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If It’s Not on Paper, Your Wishes Won’t Come True

Do not buy into the myth that estate planning is only relevant for wealthy individuals who need tax planning.

One of an elder law attorney’s main responsibilities is ensuring that clients understand the importance of addressing these matters before they become an issue, reports the New Jersey Herald in the article “The importance of putting plans in writing.”

The message hits home especially hard, when the friends of elder law attorneys experience problems that could have been resolved earlier with correct planning. In one example, a woman’s friend began to experience unexpected health problems. Her husband is incapacitated and there are no children to step in and help. The couple’s lack of legal documents has made a difficult situation even worse.

Although discussing concepts like end-of-life care can be challenging, all adults do need to have specific plans in place, even if their estate plan is basic: a last will and testament, a living will and a power of attorney.

It is never to early to put these documents into place. Everyone who is 18 years or older should at least have a designated power of attorney and a medical directive, in case they are unable to manage their own affairs or make healthcare decisions.

Unfortunately, many people still think estate planning is only for wealthy people who want to pay less taxes. Tax planning can help lighten tax liability for some. However, there are far more important reasons to do estate planning. 

The main reason for estate planning is to set down expectations and wishes, while you are alive and after you pass. An elder law attorney will help review the benefits of having a power of attorney and a healthcare directive. They can help, if the situation occurs where your loved ones have to make decisions for you. The amount of time, expense and frustration of going through a guardianship process can be avoided, if these items are in place.

An elder law attorney can also help you with completing beneficiary forms for non-probate assets, preparing a funeral plan, planning a personal property memorandum and discussing elder care and planning for incapacity.

Making decisions in advance regarding who will care for minor children, if young parents cannot and who will be the person’s executor and handle all the details of their estate, are all necessary.

Many couples choose joint ownership and consider that their estate planning. However, that’s not enough. What happens when the last “surviving” joint owner passes? There are many other issues that need to be dealt with and an estate plan can address them.

Reference: New Jersey Herald (Aug. 22, 2018) “The importance of putting plans in writing”

Hear From Our Clients
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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce