A Massachusetts Estate Planning Attorney Answers the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

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Contacting a Massachusetts estate planning lawyer is a great first step for ensuring that you have the correct documents and strategies in place. But sometimes, you’re more likely to reach out to a lawyer for support when you’re in the midst of a difficult situation. The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, experienced estate planning attorneys in Andover, Massachusetts, outline some of the most common situations in which you should contact a knowledgeable MA estate planning attorney. Read on to learn more.

I need to take care of banking for Mom and Dad, but the bank won’t talk to me. What do I need to be able to do this for them?

Only people who have been listed on an account or who hold a power of attorney can access information about a bank account. If you hold power of attorney for one or both of your parents, you must bring this document with you before the bank will show you anything.

Most parents will provide a power of attorney rather than add someone to the account. Adding someone to the account gives them authority to access funds and make other changes. However, a POA requires that the original account owner be incapacitated for the other person to have full authority. If you don’t yet have a power of attorney, estate planning lawyers can help you create one.

I just got a bad diagnosis — what do I need to do?

It is always challenging to learn about a dire medical diagnosis. You must consider two vital factors in these early stages: incapacity planning and managing your estate planning. Incapacity planning involves choosing who can make decisions or take actions on your behalf if your condition progresses to the point that you cannot do it yourself. Estate planning lawyers can support you if you’re in this situation.

What can we do to plan for Medicaid?

If you’re concerned about the high cost of long-term care, you’re not alone. However, there are legal steps you can take to put yourself in a favorable position if you need to apply for Medicaid suddenly. As estate planning lawyers, we use tools like irrevocable trusts, healthcare directives, and other strategies to help protect your assets. This way, if someone does need Medicaid in the future, you can take action quickly, without worrying about penalty periods or tapping personal assets.

Advanced planning with Medicaid lawyers is one of the best things you can do to safeguard your personal wealth and ensure that one spouse is not put in a difficult situation when the other one needs care in a nursing home.

My loved one needs to enter a nursing home, and we haven’t done any planning — can a lawyer still help?

While the best planning for nursing home care and costs happens well before any health crises occur, you still have options. If your loved one is in rehab and can’t go home or if a family member’s condition has gotten worse recently, there are still things you can do when you reach out to estate planning lawyers sooner rather than later.

Is it true that I can’t get access to my 18-year old’s academic or medical records without a power of attorney?

Once a child turns 18, they are considered a legal adult. At this age, even if the child has approved your access to their information, you must have documented permission. Consequently, estate planning attorneys employ a common practice of creating a power of attorney when the child reaches the age of 18, which becomes helpful if your child goes off to college. A POA alleviates your parental concerns about stepping in and getting the information you need if they become sick or suffer an injury in an accident.

Does a young family need an estate plan?

When you’re young and healthy, it’s easy to gloss over an estate plan. But if you didn’t get an estate plan in place when you first got married, you should implement an estate plan for multiple reasons when you start a family. You must prepare for unforeseen circumstances and secure their future by considering issues like guardianship designations and trust planning, keeping in mind that children can’t inherit assets directly.

The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen: Planning for Families, Planning for Life

If you’re ready to learn more, contact the Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, estate planning lawyers in Andover Massachusetts today. We understand that you have plenty of questions about the process and how to make it easy and streamlined. Our MA estate planning lawyers have worked with clients to create trusts and wills, document power of attorney needs, and so much more. Take the first step by scheduling a brief, “get to know you” call at 978-409-1928 or complete our online form. We look forward to helping you protect your interests and make things easier for your loved ones if and when something happens to you.

Copyright© 2021. The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen
23 Central St.,
Andover, MA 01810
(978) 409-1928

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