What is estate planning, and why should I do it?

One of the most beneficial actions you can take at any stage of your life is to plan for your future and the security of your family once you are no longer here. Estate planning involves discussing your preferences and goals for your financial future, your healthcare treatments, and the division of your property among your beneficiaries once you pass on. It is important to work with an estate planning attorney to understand your options and decide how you would like your wishes to be documented. Once you have put these important pieces in place, you can breathe easier knowing that the future of you and your loved ones enjoys greater protections.

What is a special needs trust?

A special needs trust is designed to benefit individuals under age 65 who have been found to be permanently disabled. The trustee manages the finances or property in the trust that are specifically allocated to the beneficiary. For beneficiaries with special needs who qualify for government assistance, setting up a special needs trust is intended to allow the beneficiary to continue to receive these benefits while having a source of funds to be used for items that can enhance his or her quality of life. It can hold an inheritance upon the death of a family member without jeopardizing certain government benefits. Without a special needs trust, the beneficiary could become disqualified from government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid if he or she receives funds from a personal injury settlement, inheritance, or other source.

How do I apply for Medicaid?

Currently, there are three ways that an individual can apply for Medicaid. You may apply online, in person, or via mail. Since the process can be difficult and somewhat confusing, it is helpful to consult an experienced legal professional who can guide you through the process. Working with someone who can explain all of your options and complete the necessary documents with you is incredibly beneficial. Call (216) 283-0905 today to receive the help you need.

What is probate?

When a person passes away, they may have an estate, including any property and financial assets, that must be probated in court. During the probate period, any outstanding debts or taxes the decedent left are paid, and the remaining assets are distributed among the beneficiaries in accordance with the instructions in the will. If there is no will, distributions are made according to Ohio law. During the process, an executor or estate administrator is appointed to oversee the payment of the debts and taxes, as well as the distribution of the estate.


For more answers to your questions regarding estate planning, Medicaid applications, and probate administration, contact Sandra J. Buzney Co., LPA in Northeastern Ohio today at (216) 283-0905.