Elder Law Practice
Wright & Associates, P.C., is a general practice law firm with an expanding elder law division serving clients throughout the state of Indiana, emphasizing the following areas:
What is estate planning? It is the necessary confrontation of many of the difficult “ifs” that we all face in life. A personal estate plan protects you, your family, and your way of life. It not only designates the beneficiaries of your estate, it can also protect you if you become incapacitated, shield your family members from the delays, loss of privacy, and expense of probate, as well as many other administrative aggravations.
Wright & Associates will design a personalized plan for you considering your individual needs. This plan may include documents such as a Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Declaration (sometimes referred to as a “Living Will”), Revocable Trust, and other personalized planning documents. In the proper case we can protect your assets, give your favorite charity monies while maximizing your immediate tax advantages, or ensure your children and grandchildren receive assistance for their education as you desire. A personalized plan can have great flexibility.
A Revocable Trust, or a Living Trust as it is often called, provides among other things a distribution to the Settlor’s heirs much like a will but without the delays, costs, and formalities experienced in probate court and needs very little administrative assistance during the lifetime of its creator (called the trust’s Settlor or Grantor). However, at the death of the Settlor, the trust becomes irrevocable and a Successor Trustee must take over the administration of the trust to comply with the wishes as expressed in the trust.
While most of the responsibilities of the Trustee are straightforward, some may be confusing. Wright & Associates offers services to support Successor Trustees in the more complicated components of the administration of the Trust and/or the ultimate distribution of the trust assets.
Medicaid is a joint federal-state program assisting individuals who qualify in obtaining long-term care services in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Many individuals face lengthy stays in long-term care facilities and face depletion of their estate without being passed on to family members. With proper and early planning, this depletion can be minimized or, in some cases, avoided all together.
There are so many things that can be done for potential Medicaid recipients if addressed early. Wright & Associates offers services outlining the applicability of the Medicaid eligibility rules, navigating the Medicaid application process, and protecting, to the extent possible, the remaining assets of the applicant’s spouse. Wright & Associates designs a personalized plan preparing for when Medicaid may become necessary for one or both spouses.
Guardianship, or Conservatorship as it may also be called, becomes necessary when an individual no longer has the capacity to make decisions for him or herself. If an incapacitated individual has not executed a Durable Power of Attorney a guardianship may be the only answer. Generally, the process involves a court proceeding appointing a family member or a disinterested third party such as a bank, as guardian over the person and the estate of the incapacitated individual who is then referred to as the ward. At this point, the guardian is able to protect the ward by making appropriate financial and personal decisions on the ward’s behalf. The process can become confusing, lengthy, and unfortunately, on occasions painful to the family and friends of the incapacitated individual.
While an appropriate and proper estate plan can keep an individual out of a guardianship when and if that individual becomes incapacitated, not everyone has such an estate plan. In situations where guardianship proceedings become necessary, Wright & Associates offers sensitive personalized services guiding family members through the process of appointing an appropriate guardian and when called upon supporting the guardian with his or her responsibilities.