- Estate Planning
- Elder Law
- Long-Term Care & Medicaid Planning
- Special Needs Planning
- Estate Administration & Probate
- Business Succession Planning
- Living Wills
- Powers of Attorney
- Administrative Law
- Litigation & Appellate
Although the term "estate" might generate an image of vast wealth and lavish lifestyle, it merely refers to the property that someone leaves behind after death. Simply put, estate planning is the process of carefully arranging a client's affairs to minimize aggravation and stress for loved ones, especially at the time of incapacity or death. In our view, an ideal estate plan is one that meets the needs of a client during life, in the event of sickness or an accident, and at the time of their death. Typically this process incorporates the use of Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney and other documents to protect and preserve assets so that they may be distributed to future generations.
While the primary goal of many clients is to minimize the impact of taxation on assets generated during their lifetime, for others it might be to provide for a child with special needs or to establish funding for a grandchild's education or favorite charity. Because every individual has unique objectives and family circumstances, the attorneys of Kelly Law Offices carefully consider the personal and economic situation surrounding each client before offering recommendations. At Kelly Law Offices, we encourage a teamwork approach to the estate planning process that incorporates cooperation with a client's other professional advisors whenever possible. Through coordination with a client's financial planner, insurance professional, and/or accountant, it is often possible for our attorneys to help better protect assets against taxation and waste. Our firm is delighted to work with clients of all income levels and we strongly encourage the periodic review of Wills and Trusts with the assistance of a qualified professional.
Kelly Law Offices is proud to work with elderly clients and also the elderly family members of our younger clients. As Americans continue to enjoy a longer expected lifespan, they also face greater planning challenges. Our attorneys are sensitive to elder care planning issues, such as access to appropriate medical and personal care and the coordination of private and public resources to finance the cost of that care. We offer counseling to qualified clients regarding income assistance benefits such as Social Security and Veteran's benefits. Our firm can also provide help with trust administration issues and planning for incapacity with advance medical directives and living wills, and long-term care planning issues, including home health care, nursing home care, hospice and respite care.
Long-Term Care & Medicaid Planning
For some of our clients, the need to obtain nursing care becomes inevitable, whether for the client, or a spouse, parent or grandparent. This type of care is expensive and can place a tremendous strain on family resources without advance planning. For qualified individuals, the government's Medicaid program can provide financial assistance for nursing care. It is important to remember that Medicaid is not the same as Medicare. The availability of these benefits is largely dependent on a client's income and assets, and penalties can be imposed for failure to adhere to Medicaid's strict eligibility provisions. Kelly Law Offices offers assistance with Medicaid planning clients in an effort to preserve lifetime assets, including retirement accounts and real estate, so that they can be retained for the benefit of the client's spouse and later passed to future generations without compromising the client's ability to obtain and pay for nursing care. Through the careful application of long-term care insurance, planned gifting, and the use of trusts, our attorneys work diligently to help client's preserve their wealth without compromising the ability to pay for long-term healthcare.
Special Needs Planning
An important objective for some families can include providing for a loved one with special needs. Special Needs Planning can greatly benefit physically or mentally challenged persons. The attorneys at Kelly Law Offices understand that, in spite of a benefactor's best intentions, simply leaving money outright to provide for a loved one with special needs can actually be counterproductive. For example, the child or loved other dependent could become disqualified from government programs as being "over-resourced" if the bequest is not carefully directed.
Through the careful implementation of testamentary trusts and lifetime planned gifting options, our attorneys can help clients develop a plan that will provide for their loved ones without precluding them from the benefits of other available programs. In some cases, our firm can also help to administer these trusts to ensure that its terms are carried out.
Estate Administration & Probate
After the death of a loved one, Kelly Law Offices can provide assistance with estate administration and the probate process to help accomplish the deceased person's testamentary objectives. We realize that this can be a stressful and difficult time for clients, especially where the deceased person handled household financial and business affairs. The many forms, legal terms, and deadlines associated with this process are often unfamiliar and can sometimes increase this stress. At Kelly Law Offices, our attorneys work with clients to help make the process straightforward and efficient. Wherever possible, we encourage the client to undertake tasks within their own comfort level in an effort to reduce the overall cost of estate administration. As appropriate, over the months that follow a person's death, our attorneys work hand-in-hand with the client's other financial professionals to help ensure continuity of planning objectives and efficient tax planning. The attorneys of Kelly Law Offices are honored to help families through this difficult time with sensitivity and respect, and we invite you to contact our offices for assistance should the need arise.
Business Succession Planning
For many clients, retirement is the primary goal that drives their lifetime financial planning efforts. For business owners, accomplishment of that goal through retirement creates a new planning concern - "Who will take over after I am gone?" Some clients intend for their children to take charge of the business as its future owners. In this situation, careful planning can reduce the potential for gift and estate tax liability. Alternatively, especially in partnership arrangements, a client may wish to use equity in the business to provide for a surviving spouse. In these cases, careful drafting of a buy-sell agreement or use of specialized life insurance products can provide for loved ones without involving them directly in the day-to-day affairs of the business. Kelly Law Offices LLC offers assistance with such business succession planning objectives, and one our members had co-authored a text on the subject.
State and federal laws allow our clients to establish their written directives for prolonged care in the event that they become incapable of making those decisions known due to incapacity. Through the careful drafting and execution of these "Living Wills" (not to be confused with Living Trusts), our clients can appoint a representative who is authorized to speak on their behalf regarding medical procedures and decision-making when the client is unable to speak for himself. At Kelly Law Offices LLC we strongly encourage all of our clients to establish these documents because the failure to do so can have divisive effects on loved ones, even where family members all proclaim to have the client's best interests at heart. Our attorneys work closely with clients to dispel myths about these important planning tools and to help craft a Living Will that is suited to the client's objectives and comfort level. Because each client has different concerns and opinions regarding end-of-life decision-making, the creation of a Living Will should involve careful consultation with a qualified professional who understands the law in this area. Our lawyers have personal experience in this area that we are proud to share with our clients.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney designates a person to handle financial matters on behalf of our client in the event the client becomes unable to do so because of incapacity. This type of planning ensures the continued payment of bills and management of the client's affairs. Generally speaking, power of attorney can be a low-cost alternative to guardianship proceedings, in which the courts will appoint someone to act on behalf of the client. Additionally, this important planning tool can help the client to control the designation of the person who will be acting on their behalf. At Kelly Law Offices, we view the power of attorney document as an essential part of any estate plan. Although the specific document can be drafted in a variety of ways to accomplish unique client objectives, we strongly recommend that it be a part of every client's planning efforts.
For more than a decade, the attorneys of Kelly Law Offices have been working on cases heard by federal, state and local administrative bodies. Such cases have included the review of denial of government benefits for Medicaid applicants; disputes before the U.S. Department of Labor; enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission; licensure by the Federal Aviation Administration; hearings before State Parole Boards; and regulatory actions before the Federal Communications Commission and state public utility commissions, among others.
Litigation & Appellate
The attorneys with Kelly Law Offices have appeared on behalf of clients in municipal, state, and federal courts throughout the country. Our attorneys have participated in a variety of class actions on behalf of plaintiff litigants and work with other qualified lawyers on these matters whenever possible. Additionally, our attorneys are available to handle appellate matters in state and federal court. Where a matter is beyond our general scope of practice, we can assist clients in locating and retaining qualified alternative counsel.
Kelly Law Offices, LLC regularly assists clients with transactional, regulatory, investigative, enforcement, and corporate matters that are unique to those the aviation industry. The firm has represented pilots, fixed-based operators, aircraft owners, and flight schools with various aviation-related cases. Our attorneys have completed an FAA-approved course of classroom instruction for private pilots. In addition Thomas P. Kelly III has been a a certificated private pilot for more than ten years.