Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts

At Callaghan Parente, Estate Planning is planning not only planning for what happens when we die, but helping clients plan successfully for the rest of their lives, including the myriad of predictable and unpredictable events that invariably affect the lives of our clients.

State and federal laws that impact estate planning are constantly changing.  At Callaghan Parente we are committed to staying on top of this ever-changing area of law. We recognize that you have worked hard for what you have.  That is why you need the assistance of dedicated experienced attorneys to devise a wealth preservation strategy to ensure that you optimize the goals set for your nest egg. Whether it be for your own retirement, college planning, a vacation home, or other
objectives, proper planning is essential to help ensure that upon death your assets are distributed according to your wishes, without payment of unnecessary taxes.  With proper planning you can protect your estate and retain more of your assets, while leaving a lasting legacy for your family.  The first step is to have an Estate Planning Check-up.

A thorough estate plan takes into consideration wealth preservation with an eye toward minimizing or eliminating unnecessary estate tax liability and ensuring the smooth transition of assets to designated people or entities.  A thorough estate plan should consider Medicaid and long-term care planning, and can provide for minor children, loved ones with special needs, and dependent adults, when necessary.

A “basic” estate plan consists of four components: a Last Will & Testament (to direct the distribution of an individual’s estate upon death, to designate persons to be responsible for administering the estate, and if applicable, designate guardians for minor children); a Power of Attorney (to designate one or more individuals to handle a person’s affairs should they become incapacitated and unable to manage their own affairs); a Living Will (to articulate an individual’s wishes for providing or withholding medical care, and for organ donation and disposition of remains), and a Health Care Proxy to designate one or more individuals to covey your wishes to treatment professionals and manage medical records.

In some cases, more complex estate planning is required to address the legal needs or personal goals of certain individuals.  Some of these more complex techniques include various types of trusts, family limited partnerships (FLPs) and limited liability companies (LLCs).  We are also experienced in creating Special Needs Trusts for a child or other family member who is unable to manage his or her own assets, or to help to preserve their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid or SSI.

Medicaid planning is an important consideration in the estate planning process.  A significant number Americans will eventually spend some time in a nursing home or require .  Effective Medicaid planning, like good estate planning, will help to ensure that precious assets are not needlessly spent on health care, that critical public health benefits are not compromised, and that your assets are preserved for distribution according to your wishes.  Callaghan Parente is a leader in the highly specialized and complex area of Medicaid and long term care planning.