Once an estate or Medicaid planning conference we will provide to you a brief outline of the creation of an estate and Medicaid plan. We will also ask you to complete our questionnaire, and we will ask you to bring to the conference:
- The completed questionnaire;
- Any existing estate plan documents;
- Real estate deed(s);
- Life insurance policies;
- Motor vehicle titles;
- Current bank and investment account statements;
- Current 401k, IRA statements, and beneficiary designations; and
- Any other information you consider relevant to your estate plan.
The initial conference is generally for information gathering. We discuss your financial situation, what your assets consist of, and how they are held, i.e. whether they are owned individually or with rights of survivorship, etc. We also discuss your family and any particular issues of special concern.
We will follow this with a brief explanation of some alternative estate planning and/or Medicaid planning methods commonly used and the advantages and disadvantages of each. For instance, we will review the pros and cons of wills. We will also discuss the various types of revocable and irrevocable trusts and how these instruments can be used to avoid probate and minimize the impact of estate taxes, and in some instances, avoid the liquidation of your assets in the payment of the costs of long-term care at home or in a nursing home. In addition, we review the advantages of durable powers of attorney, living wills and health care proxies. Usually by the end of the initial conference we will have made some tentative decisions as to the direction the plan will take.
Subsequent to the initial conference we anticipate being in a position to commence drafting instruments for review and discussion. We will also provide you with a fee estimate for the entire estate or Medicaid plan. Once drafted the instruments are sent to you for review and comment. We will then meet a second time to review and execute the instruments, more complicated instruments may require a third or fourth appointment. Once executed you will be provided the original of all instruments, and either a DVD or booklet with copies of the executed instruments. Where a trust instrument is created we will also provide instructions and recommendations on funding of the trust to obtain the maximum intended benefit of the trust.