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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Q: Does estate planning save money and assets?

Contrary to what many people may assume, skilled estate planning attorneys do not simply assist people with preparing a last will and testament that gives away their property after they die. While having a will is certainly part of the job, they also help clients protect their assets and preserve their wealth for their own benefit and for the future of their loved ones.

Often, a trust is implemented in estate planning. Some of the common reasons to choose a trust as part of your estate planning may include:

  • protecting assets from creditors
  • tax benefits
  • supporting charities
  • avoiding probate court delays, costs, and lack of privacy

Another important part of estate planning includes providing for not only your death but your possible incapacity. The sad reality is that many people will become disabled during their lifetime due to age, accident, or illness.

Planning for incapacity involves executing documents like powers of attorney in which you appoint a trusted person to handle your finances and property in the event you become incapacitated and unable to do so.

A healthcare proxy enables you to appoint a trusted person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. A living will is a document where in you designate precisely what medical treatments you want (or do not want) if you become incapacitated. Common examples include your position on life-support, do not resuscitate orders, hydration and feeding tubes, and organ or tissue donations.

A skilled estate planning attorney can also help with Medicaid planning so that your life savings may be protected in the event you become disabled and require long-term care in a nursing home facility. Under certain circumstances, you can receive Medicaid will retaining possession of your moderately priced home and car. Medicaid planning often involves pacing assets in a trust.

If you live in New York or New Jersey and need assistance with an initial estate plan or would like to modify an existing one, the estate planning attorneys at Merlino & Gonzalez can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our offices in Staten Island, New York, and East Brunswick, New Jersey, we help clients throughout both states in all aspects of estate planning and real estate law.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.