Middletown Trusts and Estates Lawyers

Do Not Delay Your Estate Planning Process

A trusts and estates Lawyer is an essential figure in helping individuals and families ensure that their future is secure by protecting their assets and ensuring that those assets are distributed according to their wishes. These estate planning lawyers specialize in the intricate and complex field of estate planning, which includes creating wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

The attention to detail and knowledge of the trusts and estates lawyers enables them to understand each client’s unique circumstances, goals, and concerns, providing personalized advice and tailored solutions to ensure a smooth transition of wealth to future generations. Comprehensive estate planning helps clients minimize estate taxes, protect assets from creditors and other claims, and guide clients through probate, resolving disputes, and administering trusts, providing valuable peace of mind.

At Schmittinger & Rodriguez, our attorneys have decades of experience with estate law, estate plans, revocable trusts, special needs trusts, durable power of attorney, health care directives, probate, and all other factors in the estate planning process. The goal is to protect the assets held by our clients who will have the comfort of knowing that their loved ones will be cared for and that their assets will be handled in compliance with their wishes. This valuable partnership helps navigate the complexities of estate planning, safeguarding family legacies, and preserving wealth for generations to come.

Our Services

Delaware Estate Planning Services

The trusts and estates lawyers at Schmittinger & Rodriquez offer a full array of estate planning services for our Delaware clients. These include drafting the estate planning documents and handling various estate plans including:

  • Drafting a will

  • Drafting an advanced healthcare directive or living wills

  • Creating a trust; revocable trust; and irrevocable trust

  • Creating a power of attorney

  • Special needs trust

  • Estate planning

  • Elder law services

  • Probate services

While this list of services is not all-inclusive, these matters are integral to every person’s estate planning. At Schmittinger & Rodriquez, we encourage our clients to openly communicate their concerns and needs, allowing us to safeguard them as they evolve. Waiting until the last moment to ensure your wishes are conveyed and executed is not ideal for you or your loved ones.

our reviews

What Our Clients Say

Brian Jenkins
Mr Catts went above and beyond to handle my complicated case. The level of professionalism is second to none. The staff and Mr. Catts were kind, courteous, and listened to my concerns with compassion. I would recomend this firm to anyone needing legal help. They earned my trust in am amazing way.
Linda Wilson
Mr Catts and his legal team went above and beyond for me. They never stopped pursuing all avenues to get the compensation that I deserved. The staff was courteous and showed compassion. I felt like they really cared about my injuries. I highly recommend their services to anyone
Tatiana Sida-Amor
I was recommended to this law office by my doctor after my car accident in the summer of 2021. I ended up working with Mr. Catts. I appreciate how forthcoming and hardworking he was about my case. The office is extremely professional to ensure that I got the best settlement that I could get. The open communication eased my mind and allowed me to handle things I needed to for myself. Definitely recommend them if you want lawyers that give you results.
Kathyjo Mays
I recommend them highly and have referred them to many of my friends and family. Very informative and def kept me up to date about my case. Schmittinger & Rodriguez def worked very hard for me.
Mary Zober
The staff is friendly and makes you feel comfortable. The firm worked on getting my settlement and kept me informed every step of the way.
Sharonda goode
Great experience! Doug Catts, Ryan and Ms. Kaye are awesome to work with. Very professional, friendly & knowledgeable. They are expensive. But get the job done & in a timely manner. I use Mr. Catts for all my legal needs.
Hot Box237
I will recommend this lawyer to any one, I feel like crying. He is kind, patient and a good listener. He solved your problem and at the end advice you. Thank you very much.
Cheryl Rowe
Doug is personable...assertive and he will get the job done!
Patsy Ware
Schmittinger and Rodriquez attorney Doug Catts is the best, I highly recommend him. As an attorney he is forthright, honest, transparent and sincere. Doug Catts and his staff are amazing.

A Will For Delaware Residents

If you own any assets in Delaware, creating a will can ensure that they are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. A will is a legal document that outlines how your assets will be distributed, appoints an executor to oversee the distribution, and can even designate guardians for minor children. Without a will, your assets may be distributed according to intestacy laws, which may not reflect your wishes. Having a will in place provides peace of mind and ensures your assets are distributed as intended.

In Delaware, anyone who is over the age of 18 and of sound mind can make a will. The will must be in writing, signed by the person making the will, and witnessed by at least two individuals who are not beneficiaries of the will. It is also important to note that if a person wishes to modify or revoke their will, they must do so in writing and follow the same formalities as creating a will.

Given the complex legal requirements and potential pitfalls of creating a will, it is highly recommended that individuals seek the guidance of an attorney at Schmittinger & Rodriguez to ensure that the will is properly drafted and executed, thereby minimizing the likelihood of disputes or challenges after the person’s death. Additionally, a wills attorney can help individuals develop a comprehensive estate plan that takes into account their unique circumstances and objectives, including tax planning and asset protection.

The Need For A Trust In Delaware

A trust can play a vital role in any estate plan, for various reasons. Aside from providing flexibility and control over asset distribution, the primary advantage is circumventing probate. Known for being time-consuming, costly, and public, probate is best avoided where possible. Instead, through a trust, assets are transferred to a trustee who can manage and distribute accordingly, in line with the trust’s instructions, bypassing the need for probate altogether.

Creating a trust may also be necessary for supporting minors or loved ones with special needs. A trust provides a means of holding assets exclusively for the benefit of these individuals and guaranteeing that their distinctive needs are met. By designating a trustee to manage the assets and distribute them in accordance with the trust provisions, the creator of the trust can gain a sense of security knowing everything is in good hands.

Trusts can also be used for tax planning and asset protection purposes. For example, a person may establish a trust to hold assets that are expected to appreciate in value, which can allow the assets to grow tax-free and be distributed to beneficiaries in a tax-efficient manner. Additionally, trusts can be used to protect assets from creditors or to provide for the long-term care needs of a person without jeopardizing their eligibility for Medicaid benefits.

Ultimately, whether or not a person needs a trust will depend on their unique circumstances and objectives. The experienced trust administration lawyers at Schmittinger & Rodriguez can help individuals evaluate their options and develop a comprehensive estate plan that meets their needs and protects their legacy.

What Is An Advanced Healthcare Directive?

A living will or healthcare power of attorney, commonly referred to as an advanced healthcare directive, is a legally binding document that enables individuals to convey their medical treatment preferences in situations where they are unable to do so. This document can outline the specific medical procedures and interventions that the person desires or rejects, and also empowers a healthcare agent to act on their behalf and make healthcare decisions as needed.

Having an advanced healthcare directive is important because it allows a person to maintain control over their healthcare decisions even if they are unable to communicate their wishes due to illness or injury. It can also help to ease the burden on family members and healthcare providers who may be struggling to make medical decisions on behalf of the person.

In Delaware, an advanced healthcare directive can provide instructions on end-of-life care, such as the individual’s preference regarding receiving life-sustaining treatment and artificially administered nutrition and hydration. This decision can be challenging and emotional for family members to make without guidance from the person, making it essential to have a legally binding document that reflects the individual’s wishes. Such a document can bring peace of mind to both the person and their loved ones.

It is important to note that an advanced healthcare directive is only effective if it is properly executed and reflects the person’s current wishes. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals review and update their advanced healthcare directives periodically, particularly if there have been any significant changes in their health or personal circumstances.

At Schmittinger & Rodriguez we help individuals create an advanced healthcare directive that reflects their wishes and ensures that their healthcare decisions are respected. Our attorneys can also help individuals understand their options and develop a comprehensive estate plan that addresses their unique needs and objectives.

The Benefits of Hiring an

Experienced Trusts & Estates Lawyer

Hiring an estate planning lawyer in Delaware ensures that you have the right attorney with whom you can share confidential information, make an estate plan, discuss estate taxes, and be confident that all your legal needs are being met in this specific area of the law.

At Schmittinger & Rodriguez, we understand how difficult and stressful it can be to deal with life-and-death decisions. Our team has decades of combined experience handling these sensitive matters offering clients peace of mind that they and their loved ones are legally protected.

If you or someone you love has estate planning needs, contact Schmittinger & Rodriguez today for a consultation. YOUR CASE. OUR PRIORITY.

Why Schmittinger & Rodriguez
Is Right For You

At Schmittinger & Rodriguez, we understand how difficult and stressful it can be to deal with life-and-death decisions. Our team has decades of combined experience handling these sensitive matters offering clients peace of mind that they and their loved ones are legally protected.

If you or someone you love has estate planning needs, contact Schmittinger & Rodriguez today for a consultation. YOUR CASE. OUR PRIORITY.

Trusts & Estate Planning FAQs

What is the difference between a revocable and irrevocable trust?

A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, can be changed or revoked by the grantor at any time during their lifetime. An irrevocable trust, on the other hand, cannot be changed or revoked by the grantor once it has been established.

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process of administering a person's estate after their death. This includes validating the will, identifying and inventorying assets, paying taxes and debts, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants another person the authority to act on behalf of the person creating the document. This can include managing financial affairs, making healthcare decisions, or other important matters.

What is a living will?

A living will is a legal document that specifies a person's wishes regarding medical treatment if they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. It can include instructions regarding life-sustaining treatments such as ventilators or feeding tubes.

What is Medicaid planning?

Medicaid planning involves arranging a person's finances and assets in a way that allows them to qualify for Medicaid benefits while preserving assets for their heirs. This can include establishing trusts, transferring assets, and making other financial arrangements.

What questions will I be asked when making a will?

  • What will my funeral arrangements be?

  • Who will get my property and assets?

  • What happens to my debts?

  • Who will look after my non-adult children?

  • What will happen to my pets?

  • What will happen to my business?

  • Will inheritance tax be payable?

  • Do I want to give anything to charity?

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