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Preparing Your Will – The Initial Consultation

This edition of the Koldin Law Center E-Newsletter is part of a series about the role of an Elder Law Attorney. In this newsletter we discuss the planning process for preparing your Last Will and Testament.

All prior newsletters are saved on our website. You can read them by clicking here.

The Koldin Law Center, P.C. limits its practice to the specific field of Elder Law which includes estate planning and Medicaid law.

When you go to the doctor, you will either see a primary care physician or you will see a specialist. The primary care physician handles general medical conditions and the specialist focuses on a specific area of treatment.

The practice of law is similar. Some attorneys have a general practice to handle a variety of client needs. Some attorneys focus their practice in a specific field.

The Koldin Law Center, P.C. limits its practice to the specific field of Elder Law. We have a “primary” estate planning practice component as well as a “focused” Medicaid law component.

At the Koldin Law Center, P.C., some of our clients meet with us to discuss their general estate planning needs, such as a Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Proxy.

The previous newsletter in this series discussed the Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy. In this newsletter we compare how a general attorney would most likely handle preparing a Will versus how an Elder Law attorney would likely handle the initial client consultation discussion regarding preparing a Will.

Example:  Tom and Mary Jones are married. They are 75 years old. They have never met with an attorney before. They have 2 children, Jim and Jan, ages 45 and 50. Jim does not have any children. Jan has 3 children.

Typical Consultation with Family Attorney

Family attorney (general practice attorney) would typically ask the client to verbally explain in simple English how they want to leave their life savings at the time of death.

Tom and Mary tell the attorney that they want to leave everything to each other then to their children equally.

The attorney would then ask where a child’s half would go if that child predeceased Tom and Mary.

Tom and Mary tell the attorney that they would want it to go to that child’s children, if any, otherwise to the other surviving child.

The attorney would then ask who should be the Executor. This is the person or people who carry out the terms of the Will and submit it to Probate Court after your death.

Tom and Mary tell the attorney to appoint each other first as Executor and then the 2 children as co-alternate Executors.

The family attorney would then most likely prepare the Will as requested and then handle the signing of the Will with the client.

Typical Will Consultation with an Elder Law Attorney

The same questions and answers as the family attorney would be the start of the consultation, but the Elder Law attorney would typically continue the consultation with a discussion of additional long term planning that the client may want to consider both as part of the Will and as part of alternatives to the Will.

In addition to discussing the beneficiaries of your Will, the initial consultation at the Koldin Law Center would typically discuss:

  1. Options to avoid or minimize the need to Probate the Will
  2. Discuss if there are any special provisions that need to be included in the estate plan such as for family members with health issues or disability
  3. Accidentally disinheriting children and grandchildren
  4. Second Marriage complications
  5. Explain that a Will does not protect assets in the event of a long term illness and what planning can be done to accomplish protecting your life savings from the costs of long term care such as nursing home care.

The next newsletters in this series will expand on these areas of discussion during the initial consultation.

For more information about a Last Will and Testament, please visit our website by clicking here.

At the Koldin Law Center, P.C., located in East Syracuse, New York, we have over 50 years of experience helping individuals plan for immediate crisis and long term care. Our attorneys are available to discuss your estate planning options, including the advantages and disadvantages of Revocable Trusts and Irrevocable Trusts, along with other estate planning considerations including a Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Proxy.

When the Koldin Law Center, P.C. handles a Medicaid case, we not only handle the entire application process, but we also review asset protection options with our clients. We review with our clients who are already in a Nursing Home options to protect some or all of their assets beyond merely establishing Medicaid eligibility.

We do not charge a fee for the initial consultation. We welcome your children, family attorney, accountant, and/or financial planner to be present at the initial consultation.

There is something you can do.

Our Attorneys are available to speak to your organization

Our Attorneys speak to groups throughout New York State as a public service. If you would like to arrange for one of our Attorneys to speak to your group, please contact our office.

We appreciate your referrals

We have been told by many clients who are in a crisis that they wish they had known about our firm much sooner. We are proud of the many families we have helped in times of crisis.

We are also proud of the many families we helped avoid financial crisis by doing estate planning in advance.

We all share the responsibility for making our family and friends aware of the planning options available to them.

Your referral to the Koldin Law Center could make a major difference in the lives of your family and friends if they are someday faced with a long term illness.

Remember that the Koldin Law Center offers many services for clients of all ages. Our services range from basic estate planning such as a simple will to complex estate planning including asset preservation planning.


E - Newsletter

Practice Areas

Basic Estate Planning

Trust Planning

Medicaid Planning And MedicaidApplications

Planning For Individuals With Disabilities

Probate And EstateAdministration