At LifePLan Nebraska we offer a variety of different Last Will and Testaments depending on your personal preferences and your goals for your family's future after you are gone. Want to learn more about the differences between estate planning documents? Be sure to check out our comparison chart!
Power of Attorney
When a loved one passes away with just a will, or no estate plan at all, their families have to put the estate through a process called “probate.” We are often asked to help families go through this process and we meet a lot of new clients for the first time helping them with the estate of a deceased family member. (Most of those families choose to do comprehensive planning with our law firm after having gone through the process once with a loved one.)
No two probates are ever the same, however, all of them involve locating the Will and/or making a filing with the probate court. Once the Will has been accepted, a personal representative is appointed. Then all of the heirs will need to be formally sent notice (in writing), where they will have the opportunity to review the Will and make any appropriate challenges or contests.
Next, the assets will be gathered and the liabilities (debts and taxes) will be paid. Finally, the remaining assets can be distributed in accordance with the Will or intestacy. While many assets will pass through probate, some assets, like life insurance and retirement accounts, will pass directly to the named beneficiary. Other kinds of assets, like those held in joint tenancy, will pass directly to the other joint tenant. The important thing to remember is that all of these assets are counted as “part of the estate” for purposes of calculating whether taxes are due and/or as part of any existing or future Medicaid applications. You should be aware that estates over a certain threshold have to be probated, whether they are “taxable” or not.
As your trusted adviser, we can help you navigate this process, as you prepare to move on with life. If a loved one has recently passed away and you would like a no-cost confidential consultation, to discuss the next steps, please call our office to schedule a meeting.
Unfortunately, not all of our clients come to us to do their planning before a crisis develops. Sometimes, we meet family members of a mentally-declining individual where the only solution is a court-driven application for guardianship over the incapacitated individual. The process is more expensive and time-consuming than planning for disability by way of a comprehensive, estate plan. However, we can still help guide these families through the process.
There are two types of guardians that a court can appoint, a Guardian of the Person and a Guardian of the Property. The Guardian of the Person makes personal and medical decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual. The Guardian of the Property handles financial decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual. Depending on the circumstances, the court may appoint the same person, or different people, to serve in these roles.
If you are interested in learning more about how to avoid a guardianship proceeding, call our office for a no-cost, confidential consultation. If the individual in question still has moments of lucidity, there may be a chance to avoid a hearing. If not, we can help navigate you through a guardianship application so you can take care of your loved one during this emotional time.
Either way, give us a call to learn what can be done.
A trust is one of the most powerful tools in an estate planner's toolbox. When properly designed and adequately funded, they can accomplish a wide range of goals. Many people believe that once they have created a trust and funded it, the trust will simply go into effect automatically when the time comes. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Trusts must be properly administered to ensure that the trustmaker's wishes are carried out.
At LifePlan Nebraska, most of our estate administration clients are our estate planning clients. However, there are also times when someone has a plan drafted by another attorney, and when it comes time to administer that plan, they would like some help. That's where we come in. We help make a complex process simple, easy, and worry-free.
Our role is to represent the executor or trustee in the administration of a decedent's estate. When a loved one passes away with a trust in place (or one created under a will), there are number of steps that need to be taken for proper administration of the estate. These steps include filings with the court, state taxing authorities, and the Internal Revenue Service.
In addition, certain people need to be notified in accordance with law. After that, the executor is responsible for opening bank accounts, settling creditor claims, paying the final expenses of the decedent, arranging for the sale of assets – all the while, proper accounting needs to be maintained and provided to the beneficiaries.
Given that failure to properly administer a trust can have serious financial and legal consequences for the trustee or executor, the decision to serve in this capacity should not be taken lightly. If you have been asked to do so, we can explain the risks in clear, easy-to-understand language. If you decide not to accept the role of trustee or executor, we can help you select the appropriate person or persons. If you wish to serve as trustee or executor, we can offer guidance and peace-of-mind that you're taking the right steps in the right order. In addition, we welcome the opportunity to work closely with any of your existing personal representatives and other fiduciaries to ensure the directives of the trust are carried out appropriately.
Call us to schedule a consultation to learn how we can guide you through this difficult time in your life.
In Nebraska, Workers' Compensation is designed to provide certain benefits to employees who sustain injury by accident or occupational disease arising out of and in the course of their employment, and who are not willfully negligent at the time of the injury.
It is NOT unemployment compensation, Social Security disability benefits, health and accident insurance, or other disability benefit plans provided by the employer.
The Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act, found at Section 48-101 to Section 48-1,118 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes, is the exclusive remedy of the injured employee if the employer has satisfied its legal obligation to secure payment of compensation under the act. Typically this is done by obtaining a workers' compensation insurance policy.
In exchange for the right to receive workers' compensation benefits from the employer, an employee forfeits his or her right to file a civil action against the employer for damages for work-related injuries or illnesses.
Small Business Planning
Let LifePlan Nebraska help you to determine which business entity you should enter into and to help you with the succession planning of your business. There are many advantages and disadvantages of starting any of the following, but we can help figure out which works the best in your individual situation.