Who You Are
As a law firm dedicated to providing “Planning and Protection for Every Generation,” McCreary Law Office has clients whose families and lives cross all spectrums. Whether you are a young adult or closing in on a century of life, married or single, have children — young or old — or not, are retired or just starting out, McCreary Law Office can work with you in designing a plan tailored to your individual needs.
Parents of Young Children
Making sure your children are protected in the case of your death or incapacity takes special care and attention. Naming temporary and lasting guardians, putting in place solid “in case of emergency” plans, and protecting any inheritance to provide for your children over time are some of the special circumstances that arise in working with parents of young children. Using carefully drafted trust language in these estate plans is critical in providing that protection.
The single parent has a particular challenge in estate planning because we skip the step of “to my spouse” on death. If your children’s other parent is still living, then guardianship might be automatic. But we should still put a plan in place for your preferred guardian — especially temporary guardians — in case something happens to you. Especially important is naming someone to oversee any inheritance: your child’s other parent does not have to be in charge of that money. For example, you can name your child’s grandparent, aunt, uncle, godparent, or a family friend to oversee those funds until your child has the maturity to manage it herself.
Parents of Adult Children
After your children become adults, planning for them shifts from focusing on guardianship in case of your death or incapacity to determining when to involve them as agents in your plan and in protecting potential inheritances. Depending on you and your family members’ situations, we often use trust language to protect an inheritance. This trust language can adjust as your children continue to mature. Special situations exist, though, when families address challenges such as addiction, divorce, and disinheritance. McCreary Law Office has worked with all of those situations and understands the need to make each plan unique to each family.
McCreary Law Office also offers special packages for adult children of current and past clients as those adult children transition from their parents’ homes into independence.
Blended families need special attention to plan for the complexities that arise when joining families with children, whether those children are young or grown. Whether the focus is on how to provide for one or multiple sets of children, how to protect assets that were brought to the marriage, or a combination of these, care should be taken to make sure your goals are prioritized.
A lot of adults are not married and do not have children. When your family is not made up of a spouse and children or grandchildren, choosing who will inherit your property and, of utmost importance, who will make decisions for you in the case of incapacity might require creative solutions.
Not everyone who wants to spend life with someone else decides to get married. When you are not married, though, the law does not provide for your partner either regarding inheritance or in putting your life partner at the head of the line to help you with decisions in case of incapacity. And domestic partnerships that are used for insurance purposes do not cover incapacity or inheritance either. Putting a plan in place that specifies your preferences and makes your wishes clear is especially important.
Whether planning for grandchildren’s education, continuing on a charitable goal, or trying to figure out paying for long-term care, the concerns of senior citizens are often unique.In addition to her estate planning experience, having worked in social services for almost a decade before becoming an estate planning attorney and practicing elder law in Florida, Jana McCreary is well positioned to address all of these concerns.
When you own a small business, planning for incapacity and death often requires unique tools. Jana McCreary has seen first-hand the problems that arise when this planning is not done, so she is committed to working with clients and their professional team members to include legacy planning and continuity planning in their business goals.
Deciding who will take care of your pets is only one piece of the planning for some pet owners. McCreary Law Office has created numerous pet trusts to help clients make sure funds are set aside to take care of those pets.