Helping You Protect
What Matters Most

As we (or our parents) age, the need for specialized services arises, such as long-term care plan, Medicare and Medicaid rules, end-of-life decision, methods to protect family from fraud, etc.

We understand the estate planning and elder law issues are very personal and sometimes stressful, and we promise to never lose sight of our clients’ personal needs.

Estate Planning & Elder Law Services

From young families with children and small estates, to seniors and business owners with large estates, we are committed to customize a plan that meets your very needs.

Wills

While death is inevitable, an executed will can make a real difference to a grieving family and loved ones.

At Judy Gooch Law, we are experienced in drafting wills for estates of all sizes. Whether you are creating a will for the first time or require changes to an existing will, we are here to help.

Following are some examples of recognizable life changes that require adjustment to be made:

  • You’ve had one or more children
  • You have a disabled or incapacitated child or relative
  • You’ve gotten divorced
  • Your spouse has died
  • You’ve received an inheritance that requires an adjustment to your existing estate plan.

Trusts

Trusts are simply an arrangement where one party holds property on behalf of another party. There are many reasons for establishing trusts including tax minimization or providing for the needs of underage beneficiaries.
Different types of trusts serve different purposes in an estate planning.

Powers of Attorney

Regardless of your age, it is important that you decide who will make medical and financial decisions for you in case you are unable to make such decisions as a result of a debilitating physical disease or mental impairment.

The three most common powers of attorney include

  1. The general durable power of attorney
  2. The medical power of attorney
  3. The declaration as to medical or surgical treatment, which is commonly known as a living will.

Probate

Coping with grief and emotions is difficult enough without having to determine how the decedent’s assets are to be distributed. It’s said that death can bring out the worst in people by bringing up old grievances to the forefront. Inheritance often can be the biggest problem even when all family members knew before their loved one passed away how the assets likely would be distributed.

Our goal is to help you maintain good family relationships and carefully guide you through probate and the administration of the estate.

SCHEDULE A COMPLEMENTARY CONSULTATION about the Estate Planning and Services

Learn more about Trusts with Judy

The Three Most Common Trusts

Testamentary Trusts

A testamentary trust is a legal arrangement created in a person’s will that becomes effective upon their death. The will dictates which assets contained in the estate will be transferred to the trustee, managed and subsequently distributed in accordance with its terms of the trust, such as at death of spouse, when minor beneficiaries reach a specified age, or accomplish a specific goal.

Revocable Living Trusts

Unlike a will, which takes effect upon death, a revocable or living trust is a written document that provides for the management of your property by a trustee while you are alive.

It is primarily used to avoid probate in states where probate is particularly cumbersome, or in other instances, such as when a person owns real estate in multiple states.

The advantages of a revocable trust over a will are the following:

  1. Upon your death, the distribution of your property is governed by the terms of your trust document rather than the probate court system, which results in a quicker and less costly distribution of your property to your beneficiaries.
  2. As long as every state in which you hold property recognizes the validity of holding property in trust, a trust helps avoid having to probate your estate in every one of those states.
  3. A revocable trust is a private document that is not recorded at the courthouse or anywhere else. With a will, however, the probate court system normally requires a list of your property and its value to be public record at the courthouse.
  4. Finally, a trust can continue after your death, holding property for the benefit of a spouse, a child or another named beneficiary. This can be especially useful if a beneficiary is disabled or receiving assistance from other sources.

Special Needs Trusts

A special needs trust is an irrevocable trust usually set up to provide funds for the maintenance and care of a beneficiary.

It can be used to conserve a beneficiary’s assets without the risk of jeopardizing eligibility for certain government benefits, like Medicaid, SSI or veteran’s benefits.

A special needs trust also prevents creditors from attaching a beneficiary’s interest in the trust until the beneficiary actually receives the property over and above what’s needed for care.