Davis & Boyd Law Firm focuses on the following Practice Areas
Regardless of the size of your estate, proper planning is essential. Although the process can be emotional, it will give you and your family peace of mind knowing your affairs are in order and your wishes will be carried out. Along with typical estate planning documents, such as wills, revocable living trusts, general powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and living wills, estate planning may also involve more comprehensive planning documents, such as qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT), charitable remainder and lead trusts (CRT), inter vivos qualified terminable interest trusts (QTIP), and IRA inheritance trusts. Estate planning also includes asset protection through irrevocable trusts and entities that help shield assets from creditors. We continue to work with counsel in Nevada to provide our clients with benefits from certain special asset protection laws that have been enacted in that state. We have also worked with counsel in Delaware with regard to asset protection.
Elder law is similar to estate planning in that it normally involves the execution of the typical estate planning documents. However, elder law goes further than estate planning when it comes to counseling clients on the best ways to work through the issues of aging spouses and parents. Having a family member with a debilitating condition creates many difficult scenarios that need to be talked through and worked through. Oftentimes, effected clients are not able to come into the law office and will need someone to visit them either at home or in a facility. We understand the particular nuances that families face when they have someone going through these issues.
Whether it be for an elderly parent or spouse, or other family member, the family should work with a professional that understands the Medicaid laws, to determine if they are available and how to maximize them for the person in need. When there is time to pre-plan for benefits, Medicaid planning for folks over age 65 can include an irrevocable income only trust, and when benefits are needed immediately, Medicaid planning can include such things as a Medicaid complaint annuity, care agreement, fractional interest survivorship deed, along with working through the allowable spend down payments. We have specific experience working with the local and state Medicaid offices (known as the Department of Health and Human Services) to get clients qualified for benefits under the existing Medicaid laws. Medicaid planning for people under age 65 is generally referred to as special needs planning and is discussed in more detail below.
Most people that served our country in the military are not aware that they or their family may be eligible for certain benefits for long-term care. Planning for Veterans Administration (VA) benefits for long-term care is similar in a lot of ways to Medicaid planning for long-term care. However, there are differences between the two and your legal advisor needs to understand those differences. As a VA Accredited attorney, Bret Davis has learned what benefits are available and how best to get qualified to receive those benefits.
Special Needs Planning
Special needs planning typically involves Medicaid planning for people under age 65. Oftentimes, a person receives money from a court settlement or other source that could make them disqualified for benefits if they receive it in the own name. In those cases, it is important to consider setting up what we call a d(4)(A) trust (from 42 U.S.C. §1396p(d)(4)(A)). This type of trust is designed to hold and administer assets that belong to the disabled person. Another type of special needs trust is commonly referred to as a supplemental needs trust and that trust is designed to receive and administer assets from someone other than the disabled person. The difference between the two trusts is that the d(4)(A) trust is required to repay Medicaid after the disabled person dies, while a supplemental needs trust is not.
In addition to properly planning an estate, we also assist families with the often emotional process of administering the estate after death. Along with appreciating the difficult emotions that a family goes through when they lose a loved one, we also understand the particular tax and legal issues that are involved with estate administration. While the technical meaning of probate is to determine the validity of a person's last will and testament, it also includes the division and distribution of a person's assets either under the terms of the deceased person's will or trust, or under the intestacy laws of South Carolina if the person died without a will. We work diligently to ensure that estates are appropriately divided and distributed while easing the burden on grieving loved ones.
Guardians are appointed by the probate court to manage an incapacitated person's personal and custodial decisions, such as living arrangements, medical and health care decisions, and providing for the incapacitated person's physical comfort. We have assisted multiple clients with the process of having the court appoint a guardian for the incapacitated person.
Conservators are appointed by the probate court to manage the financial resources of an incapacitated person or minor. Conservatorships may be required if a minor is a devisee in someone's will and that person has not provided for a minor's trust in his or her will. In addition, a conservator may be a good choice when a person becomes disabled through an accident or other injury and receives a settlement award that needs to be placed in a trust. We have assisted multiple clients with the process of having the court appoint a conservator for the incapacitated person.
When planning for the future, it is important to consider any estate, gift, generation-skipping, and income tax issues that may exist. Costly tax issues can go undetected without the help of a trained tax professional. With our experience, we can help you work through these complicated matters.
Whether you have an established business or are looking to form a new entity, we can assist you. We have extensive experience in the formation of corporations and limited liability companies. We file the necessary documents with the Secretary of State, State Department of Revenue and the IRS. We prepare all documents necessary to operate your business, including but not limited to, minutes, bylaws, buy/sell agreements, operating agreements and stock certificates.
Our knowledgeable, dedicated attorneys and staff are ready to assist you in the often stressful and sometimes confusing process of buying and selling property. We offer a variety of services including residential and commercial transactions, 1031 like-kind exchanges, refinances, reverse mortgages and equity lines of credit. Our real estate services are designed to accommodate individuals, businesses and developers.