Happy Thanksgiving from Hope Health Advocacy! We'd like to extend a big thank you to both our new and existing clients for helping us grow and share in the mission of HHA this year.We believe no one should have to face the healthcare system alone. Dealing with multiple healthcare providers and insurance companies can become stressful, especially during a major health event. We are here to help you more easily navigate the healthcare system. We can coordinate care and appointments, assist you in making decisions by providing helpful resources, review and optimize medications, and assist with some insurance issues.If you feel like all of your Googling is getting you nowhere, you've come to the right place. Taking care of your or a loved one's health is stressful enough. Add in communication breakdowns, insurance companies, and complicated medication issues, and you have a fast pass to a meltdown.Wondering if a patient advocate can help? Book a discovery call here today!We wish everyone a great start to the holiday season! Be safe and stay healthy!
In 2012, at the age of 77, my mother passed away unexpectedly. We had just helped her move from St. George to South Jordan, Utah, where she could be closer to her children and grandchildren. Being that her mother had lived a relatively healthy life for nearly 102 years, we thought Mom would be around for a while longer. Twas not to be.None of us has an expiration date stamped on our label but that day is inevitable. Though the timing of Moms death was a saddening surprise for us, some important preparations, fortunately, had been made. There were a will and a trust. An executor and a trustee had been named. The new home was transferred by quitclaim to, and other assets put in the trust. Assets could be managed and distributed to the beneficiaries, money could be accessed, expenses paid, and, most helpful of all from my perspective, probate avoided.As a trustee, I had authority to, among other things, contract with a realtor and sell the home, receive all income in respect of the decedent, and retain a CPA to file the final income tax return. All the companies and people I dealt with as trustee were very kind and considerate, but everyone expected to be paid any amounts due, including and particularly the IRS.Recent events witnessed and reported reinforce the need to prepare. At a minimum, you ought to have a will, especially if you have young children. Through a will you appoint a guardian to care for your kids if you are gone. Choosing one is, of course, a very consequential decision. You should consider parties who love your kids and are willing and able to do the task. When nominating a guardian, it is not required to have only one person. Co-guardianships are commonly drafted. Also, the guardian does not necessarily have to or want to manage the money you leave behind. It is a matter of personal preference but structuring your estate so that the trustee manages the money, and the guardian manages the kids can be advantageous for everyone involved.If you own a home, at a minimum you should have a living trust. Then the home does NOT have to go through the probate process upon your death. Probate is not always time-consuming and expensive, but it will be longer and more expensive than setting up a living trust now and putting your home in it (and it is all private)! Like I was able to do for my mothers estate when you pass away the trustee can continue managing the home while determining how and when to sell the property. You can preserve more of the homes value by eliminating the need for a fire sale. I kept the house in the trust for a few months until Spring approached and then sold for a very reasonable price.I am grateful to my mother for a thousand things, one of which is that she had her attorney-son draft a will and trust for her (at a terrific friends and family discount!) I estimate we saved at least $5,000 in court costs, attorneys fees, and other related expenses, and probably four- or five-months' time, by having a living trust.So, ask yourself a few simple questions. Have you done what you can to lessen the pain and problems that will come for your family upon your passing? Will property flow how you want it to and to the people you want it to? Will your personal affairs remain private? Will your loved ones know your wishes? Will your minor or special- needs kids to have someone to care for them?Are you ready?
#1 Act as a Disability Plan. A revocable trust provides protection during three phases: what happens while the trust maker is alive and well, what happens if the trust maker is alive but not so well, and what happens after the trust maker dies. Its during the second phase that trust really outshines a will if the trust maker becomes incapacitated, the disability trustee can step in and take care of things immediately and without court intervention. This keeps the trust property under the control of a trusted family member or friend instead of a guardianship judge. #2 Keep Assets Outside of Probate. Probate is a time-consuming and costly court-supervised public process. A will-focused estate plan lands heirs squarely in probate court. A trust-focused estate plan allows the settlement trustee to step in and carry out the trust makers final wishes without any court involvement or oversight. #3 Keep a Minors Inheritance Outside of Guardianship. A minor who is named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, IRA, or payable-on-death account will require a court-appointed guardian to manage the property until 18. On the other hand, a trust for the minor can be created in a revocable trust and named as the beneficiary of the policy or account. This allows the client to decide how long the trust will continue age 25 or 30, or even the beneficiarys lifetime not just until 18. #4 Keep Final Wishes Private. A will filed for probate becomes a public court record, which means anyone, including predators and your competitors, can go down to the local probate court and read wills and other probate documents. On the other hand, a revocable trust is a private document that remains confidential during life and after death.
At Sharek Law Firm we dont just draft documents. We ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Life and Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than youve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love.I cherish the opportunity to help secure what you love. I look forward to learning your story, hearing what matters to you, and helping you to discover what's actually needed to keep your loved ones out of court and out of conflict when something happens to you (or them). We specialize in creating wills and trusts to achieve your goals, whether you're located in Pittsburgh or outside of Western PA, we are here to help all Pennsylvania residents.Our law firm was built with your needs of in mind. We understand you are BUSY, and you value ease, convenience, and efficiency. You want to know youve made the best decisions to protect your family and assets, and that your plan will work when your loved ones need it most. We also help make sure your adult children are properly prepared to care for you and what you leave behind.Weve developed unique systems to give you the same access to legal planning as was previously only available to the super-wealthy, so you can have the guidance you need to build and maintain a life of prosperity and wealth. And, to keep your family out of court and out of conflict, which is the greatest risk to the people you love and all you have created, even if youve already worked with a traditional lawyer or created documents online. Contact us to get started today!