Do you have assets that you want to go to certain people when you die? Do you have children? Are you certain everyone knows who you would want caring for them and their money if you were to die before they reach adulthood? Many issues can only be addressed by a will, properly prepared to be compliant with Maine law.
Do you have significant assets that you want to protect from estate taxes? Do you want to set some of your assets aside for the benefit of a loved one? Do you want to avoid having at least some (or perhaps most) of your estate pass to your loved ones without going through the (very public) probate process? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, perhaps a trust would be a logical part of your estate plan.
Power of Attorney
Have you ever wanted to have someone else take care of a financial transaction for you, if only for convenience? What if you became incapacitated (if only temporarily) right when you were supposed to be handling a major transaction, such as the sale of a house? Wouldn’t it be convenient and reassuring to have a document that authorizes a trusted person to take care of such things for you when you’re not able? If you think so, perhaps you would benefit from signing a Power of Attorney, properly prepared to comply with Maine law.
Advance Health Care Directives (aka, Living Wills)
If you were injured and unconscious and your health care providers needed someone else to make a major medical decision for you, would you loved ones know what you would want done? Do you know whether the “statutory surrogates” for such situations would be the person you would want making those decisions? Advanced Health Care Directives can be used to designate a specific surrogate and to guide them as to what you would want.
Funeral and Burial Issues
Do all of your loved ones know what you want for a funeral and burial? Wouldn’t it be best to have these wishes written down?
MaineCare/Long Term Care Planning
Are you concerned that you won’t be able to afford long term care once you need it? Are you worried that you may not qualify for MaineCare (Medicaid) coverage of long term care because of too many assets? Don’t get caught by Byzantine MaineCare rules; get legal advice before making any decision based on what you’ve heard about MaineCare.
Social Security and Retirement Planning
Unsure when start drawing Social Security benefits? Have you heard about ways to maximize your benefits in the long run? Just as with MaineCare, it can be easy to do the wrong thing when it comes to Social Security benefits, and the difference can be in the realm of tens of thousands of dollars.
Have you been given a denial of services that you don’t think was right? Often involving a lawyer in your dealings with Medicare can clear things up more quickly and effectively than trying to deal with them on your own.
Private Pension Issues
Are you unsure of what rights you have under your employer’s retirement plan?
Special Needs Trusts
Do you have a child with special needs? Are you concerned that that child’s public benefits would be at risk if she or he were to inherit your assets outright? If so, perhaps you would be interested in setting up a Special Needs Trust, or including one in your will.
Has a loved one lost the capacity to make his or her own decisions? Is a child of yours with a severe cognitive disability approaching the age of majority? Perhaps you or someone you trust would like help filing a petition for guardianship to help your loved one manage their legal affairs.
Is a loved one unable to handle his or her own finances? Perhaps you would like help filing a petition for conservatorship to take over responsibility for your loved one’s financial affairs.
Were you named as the Personal Representative of an estate (f.k.a., Executor/Executrix) in the will of someone who has recently died? Are you the beneficiary or creditor of an estate of someone who died without a will? Eccher Law, LLC, can help with probating an estate.
Are you acting in the role of parent for a grandchild? Is a custodial parent of your grandchild acting in that child’s best interests? Perhaps you would benefit from consulting a lawyer with experience in probate practice about guardianship.
Protection from Abuse/Harassment (Plaintiff or Defendant)
Are you in fear of someone hurting you? Has someone accused you of hurting or threatening them and filed a PFA or PHA complaint? Having a lawyer guide you through this process can be a big help in proving your side of the case.
Do you have a tenant who isn’t paying rent? Broken the lease? Eccher Law, LLC, can help you navigate the intricacies of the Forcible Entry and Detainer (aka, eviction) process.