As attorneys with elderly parents and children with special needs, we understand how critical it is to design an estate plan that addresses your specific needs.
We don't simply take documents off the shelf, dust them off and insert your names in the blanks. We also don't engage in scare tactics about the probate process.
We believe that everyone's estate planning needs are different and we will design your estate planning documents, including Wills, Revocable Trusts, Living Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, Guardian Memoranda and Special Needs Trusts to fit your exact situation. We can also help with conservatorship and guardianship matters. When a loved one passes away, we can assist with the administration of the Probate Court.
At Scott Franklin & Associates, we will help guide you through the estate planning process. We provide services in the following areas:
Preparation of Wills: We will provide you with a comprehensive Estate Planning Questionnaire to help you compile all of your personal and financial information so we can evaluate your estate planning needs.
Preparation of various types of Trusts: Whether you need tax planning or have minor children to provide for, we can advise you on the various types of trusts and discuss pros and cons of each in order to determine which one is right for you.
Preparation of Advance Directives:
Guardian Memorandum: You can use this document to designate who you want to care for your minor children should they need it.
Appointment of a Health Care Representative: This document will allow you to appoint someone to act in your best interest and make health care decisions when you are unable to do so.
Living Will/Health Care Instructions: You can use this document to designate what types of life support you do or do not want.
Anatomical Gifts: You can use this document to express your wishes with respect to organ donation.
Designation of a Conservator: In the event you become incapacitated and a conservator is needed, you want to choose the appropriate person to handle your affairs.
Powers of Attorney: There are different types of Powers of Attorney. We will help you choose the one that most suits your needs. A Power of Attorney designates someone to handle your financial affairs during your lifetime prior to and/or after incapacity.
Preparation of Special or Supplemental Needs Trusts and related documents: If you have a child with a physical or mental disability, whether a minor or adult, you may want to consider a Special or Supplemental Needs Trust ("SNT"). We can meet with you to help you decide if this is necessary for your estate plan. There are different types of SNTs and you want to make sure you have the one that is right for your needs. Without a proper SNT, your child may not qualify for necessary government programs. An SNT can also help secure your child's longterm financial future when he or she is not able to adequately manage his or her finances.
Letter of Intent/Guidance: You should consider including this document with the SNT to provide guidance to future caregivers, providing personal information on likes, dislikes, needs, enjoyable activities, etc.
Powers of Attorney/Guardianship/Conservatorship: You should consider whether or not a Power of Attorney or Conservatorship would be appropriate as your child reaches adulthood. Without a Power of Attorney or Health Care Directives, you may no longer be entitled to receive medical information or help with the finances of your adult child.
Advanced Directives: If your child is an adult, he/she might want to designate a health care agent or appoint a conservator, if it should become necessary. Funding: We can discuss various ways to fund the SNT such as with an insurance policy or through a Will.
Attorney Suzanne Neville knows first-hand what it is like to have a child with significant needs. Her son is autistic and nonverbal. She knows the daily challenges (educational, personal, medical) and expenses of caring for him. Facing many of these challenges, she became worried about what would happen to him if and when his father and she were no longer able to care for him. This is when she decided to practice in this area and educated herself in this field. Her hope is to help make it easier for other families facing the same situation.
We can help you create an SNT customized to meet your child's particular needs.
If you fill out the applicable checklist, we can start preparing your estate planning documents.