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Kathleen Scott Chasar PA
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What is a health care proxy? That’s a legal document in which you appoint a person to make medical decisions for you in the event you cannot. That person – who can be a relative or trusted friend – can ensure that any end-of-life medical care follows your personal preferences.

What is an executor? That is the person who pays your debts and taxes on your estate and collects your property and divides it among your beneficiaries – if there is a will. If you did not select an executor, the court will make that decision for you and it may not be someone you would have chosen.

What is “maintenance” in a divorce case? Your family lawyer can offer more details, but maintenance is simply another term for alimony. Most states allow temporary maintenance during the divorce as well as permanent maintenance. There are many factors that are considered, including how the couple lived during the marriage and the ability of either the husband or wife to pay maintenance.

Have you been hesitant to seek the counsel of an elder law attorney because you aren’t sure whether we can help with your legal needs? Remember, if you’re a senior citizen, it’s likely that an elder law attorney is exactly the right person to speak with.

Did you know that you can be the trustee of your own trust? Most people choose to do this when they set up a living trust, as long as they're able to manage their own affairs. You will still have access to your assets and be able to manage them as you wish.

Experts agree that clear communication about your inheritance beforehand with your heirs can help prevent disputes or confusion later on. Talk about your intentions with everyone concerned so they know exactly what to expect.

Did you know that taking the time to create an estate plan now can spare your loved ones a protracted legal battle? Even if your family isn't the sort to fight over your assets, the lack of a will can make settling an estate difficult in some states.

Did you know that by establishing an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust through an estate attorney, you can help yourself to evade up to a 55 percent tax? That's right, life insurance policies that are not Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust policies can be subject to significant estate tax otherwise.

Did you know that by having a trust drawn up you can avoid probate? All of your assets, titled in your name, will be subject to probate when you die. Your estate attorney can help you to title your assets in the name of the trust (not your name) and therefore avoid unnecessary probate.

These days, alimony is more often referred to as maintenance or spousal support. Payments are usually tax deductible and need to be included in the payee’s taxable income. These can be set up either in periodic payments or as a lump sum as part of a divorce agreement.
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