Wills & Trusts
Elder Law Associates PA is a full-service estate planning firm, using wills and trusts to accomplish the most proper end-of-life plan for our clients. These documents may provide for asset protection during life, asset distribution upon death and may allow the estate to avoid probate. We advise clients regarding the benefits, advantages and disadvantages of different trusts and assist clients with funding issues.
We use revocable trusts to allow our clients to avoid the probate process and provide a means for proper asset distribution and proper management of assets in the event of incapacity.
Revocable trusts name a trustee who will continue to properly manage one’s assets in the event of permanent loss of capacity, temporary unavailability or upon death. A revocable trust may be used to retain assets for many later generations and leave a legacy from the grantor while properly planning for all available tax benefits. The administration of a trust typically results in considerably less attorney fees than otherwise applicable probate fees.
Within the revocable trust, there are many available planning options. For example, the trust can provide for protective trusts in the event a beneficiary is an inappropriate spender or too immature to handle the assets, if a beneficiary is disabled in any way, or if a beneficiary is going through a divorce. It also may plan for charitable gifts and specific gifts of property.
In addition, under Florida law, the trustee must provide accountings to all beneficiaries, ensuring that all loved ones are properly and adequately informed and that the assets are being disbursed and handled as the creator of the trust intended.
Advance Directive (Incapacity) Planning
Elder Law Associates PA assists clients in planning for incapacity by preparing durable powers of attorney. The durable power of attorney is a detailed document providing legal authority for the client’s designee to act on the client’s behalf when the client is unable physically and/or mentally to act on his or her own. The language we use in power of attorney documents relates distinctly to clients who are elderly or have disabilities or special needs.
Our firm prepares designation of health care surrogate documents. The health care surrogate document allows clients to choose loved ones who will make vital healthcare decisions when they are unable to make those decisions for themselves. We take care to ensure all state and federal regulations are complied with, including HIPAA language and Florida statutory requirements.
Our attorneys prepare sophisticated living wills for our clients. This legal document specifies the client’s wishes regarding all life-sustaining devices and must be revised continuously to remain current with new and evolving laws. Living wills are most appropriate for adults aged 18 years and above under various circumstances. The younger population is most susceptible to trauma-related persistent vegetative states. In contrast, seniors’ hospital stays and related illnesses are often the impetus for persistent vegetative states, prompting the need for a living will to limit unnecessary and undesired prolonged medical treatment.
We provide Estate Planning services throughout Florida, and particularly in the following cities/municipalities and surrounding communities in South Florida near our offices:
- Palm Beach County: Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Highland Beach, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach
- Broward County: Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Margate, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Tamarac, Weston
- Miami-Dade County: Aventura, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Miami Shores
Having gone through an extremely difficult Medicaid application process for my father in Florida years ago and with the recent passing of my mother I desperately needed to find a competent and understanding law firm that could expedite and help me with elder care legal issues for my uncle in Boca.
Living in NYC with nobody to take care of my sick uncle 1,400 miles away, I found the expertise and compassion of Howard Krooks and his wonderful firm to be incredible. I would highly recommend them to anyone and already have.
When my mom had a stroke -- and unfortunately due to her diabetes -- needed to be moved full time to a nursing home, I needed to qualify her for Medicaid, as the cost of proper care is prohibitive. Ellen and her team did an outstanding job, helping to reallocate my mom's assets and quickly qualifying her for Medicaid benefits. It would be almost impossible for the typical person to get through this process in such a short period of time.
I truly thank Elder Law Associates PA for making this happen.
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