Estate Plan

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What To Expect In Our Consultations

What To Expect In Our Consultations

For most folks, the idea of estate planning can be a little uncomfortable. But, the truth is, the hardest part is often working up the will (pun intended!) to make the first call. At Nadler Biernath, we do our best to make the process painless, taking care of our clients and helping solve their problems. We’re here to give you peace of mind. We’ve seen how difficult things can be when people don’t have estate plans in place. When guardianship is needed or a special needs child isn’t protected, families can struggle—emotionally and financially—sorting everything out. 

If you’re still feeling nervous about the process, or intimidated by the potential time commitment, we wanted to share what a typical consultation might look like. Of course, every family is different, and every family’s needs are different. We don’t like one-size-fits-all solutions. But, for our new clients, we can still give you a good idea of what to expect, what to bring and what to think about beforehand. 

What our process looks like

After you contact us to schedule, we send you straightforward intake forms to email, fax or mail back to our office before we meet. With a special needs planning consult, for example, we’d ask for family details, like names and ages of spouses or children, and financial information, like account types and approximate amounts in each account.

Having the forms ready to go at our first chat lets us start off with a substantive conversation. It gives us a broad picture of your needs so we can begin to ask the right questions. 

Once we meet (which may be over the phone due to the COVID-19 pandemic—more on that below), our attorneys will ask about what you’re looking for from our office. We’ll also want to hear about family dynamics, like stepchildren, the relationship between adult kids or an ex-spouse. 

After that, we can make recommendations based on your needs, helping weigh in on whether to seek guardianship or set up a certain type of trust. Most of our clients leave that first meeting visibly relieved. In fact, we’re pretty proud of how often people tell us it wasn’t nearly as hard as they’d thought it would be. 

How to get ready for your consult

Before your consult, you don’t need to research every estate planning option or start learning Georgia statutes. Instead, think about the big questions—the things we can’t answer for you:

  • Who do you trust to involve in your estate plan? You’ll want to consider family members and friends who you trust financially, or who you’d want to care for your minor or incapacitated children.
  • Who do you want to leave your assets to? What if your children are still minors? 
  • What assets do you have? We need to know what types of assets you hold (property, retirement accounts, investments), how much they hold and how they’re titled—not the account numbers or exact amounts. 

How we’re operating during the COVID-19 pandemic

For now, we’re continuing to see clients virtually, but that hasn’t changed the way we do our consults. We miss seeing folks face-to-face, but we also respect that our client population and their families are often at higher risk for serious coronavirus complications. Most people prefer phone calls, though we can also set up secure, password-protected Zoom calls. We’re hoping to begin slowly reopening our office to clients in the near future, though we’ll always make client and staff safety our priority. 

Speak With an Atlanta Estate Planning Lawyer

At Nadler Biernath, we know estate planning isn’t the easiest thing to think about. However, we work hard to make the process simple for our clients. We have experience handling all aspects of estate planning, special needs law and elder care law. Call us today at 770-999-9799 to schedule your initial consultation to discuss how we can help your loved ones.

By | 2020-06-18T17:12:54+00:00 June 17th, 2020|Estate Plan|0 Comments

Advanced Directive for Health Care

Advanced Directive for Health Care

What is an advance directive?

For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic has made distant end-of-life scenarios suddenly feel less remote. Being faced with a known, widespread illness—one that often leaves people hospitalized apart from loved ones—makes expressing one’s wishes in writing feel more urgent than ever. 

Advance directives are one legal tool used to express those wishes now, taking the pressure off of family members. And while healthcare decisions related to the coronavirus are top of mind for many, an advance directive is really for anyone at any point in life.

What is an advance directive in Georgia?  

An advance directive is a state-specific document that appoints an agent to make health care decisions if you are unable to make them yourself and stating your preferences on the type of care you would like to receive at the end stages of your life. When these end of life care preferences are not dictated, doctors have a range of emergency treatments they draw on to keep patients alive, including the use of:

  • Ventilators
  • CPR
  • Tube feeding or intravenous fluids

How do you draft an advance directive? 

If you don’t already have an advance directive, begin by thinking about what’s most important to you in life and what type of care you’d want to receive. What are your priorities in regard to personal care? Does your faith dictate a certain type of end of life process? You may want to set up a virtual consultation with your family doctor in order to talk about any existing health risks you have. Think about health history and the end-of-life care relatives received. You may also wish to learn more about palliative care or comfort care.

Once you’ve thought through your choices, you should memorialize your wishes in an advance directive for healthcare. A lawyer is not required to execute an advance directive, but consulting with a lawyer will ensure that your advance directive reflects your wishes. After your documents are complete, you may wish to share a copy with your doctor to keep in your file. You’ll also want to speak with family members about your plans. 

Whatever you decide now, your document can be revisited as your values shift, your perspective on life changes or as you face a known disease or condition instead of a theoretical emergency. 

This is a difficult time for everyone right now, filled with stress and anxiety. But it’s also causing many people to think about what matters most to them. End-of-life care is deeply personal. We understand that, and we’re here to help. 

Speak With an Atlanta Estate Planning Lawyer

At Nadler Biernath, we’re happy to be able to support families as they navigate this ongoing crisis. We have experience handling all aspects of estate planning, special needs law and elder law. Call us today at 770-999-9799 to schedule your initial consultation (conducted virtually) to discuss how we can help your loved ones. Stay safe and healthy!

By | 2020-06-04T18:18:04+00:00 June 3rd, 2020|Estate Plan|0 Comments

Get Your Estate Planning in Order

Get Your Estate Planning in Order

With stay-at-home orders, dire predictions and story after story covering the unsettling present, this is an undeniably stressful time—one that can easily send thoughts off on a “what if” trajectory of worst case scenarios. But it’s also a time to reassess what’s most important to us. To simplify what we can and protect those we most care about. To that end, many people are thinking about estate planning more seriously than they ever have before.

Of course, estate planning is always important, with or without a pandemic in the picture. That’s because estate planning doesn’t just address your financial assets. It also covers guardianship for minor or incapacitated children, planning for the possibility that you may become incapacitation, and making potential end-of-life care decisions.

Here are some planning documents you’ll want to consider including in your estate planning:

  • Financial Power of Attorney: This document appoints a financial agent – someone who can handle your finances on your behalf. The document also allows you to pick and choose specific powers to grant to your agent. If you’re hospitalized and in serious condition, your financial power of attorney could allow your agent to pay your bills, address retirement benefits, file taxes, and address other financial needs.
  • Advance Directive for Healthcare: This document combines the “power of attorney” and “living will” decisions. In the Advance Directive, you appoint a healthcare agent – someone to make medical decisions on your behalf, if you’re unable to do so. You may also share your wishes regarding life-sustaining interventions, taking the burden off your family members.
  • Last Will and Testament: This will detail how you want any assets held in your name to be distributed after your passing. You will also name an executor. If you have minor children, you’ll nominate a guardian for them if you pass away along with their other parent.
  • Revocable Trust: While a trust is not necessary for everyone, some clients will want to establish one. Trusts can be particularly important for clients with minor or special needs children, those who own out-of-state property, and those considering long-term care planning.

Wills must be witnessed and notarized to be valid. This April, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, Georgia’s governor issued an executive order allowing remote witnessing and notarization of documents. The executive order, only in effect during this crisis, provides safeguards to be sure document signings are witnessed and notarized properly.

After creating your estate plan, it’s a good idea to make your wishes known to family members and keep your documents in a safe location. You’ll also want to list your financial accounts and online passwords (in a safe place), as well as any wishes you have regarding social media accounts, email accounts or personal correspondence.

Considering worst case and end of life scenarios is tough, but we try to make it as painless as possible. Creating a trust or last will and testament is a gift to give your family, and we’re ready to help you get started.

Speak With an Atlanta Estate Planning Lawyer

Planning is more important than ever right now. At Nadler Biernath, we’re happy to be able to support families as they navigate this ongoing crisis. We have experience handling all aspects of estate planning, special needs law and elder law. Call us today at 770-999-9799 to schedule your initial consultation (conducted virtually) to discuss how we can help your loved ones. Stay safe and healthy!

By | 2020-04-14T14:01:39+00:00 April 14th, 2020|Estate Plan|0 Comments

Super Lawyers 2020 Recognize Laura Akins and Heather Nadler!

The attorneys at Nadler Biernath are pleased to announce that Associate Attorney Laura Akins has been recognized as 2020 Rising Star on the Georgia Super Lawyers list. Partner Heather Nadler has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer—a designation she’s earned since 2015. Both Laura and Heather were recognized in the field of Elder Law.

Each year, Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters company, evaluates attorneys from across the United States for an annual roundup of top lawyers. Super Lawyers features attorneys from more than 70 practice areas. The multiphase selection process draws on peer nominations and evaluations, as well as independent research.

The Rising Stars list devotes particular attention to lawyers who are 40 years old or younger, or who have been in practice for fewer than 10 years. Only 2.5 percent of lawyers who practice in Georgia are honored as Rising Stars.

Congratulations to Laura and Heather from the entire team!

About Nadler Biernath

Nadler Biernath is a law practice dedicated to the planning needs of senior citizens and individuals with special needs. Nadler Biernath assists clients in the Atlanta area and throughout Georgia. Contact us today for a free consultation.

 

By | 2020-02-14T14:27:20+00:00 February 13th, 2020|Estate Plan, Latest News and Events|0 Comments

Estate Planning For Families With A Special Needs Child Business Radio X

Estate Planning For Families With A Special Needs Child Business Radio X

Nadler Biernath attorney Kim Martin had the privilege of appearing on Gaslowitz Frankel’s Wealth Matters radio show, discussing how to estate plan when you have a special needs child. It was a great conversation, and if you weren’t able to listen live, you can watch the show on YouTube, or listen through Business Radio X’s website. Click to view the video on YouTube below, and be sure to read more on our FAQ’s page and within the Special Needs Planning Section of our website.

 

Spread The Word To End The Word

Community Leaders from Best Buddies and the Special Olympics have combined to create a campaign to end the use of the word “retard”. March 7, 2012 marked the day to stop using the r-word in any form of speech including medical terminology.

The website, www.r-word.org, describes how the terms “medical retardation” and “mental retardation” began as medical terminology with specific clinical connotation but those words have shifted into every day conversation with a hurtful meaning. Using the r-word to individuals with disabilities or their families and friends has lasting effects.

The efforts of the campaign have made some incredible progress. The American Medical Association has announced that they recommend “editorial revisions” to certain medical documents by deleting the term “mentally retarded” and inserting “individuals with intellectual disabilities”. Even though the revisions have to be approved, it is still a positive step toward erasing the r-word from our vocabulary.

For more information including articles and videos or if you would like to make the pledge to stop using the r-word visit the organization’s website at: www.r-word.com.

This blog entry serves as educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

By | 2020-04-15T21:39:26+00:00 March 13th, 2012|Estate Plan, Latest News and Events, Special Needs Trusts|0 Comments

Misappropriating Trust Funds

There are serious consequences if a trustee misappropriates trust funds.

An example of this recently occurred in Port St. Lucie, Florida. John Morgan was arrested on a grand theft charge for reportedly stealing more than $40,000 from his adult daughter’s special needs trust fund. His daughter, Sandra Morgan, who suffers from cerebral palsy and lives in a group home, was awarded $65,000 from a settlement due to a wheel chair accident that resulted in injury. Reports indicate that Morgan spent the money on personal items such as bills and purchasing a new car. Police said Morgan spent a total of $40,966.56 of his daughter’s money for his personal benefit.

For full story link here.

This blog entry serves as educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

By | 2020-04-15T21:40:58+00:00 February 7th, 2012|Estate Plan, Latest News and Events, Special Needs Trusts|0 Comments

Do I Have An Estate Plan?

Did you know that every single person has an estate plan!

The State creates an Estate plan for you. Below is outlined what the State creates for every one:

  • If you are married and have one child, 1/2 to your spouse and 1/2 to your child.
  • If you have more than one child, 1/3 to your spouse, and 2/3 to your children equally.
  • If you are not married but have children, equally to your children.

This plan is not ideal for every individual because many families today are blended, including second marriages or children from past relationships. If an individual uses just the estate plan the State executes then assets may not be divided properly within the blended families. This is why an estate plan tailored to the individual is essential!

This blog entry serves as educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

By | 2020-04-15T21:41:17+00:00 November 28th, 2011|Estate Plan, Latest News and Events|0 Comments