The Winning Formula
When drafting your personalized estate plan, our law firm combines classic, proven, estate-planning techniques with modern, innovative methods of improving the plan’s overall effectiveness and simplicity. It is our goal to become one of your family’s intimate advisors so that we can guide you to strategies that are appropriate for your particular family circumstances. Our firm stays up to date on cutting-edge practices and constantly looks for ways to make sure you have the best possible product. Our goal is to give you not only first class service, but also to provide complete peace of mind that your plan accomplishes all the goals set out during consultation. Please call our office today and allow StubberudCuen’s experienced and dedicated attorneys to work for you.
- Client Counseling
- Estate Planning
- Elder Law
- Special Needs Planning
- Adult Guardianship
- Probate and Estate Administration
Issues related to aging, disability, retirement, long-term care and special needs can be complex and emotionally straining. We offer our clients and their families counseling and solutions in the following areas:
- Estate Planning
- Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, long-term care, Medicaid and Elder Law
- Collaborative Decision Making and Guardianship
- End-of-Life decisions
- Special Needs
- Family consultation and mediation concerning elderly and disabled family members
For nearly 30 years we have helped Nevada families plan and navigate these difficult issues. We take the time to listen and fully understand your unique story in order to find the best solution for you and your family.
Estate Planning is Planning for the Future
There is no way to predict the future, but there are many ways to prepare for it. It is never too early to start planning for the future and security of yourself and your family. A key step is setting up an estate plan. A thorough estate plan requires a financial assessment, including your current and retirement situation. We work with your financial planner to assess your needs and set you on the path to the best financial future you can have.
What is Estate Planning?
An estate plan also consists of set of written documents whereby you set forth your wishes regarding your assets should you be unable to handle your financial affairs and for distribution upon your death.
We will discuss who will make health care decisions for you if you cannot communicate your wishes, who will care for any minor or disabled children upon your death and who will inherit your assets. Some of these documents may be wills, trusts, nominations of guardian and financial and health care powers of attorney.
The most important thing to know is that estate planning is not one-size-fits-all. Everyone’s wishes and needs are different. Also, your needs will change as you get older and your circumstances change, including marriage, children, disability or retirement.
Proper planning will give you peace of mind and ease the burden on your family. It can also save your family time and money and, in many cases, avoid court proceedings. Estate planning is not just for people with significant assets. It is for everyone who wants to plan for the financial and personal security and who seek peace of mind for themselves and their family.
Who benefits from Estate Planning?
Most clients are initially under the assumption that estate planning is only for the wealthy, or that the fees to set up an estate plan will be too expensive. However, once they begin the process they realize how much estate planning actually saves their estate. In fact, when compared to probate, estate planning is generally the much less expensive option. If anyone has been through the probate process before, or understands how it works, they know that it’s not an enjoyable experience. The process is very expensive, and often takes over a year to get your assets to your heirs. On the other hand, setting up a trust helps to avoid probate. As mentioned before, it’s much less expensive, and the beneficiaries will receive their distribution much quicker.
Therefore, it is important for any person with at least some assets to consult with an attorney to prepare an estate plan. StubberudCuen has plans that are fairly priced and affordable for even those with normal lifestyles.
Although we hope our parents and older family members planned ahead for their financial and personal security as they age, unfortunately the opposite is true. Even where there has been advanced planning, many issues may come up concerning financial security, health care decisions, management of day to day affairs, home care and assisted living decisions, long term care, estate planning and more. Our office can help you and your loved ones navigate these issues.
We can assist you with the following:
- Guardianship and guardianship alternatives
- Financial assessments for long term needs and care
- Identifying Available Community Services
- Estate Planning
- Long Term Care
- End of Life Decision Making
Parents with a disabled child will necessarily be concerned about their child’s financial security and personal well being after the parents have died. Special needs planning allows parents to put a plan in place to support their children and enhance their quality of life. A plan can provide a guide for medical care and management of assets and protect assets from creditors and predators. One important component is a special needs trust that, like other trusts, will put assets in the control of a trust advisor who will take care of the disabled child’s financial needs. These trusts are known as third party special needs trusts and are funded with a parent or other person’s assets or life insurance.
If a disabled person obtains their own money, either through inheritance or through a judgment or award of money, a first party special needs trust can be used to provide management of the assets and creditor protection. These first party special needs trusts also have the added benefit of maintaining eligibility for public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.
An individual who is unable to manage his or her finances or make decisions regarding care may need a court appointed guardian to handle those matters. However, we believe guardianship should be the last solution to help the vulnerable adults in our lives. Guardianship is both expensive and restrictive and many times a group approach using a supported decision making model can achieve similar and, often, superior results.
In a supported decision making model, an individual who needs assistance chooses others who support him or her in their daily needs. These individuals can be financial advisors, attorneys, geriatric care managers, private social workers and family who can assist with investing, paying bills, and making medical decisions, among other needs. The supportive model promotes individual self-determination and independence.
Other effective alternatives to guardianship also include proper estate planning with trusts, financial powers of attorney and health care directives.
Probate is the legal process that happens after a person dies in order to pay lawful creditors and transfer assets to rightful beneficiaries. This can include proving the validity of a will, identifying the deceased person’s property and the value of that property, transferring that property, and paying debts.
Contrary to what many people believe, a will does not avoid probate. With a valid will, that document will determine how our estate is transferred. Without a will or with a partial will, the laws of the state you live in will determine who gets your remaining assets. In either case, the probate court will oversee the activities to be sure that all assets are distributed properly.
The probate process is complex and can be quite lengthy. One family member will be appointed by your will or by the court to carry out a series of activities, from notifying your creditors to inventorying your assets and then reporting back to the court before anything can be distributed to your heirs. If family businesses or real estate are involved, the process becomes even more complicated.
If you or your family are facing a probate situation, we can help you navigate the complex probate process from start to finish. Call or contact us today for more information.