As the elderly population began to grow several decades ago, it started to become clear that the legal issues that impact them needed to be addressed. Consequently, the relatively new area of the law known as “elder law” began to evolve. An elder law lawyer, therefore, is a lawyer who has chosen to focus much, or all, of his/her practice on legal issues that impact the elderly and those who care for them. Unlike other areas of specialty, however, an elder law lawyer does not focus on learning … [Read more...] about What is elder law?
I’m also asked, “How do I fund my trust?”. Well funding a trust occurs when the assets that you own as an individual, are transferred into your trust. For example, at the Collins Law Group, we provide our clients with funding letters which they present, in person, to their financial institutions, to ensure that their bank accounts are properly transferred into trust. When it comes to real estate, we prepare quick-claim deeds for our clients to ensure that their real estate is properly … [Read more...] about How Do I Fund My Trust?
While you are alive, you can act as a trustee of your trust and you can manage your estate. You will need to designate a successor trustee, such as a trusted and responsible family member or a trusted friend, to administer your trust at your death. Your chosen successor trustee should have business sense, and be responsible with money management, because he or she will be responsible for carrying out the wishes and desires that you’ve set out in your trust agreement. … [Read more...] about What is a Successor Trustee?
I often get asked, “What is a power of attorney?” A power of attorney is a document that authorizes your chosen individual to act on your behalf when you cannot act for yourself. Generally, it’s affective at the time of your incapacity, or at a specific event of your choice. Your power of attorney can be revoked by you at any time, or it is automatically revoked at your death. Most importantly, you should select a power of attorney agent with great care and you must have a tremendous amount of … [Read more...] about What is a Power of Attorney?
Another question that I get is, “Can out of state properties be put into my trust?”. The answer is yes. The Collins Law Group is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, a national organization with attorney members coast to coast. So, if you have out of state properties, we do have a national network of attorneys who can assist us in making sure that your property is properly transferred into your trust. … [Read more...] about Can Out of State Properties be Put into My Trust?
I’ve also been asked, “What if I create a joint tenancy with my child?”. This is a very problematic option for estate planning. The problem is, you will avoid probate, but if your child has any personal drama, debts, lawsuits, or judgements against them, predators on the court will be able to reach the joint tenancy property. Also, making your child a joint tenant will give your child the ability to take out loans on the property or refinance. … [Read more...] about What If I Create a Joint Tenancy with my Child?
My clients often ask me, “How long does it take to set up my living trust?”. Here at the Collins Law Group, we have a six-step planning process that generally involves three meetings taking place over the course of thirty days. Of course, we are sensitive to our clients needs, so if there’s a need to expedite the process, we can complete the trust work within the matter of days. … [Read more...] about How Long Does It Take to Set Up my Living Trust?
I often get asked, “What will happen to my property if I die without a will or a trust?”. Well if you die without a will or a trust, the state determines who will be your ultimate heirs, through a court supervised process called probate. Probate is a public process, it’s a costly process, and worst of all, it can be a lengthy process. It typically takes anywhere between six months to a year, but if you have family drama, it’ll take much longer than that. … [Read more...] about What Happens to Your Property Without a Living Trust?
Here at the Collins Law Group, we are often asked, “Do I need an attorney to create my living trust?”. The answer is that it’s highly recommended that you get a licensed and qualified attorney who specializes in estate planning because estate planning is a complex area of the law. We do not recommend that you use any online resources to create your trust documents by yourself because what you want is a qualified and licensed attorney, or a law firm, to stand by your trust documents when you and … [Read more...] about Do I Need an Attorney to Create a Living Trust?
I’ve also been asked, “What is a Conservatorship?”. Conservatorship is a court-supervised process that allows an individual to manage the affairs of an incapacitated person. I’d like to note again that any court-supervised process is a public process, a costly process and will most likely be a lengthy process. … [Read more...] about What is a Conservatorship?