While it may be uncomfortable to think about the inevitable prospect of one’s own aging and death, failure to do so could have dire consequences for the families of those who have died before finalizing a will or a plan for their own care in old age. Lawyers can assist those making difficult end-of-life decisions by facilitating the processes of estate planning and elder care law. Elder law attorneys can help to secure government healthcare and social security benefits, coordinate care for the elderly, and appoint legal and financial guardianship.
Attorneys can also help to navigate complex estate laws. Estate law refers to the practices that concern planning for the event of one’s death or incapacitation by naming executors and beneficiaries for an estate. When someone has died without a will, each state’s law will determine who may be eligible to inherit from the deceased. Spouses are likely to get the largest share of inheritance, followed by children. In the event of a separation or pending divorce at the time of death, common-law marriage, or same-sex marriage, state courts will typically decide if the surviving spouse is eligible to receive an inheritance. Biological and legally adopted children are generally included in the list of those who may inherit from a deceased parent, but foster and step children typically are not, nor are friends, charities, or unmarried romantic partners.
In order to ensure proper end-of-life care, representation, and the ability of loved ones to inherit one\’s estate according to their wishes, it is imperative to have an understanding of the law and to have a solid plan of action and will in place for the eventuality of old age and death. A good end of life plan can ease the burden of loss on our families and loved ones.
Call The Law Office Of Barry E. Janay on (973) 284 8525 for any issues or questions regarding Estate Planning or Elder Care Law.