Nothing is certain except death and taxes, as the old saying goes, and proper planning for both is the wisest move. Planning ensures that your family does not lose assets simply because the right steps were not taken early.

“Contrary to what people think, estate planning is not just for the very rich,” says Rekha Rao, founder of the Rao Legal Group, LLC, located at 14 Farber Road, Princeton. “Not only do families of modest means need to make sure they have proper documents in place so there is a smooth flow of assets upon death, but they also stand to be adversely affected when health care issues arise in their later years and they have not properly planned their estates.

Rao concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, estate & trust administration, elder law, guardianships, and special needs. Her expertise in both domestic and international estate planning issues ensures that clients effectively pass on their wealth and legacy to current heirs and future generations. She also assists elderly clients with Medicaid and Veterans Administration benefits that can help pay for or supplement the cost of long-term care.

“If you have something that is of value to you, something that you want to pass down to your loved ones in a way that involves the least amount of burden, then you must have an estate plan,” says Rao. “One of the most complex aspects of planning is anticipating the disastrous effects of a health-care crisis. The rules governing benefits that everyone is entitled to under programs such as Medicaid are complicated. Advance planning is key to marshalling all the public and private resources available. Expert advice is vital to protect your assets from creditors and predators. And just as importantly, you are entitled to mitigate the tax burdens that come with the passing on of wealth.”

“You may think that you have the resources to live comfortably as you age but a single health crisis can wipe out savings very quickly. Protecting your legacy through the use of trusts is one technique that can be set up well in advance of any eventuality,” Rao advises. “Justice Bracken said in the “Matter of Shah” that it is a person’s ‘absolute right to do anything he or she wants to do with his or her assets…’” Rao says that as long as the disposition of assets is allowed by law then it makes sense to utilize all the resources and techniques that have been tried and proven.

Rao Legal Group, LLC strives to provide comprehensive customized solutions for all estate planning and elder law needs. Rather than boilerplate templates, RLG focuses on assessing each client’s unique financial and family situation to provide a complete solution that is best for the family. Clients leave the office confident they are covered for the future. RLG does not compromise on time or quality by using a one-size fits all approach for clients. All new clients receive an in-depth consultation for a thorough analysis of needs and challenges that are unique only to them.

Rao Legal Group, LLC (“RLG”) is committed to helping clients of all income levels and walks of life with their estate planning and elder law needs. Flexible appointment schedules are always available.

Rao Legal Group, LLC, 14 Farber Road, Princeton. 609-372-2855. www.estateelderplanning.com.

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