When you think of a Northern Michigan elder law attorney, you likely think of someone who helps senior citizens to make a will. The reality is, will creation is just a very small part of what an elder law and estate planning attorney does to help clients. Many of the services that an elder law lawyer provides are actually very important services to young people.
Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle has helped many young singles, couples and families to create the types of legal documents and tools that will help them and their loved ones to achieve a more secure future. Some of the key ways that a Northern Michigan elder law attorney at our firm can assist you include the following.
Making plans for what happens to babies (or pets) if something happens to you
When you are young, you may have young children who are not yet 18 and able to care for themselves. If this is the case, you need to make plans for their care if you become incapacitated or pass away. You should name a guardian for your children so you control who cares for them if neither parent is able to as a result of untimely deaths or a serious disabling condition.
You should also address how best to provide financially for a child if you are not able to do because you have become incapacitated or passed away. Often, the creation of a trust is important so there is money for a guardian to provide for a child and so an 18-year-old isn’t handed a large inheritance without any conditions.
If you do not have children but you do have pets, you should also name a guardian for your animals and provide for their care. An experienced attorney can help with making a pet plan as well.
Establishing financial goals and taking advantage of tax-advantaged investments
When you are young, it is the perfect time to begin saving for important financial goals. The magic of time is working on your side, as you can put away relatively small amounts of money and watch it grow substantially over time due to compound interest on the investment. It is much easier to save enough for a comfortable retirement if you start when you are as young as possible, so talk with an experienced attorney about how much you should be setting aside and how you can set realistic financial goals that will allow you to put money to good use.
An experienced attorney can also help you to understand the types of accounts that give you a tax break for your investments. For example, 401(k)s and traditional IRAs both allow you to put money into accounts pre-tax, which means you are not taxed on the funds invested so you get a break from Uncle Sam. However, you’ll be taxed when money is taken out. Roth IRAs work differently because you invest with after tax funds and you then pay no taxes on gains as long as you follow specific requirements like leaving your account open for at least five years without any withdrawals.
With help from an experienced attorney, you can decide what types of accounts will provide the best tax benefits for your situation and can find out how to maximize your tax-advantaged investing strategy to make it easier to save for retirement.
Protecting assets from potential sources of loss
As you move through your life, there are many potential sources of loss. Our legal team can help you to identify the types of risks that you are most likely to face that could affect your nest egg you have worked so hard to grow.
Divorce, creditor claims, estate tax after you pass away, and claims made against a business you start are all some of the potential reasons why you could end up losing out on money that you are saving for your future.
Our legal team will assist you in understanding different types of asset protection strategies, including trust creation, which could help legally keep you wealth as safe as possible both now and in the future.
Contact a Northern Michigan Elder Law Attorney Today
Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle helps people of all ages to create the most security they can for themselves and for their loved ones. To find out more about how a Northern Michigan elder law attorney at our firm can assist you in providing for your family and protecting your own future – whether you are young or old – give us a call at (989) 872-5601 or contact us online today.