North Carolina Elder Law Attorney
When planning for your future or the future of your loved ones, you must consider a variety of issues in order to thoroughly protect your assets and everything you have spent a lifetime working toward.
Laurence S. Graham (1943-2012), the founding attorney of The Graham.Nuckolls.Conner. Law Firm, PLLC, was highly skilled in elder law matters, including estate planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships and estate administration. He authored a book entitledImportant Choices: A Guide for Your Survivors in an effort to educate individuals about the importance of estate planning documents and assist the reader in getting organized for the initial consult with an estate planning attorney. This esteemed dedication to understanding and providing high-quality legal representation has inspired our attorneys to offer the best services possible when assisting our elder law clients. David W. Silver was Larry Graham’s law partner since 2000 and manages all of the firm’s elder law matters. Dave endeavors to approach each case with the knowledge, spirit and style that he learned from his mentor, Larry Graham.
Our Pitt County Elder Law Lawyer Thoroughly Understands Estate Planning
Estate planning will help you determine who will manage your affairs, during your life and after your death. It also allows individuals to determine how assets should be distributed at death. The main elements associated with estate planning and administration are:
- Wills: These documents determine how and to whom your assets will be distributed at death. The benefits of having a will are plentiful. You will prevent the state from deciding the fate of your property, and you can appoint someone you trust to care for your affairs after death. A will can ultimately contain any and all wishes that you may have regarding how all aspects of your legacy will be carried on after your life has ended.
- Durable power of attorney: If you become incompetent or unable to act, a durable power of attorney can help ensure that your wishes are met. This title is flexible and you can give this person as much or as little decision power as you would like.
- Trusts: A trust can be included in a Will or be a separate document. A trust can help accomplish many goals, such as to avoid estate taxes and probate costs, to help provide for minors and individuals who require financial oversight, to preserve family homesteads, or to care for an individual with special needs.
- Living will and health care power of attorney: If you have an incurable or irreversible condition that will ultimately result in death, you can use these documents to appoint someone who will make your health care decisions for you according to your wishes.
- HIPAA release: This document gives your health care providers the ability to disclose your protected health information to your health care agents as appointed in the living will and health care power of attorney documents.
- Probate and estate administration: This is a multistep process in which the court identifies and records the assets, creditors, debt and the distribution thereof to any beneficiaries after death. This process can take several months to several years to complete depending on the nature and complexity of the assets of the deceased.
- Medicaid planning: Considering your long-term health care is an important part of aging, yet applying for Medicaid can be time-consuming and complex. In order to get the most out of your medical assistance, you must consult an experienced attorney who can help you determine its many layers.
- Veterans Administration Benefits: Veterans who served during wartime, their spouses, or their widows/widowers may be eligible for financial assistance (Aid and Attendance) from the V.A. to help pay for unreimbursed medical expenses such as home health care, the costs of a nursing home and/or the cost of assisted living facilities. You should consult with an experienced attorney to see if you or your loved one is eligible, or can become eligible, for these types of benefits.
- Guardianships: In the event that your loved one becomes unable to handle his or her own affairs, you can apply for guardianship through the court in a two-step process.
Planning for your future can be daunting and overwhelming. But with experienced, compassionate legal professionals at your side, you can protect your assets and your loved ones so you can focus on what matters.