When clients and their families come to us for the first time, they understandably have plenty of questions — not just about ensuring their wishes are known and families protected but also about legal terms they simply are not used to. For example, what is the difference between elder law and estate planning? It is easy for someone who is new to our world of strategically putting affairs in order, letting wishes be known, and planning for the future to assume these two practice areas are one and the same.
While there is indeed a bit of overlap, there are distinct differences between elder law and estate planning that you should be aware of.
What Is Estate Planning?
When the topic of estate planning comes up, many people assume incorrectly that the conversation does not apply to them. They hear “estate” and think we are talking only to the rich people in the room. Yes, wealthy families and individuals who are retired have detailed estate planning strategies in place (or at least they should). But you have an estate, too. We all do. In our world, “estate” refers to everything you own—no matter how much money or stuff is included or how old you are. Having a carefully crafted plan in place before you die that goes beyond a “who gets what” set of instructions and includes plans for illnesses, death, and incapacitation is a conversation you should have sooner rather than later.
Estate planning puts your affairs in order so that you have peace of mind knowing your loved ones can carry out your wishes once you are gone. This can include key decisions related to:
- Last Will and Testament
- Power of Attorney
- Healthcare directives
- Probate avoidance
- Tax planning
- Charitable giving
- And so much more …
What Is Elder Law?
As Americans live longer, the area of practice known as elder law has become ever more important when dealing with the issues that affect the growing aging population. Our goal is to help you keep more of your lifetime savings, protect the family home or farm, and make sure every worst-case scenario is accounted for in your planning or taking care of your loved ones. Our elder law practice includes helping people with the following:
- Protecting Assets if you need 24 hour nursing care
- Medicaid planning
- Estate planning
- Veteran’s benefits planning
- Miller Trusts & Qualified Income Trusts
- End-of-life planning
- Supplemental & Special Needs Trusts
- Long-Term Care Planning
Call Leigh Hilton, PLLC Today!
At Leigh Hilton PLLC in Denton, TX, we help individuals and families understand the importance of estate planning AND elder law and create a unique plan to pass their wealth, wisdom, and values to loved ones in the most efficient way possible. By working with us, you can be confident that your estate plan will be current, take advantage of the latest planning opportunities, and address your goals using an approach that makes sense to you and a strategy that you can be confident in.
Leigh Hilton, PLLC, wants to be your first call every time for any estate planning need. We look forward to serving you.