their children should both of them pass away before the children reach 18.
Because people seeking assistance in this area of practice may lack the mobility to attend a meeting at our office, we will visit prospective clients in those instances wherever they may be living or receiving care, whether in their home, an assisted living facility, a nursing home, or a hospital.
In addition to providing estate planning services, we also help families navigate the probate process when a loved one has died if he or she had assets that must go through probate. We also assist trustees in administering trust assets if the deceased established a trust as an alternative to probate. In addition, we provide advice and representation to families in guardianship matters, and help clients understand their planning options should they need nursing home care in the future and will require Medicaid benefits to pay for that care.
We have helped many clients with their estate planning, probate and Medicaid matters over the years. Please call us to see how we can help you.