Elder Law – estate planning for the elderly, including protecting and preserving assets for loved ones who require care in a nursing home.
What if your loved one is no longer able to care for themselves and needs 24 hour care? With the average cost of long term skilled care being nearly $7,000.00 per month in the state of Michigan, most individuals’ assets will be depleted within months, not years. However, you do not have to spend all your money on long term care. With proper planning you can protect your loved ones’ estate and still qualify for Medicaid benefits. For a single individual, you can protect anywhere from one-half to two-thirds of your loved ones assets. For a married couple, 100% of their assets can be protected.
Estate Planning – Wills; Durable Powers of Attorney (health and financial); Trusts; Pre-nuptial Agreements
How do you ensure that in the event of death or disability, you maintain control over your affairs? Specifically, who is going to make your health care and financial decisions in case of disability? Who is going to manage your estate upon your death, and who is going to inherit your property upon your death? How do you minimize estate taxes? Do not procrastinate and let the Probate Court decide who manages your affairs upon death and disability and who inherits your property upon your death. Take control over your affairs now and ensure that your estate is handled according to your wishes and outside of Probate Court.
Probate – Decedent Estates; Guardianships; Conservatorships; Trust Administration Probate can be a very complex area of the law, and can be further complicated by attempting to navigate the process on your own. The failure to adhere to the probate court rules can make a difficult proceeding nearly impossible. An attorney specializing in probate will be able to handle your matter efficiently, thereby saving you valuable time and money. Also, an experience probate attorney can serve as an objective third party to guide you through this very difficult time.
Special Needs Planning - Estate Planning for loved ones with special needs
How do we ensure our loved ones with special needs are taken care of after we’re gone, while maintaining their government benefits? A well drafted special needs trust permits a disabled beneficiary to receive gifts, settlement funds, or other asset while remaining eligible for certain government programs. Special needs trusts are designed to allow the disabled beneficiary to have funds to purchase items that will provide them with comfort and joy. Those items include education, recreation, counseling, electronic equipment, vacations, movies, and other self-esteem and quality-of-life enhancing expenses. It is important for individuals with loved ones who have special needs to meet with an attorney experienced in the area of special needs planning, to ensure that your wishes are followed and your special needs loved one is afforded all of the protections allowed by the law.
Real Estate - Closings; Leases; Purchases; Sales
Real Estate Transactions:
When purchasing real estate it is important to make certain that the contract addresses your unique needs and protects you from risks, such as losing your earnest money or being forced to buy despite lost financing. We thoroughly research the subject property of your commercial or residential real estate transaction to ensure that your title is clear. If there are disagreements, we can file an action to quiet title or resolve a boundary dispute. We work to ensure your transaction will go smoothly and will stand the test of time.
When entering into a lease agreement, it crucial that the perimeters of the agreement specifically designate the rights, duties, and responsibilities of each party. A through lease agreement will prevent unnecessary litigation whether you are a landlord or a tenant.
Meeting with an experienced real estate attorney before entering into a lease agreement will minimize your long-term risk.
Corporate – LLC, S Corporations, C Corporations, General Business Planning
The choice of which legal entity to use for a business is one of the most important decisions that a start-up venture will face. In Michigan, the most common options for operating a business are a limited liability company (LLC), an S corporation, or a C corporation.
There are many options available when forming a new business. It is important to choose the correct business entity and even more important to make certain the entity is formed correctly. Business owners must understand their responsibilities and protections afforded to them by the entity they create.
Clients will often come to us with generic business documents, that they obtained on-line which do not take into account the individual personal situation and long term goals for their business.
It is vitially important to meet with an experienced attorney who can advice you on the advantages and disadvantages of the various entity structures allowed by Michigan Law and assist you in selecting the entity that will best suit your needs.
Veteran’s Benefits – Improved Pension Aid and Attendant Care
Veterans or the surviving spouse of a veteran may qualify for an enhanced monthly pension benefit. This benefit can be used to assist in the payment of long-term care, including care in the home and assisted living facilities. This improved pension benefit is available to veterans and their surviving spouses who require assistance with their activities of daily living (i.e., dressing, meal preparation, bathing). In order to be eligible for this benefit, it is necessary for a veteran to meet the wartime service requirement. Additionally, there are strict asset and income qualifications, which must be met. Since this benefit has specific qualification requirements, it is recommended that you seek professional advice before applying for the benefit.