Rhode Island Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning can be a crucial step if you want to have some say over how your property will be distributed upon your death. In addition to utilizing the tools available to determine how property should be divided, there are other decisions that you may want to make in the interest of prudent estate planning, such as who would serve as a guardian for your children and who would make health care decisions in case you become incapacitated. Rhode Island estate planning lawyer Stephen Levesque can help you devise the proper instruments for your needs. He is the Host of the weekly talk show Legal Tips every Sunday on 630 WPRO.Wills
A will is a critical step in planning the distribution of your estate when you pass away. A person making a will is called a testator. The testator is allowed to make provisions for how their property should be distributed among a spouse, children, and others. The testator is also allowed to name a personal representative for their estate. Rhode Island wills permit testators to create trusts, make charitable gifts, name legal guardians, and address other matters. Before the will’s terms can be accepted, the will needs to be established in probate court. Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing a decedent’s estate. The decedent’s will should be filed in the probate court of the town where the decedent had lived.Trusts
A trust is an arrangement whereby a trustee holds legal title to property for someone else, known as a beneficiary. You can be the trustee of your own living trust and thereby retain full control of the assets within it. However, beneficiaries can be named to receive the trust property when you die. Often, an estate planning attorney will advise Rhode Island residents to create a trust to avoid the complexities, expense, and time involved in the probate process. However, small estates of under $15,000 are subject to simplified probate. This process is not as expensive, and if you are eligible for simplified probate, you may not wish to create a trust.Long-Term Care Planning
Often, long-term nursing home care is not covered by traditional health insurance, but it may be quite expensive. Most people need to stay for at least three years, and some people may need to pay for nursing home care until their assets have run out. At that point, they might qualify for Medicaid to pick up the cost. It can be important to conduct long-term care planning during the period in which you are healthy enough to qualify so that you can ensure that you get benefits to which you are entitled under Medicaid and Medicare. Medicare is a federal health insurance program with no financial qualifications, in which people enroll when they turn 65. Medicare Part A addresses in-hospital care. Medicare Part B covers medical supplies and services that are medically needed to treat a health condition.Health Care Powers of Attorney
Rhode Island estate planning attorney Stephen Levesque also helps clients draft health care powers of attorney. This power of attorney allows a health care agent, who is often a loved one, to make important health care and end-of-life decisions. The health care agent is authorized to give informed consent to doctors and other health care providers. In Rhode Island, the health care agent is empowered to refuse procedures that prolong the process of dying, but it is not permitted for a doctor or anyone else to help a patient end their life.Financial Powers of Attorney
A financial power of attorney is a binding document that permits someone (known as a principal) to transfer financial powers to another person (known as an agent). The agent has the ability to oversee the principal’s real, financial, and personal property. This arrangement can be useful under certain circumstances, such as when a principal becomes incapacitated and unable to manage on their own. The agent serves a critical function in maintaining the principal’s financial affairs. When a financial power of attorney is signed, an agent can spend the principal’s money and make financial decisions on behalf of the principal.Contact a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Lawyer in Rhode Island
Estate planning is important for most people, regardless of their age or assets. If appropriate estate planning is not conducted, your property will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, and decisions may be made about your health care or finances that you would not wish in the event that you become incapacitated. Call the Law Offices of Stephen P. Levesque at (401) 490-4900 or contact us through our website. We represent people throughout Washington County, Kent County, and Providence County from our office in Cranston.