2012-04-06 / Columnists

Spolight on Elderlaw

There Is No Time Like The Present
Commentary By Nancy C. Brady, RN, Esq. And Linda Faith Marshak, Esq.

The practice of Elderlaw and Estate planning has to do with topics that are, for the most part, difficult to think about, like illness, death and taxes.

As lawyers practicing in this area of law, we see clients of all ages, and all types of family and financial circumstances. We make recommendations regarding the legal documents all adults, regardless of age, need to have in place for both during their lives, and to assist their loved ones after their deaths.

Many clients come for consultation when they are in good health, with no particular financial concerns.

During the consultation, the benefits of doing legal planning for their future and their children’s future is well explained, and the potential clients leave with a very good understanding of how planning with an attorney can be beneficial, with little or no reason NOT to go forward with the recommendations made.

Sometimes we never hear from them or they return months even years later to execute their documents and complete their planning.

Some clients even give instructions for us to go forward, and don’t come back to sign documents that they have paid for!

We get it! It is not high on one’s priority list of things to do when there are no health or financial issues. However, all of us know how unpredictable life can be!

The other type of clients we see all too often are the ones with the urgent need, or crisis who have done little or no planning.

Some examples of the consequences of poor planning are:

If someone requires long term care in a nursing home much less can be done to protect one’s assets in the event no planning has been done in advance than if the person had planned when they were in better circumstances; If someone is terminally ill and hasn’t done a living will or health care proxy, their wishes regarding medical care will not be known; If a young parent dies an untimely death, leaving minor children behind, assets may be held and guardianship proceedings may be necessary for the court to make the final decision on the children’s care; If one dies without a will with a special trust, and leaves behind children receiving government benefits, benefits could be jeopardized.

These are just a few of the examples of the consequences of inadequate planning.

We tell our clients whenever they ask, “when is the best time to do estate planning,” our answer is always a resounding “THE TIME IS NOW!”.

The attorneys can be contacted at 718-738-8500. Please call to ask about a reservation to our upcoming seminar on April 10, 2012!

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