Live May 3-10, 2021
7 Ocean Street
South Portland, Maine
Robert M. Raftice, Jr., Esq.
Eleanor L. Dominguez, Esq.
Kayla Raftice, Esq.
Ainsworth Thelin & Raftice, P.A. has been meeting the legal needs of our greater Portland community for over 35 years. The law firm, located at 7 Ocean Street in the Knightville section of South Portland, handles a wide variety of cases including all aspects of elder law, probate of estates, estate litigation including Will contests, personal injury, business law, divorce and family law, litigation and mechanic’s liens, real estate and landlord services, municipal law, criminal law and OUI law.
Bob Raftice, the firm’s managing partner, has been with the firm since 1992, and we recently asked Bob how the firm, the law business generally, and the firm’s clients, are fairing during the current pandemic. Bob replied that “Our firm, given its breadth and size but also its flexibility, has adapted well, as have many of our clients, but we are also seeing clients who are experiencing difficulties.”
One area that the firm has seen an increase in clients experiencing difficulties in is Elder Law. Attorneys Raftice and Elly Dominguez’s Elder Law practice focuses on assisting clients with Probate, MaineCare and Asset Protection Planning, Special Needs Planning and Estate litigation. Bob and Elly believe that many elders have not taken the necessary legal steps to insure that their needs, intentions, and goals are properly met, perhaps because of medical concerns and/or simply putting matters off.
As Bob notes: “Good planning, including proper Powers of Attorneys (Health Care and Financial) and Wills or Trusts, avoids potential family conflict and greatly assists an elder to accomplish her medical, personal, and financial goals.” Bob stresses that whoever the elder chooses to provide this essential assistance is critical, and these choices should not be considered on the eve of a crisis when it may be too late or the surrounding uncertainties create less than ideal conditions to make the best choices.
While typical estate planning includes planning for incapacity during one’s lifetime as well as distribution of one’s assets upon their passing, Elder Law attorneys like Bob and Elly have an added focus of planning with long-term care in mind. Often a traditional estate plan will have the same documents that an Elder Law attorney puts in place, however, because one focus of the Elder Law attorney is to help clients plan for the possibility of needing long-term care while protecting the home and other assets, their planning documents often include enhanced powers and provisions to allow those trusted persons to pursue additional planning strategies if and when the time comes for the elder to utilize long-term care. Other documents, like irrevocable trusts and special needs trusts allow the elder to not only protect her assets but also preserve those assets for her disabled beneficiaries.
As Bob notes, “I see the relief in their eyes, in their body language, and in their conversation, once we have completed their analysis and their associated paperwork.” Bob and Elly cannot stress enough that one should make these important choices and decisions with careful reflection in a time of quiet; rather than in a time of need and/or emotional upset, and in these unpredictable times, sooner rather than later makes the most sense. To this end, the firm has adapted its meeting practices, policies, and capabilities to best address their elder clients’ needs in these difficult times.
For more information about Ainsworth, Thelin & Raftice, P.A., call 207-767-4824, or visit ATRLAW.PRO. To connect with Bob email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Elly at email@example.com
Friday, May 7 10 a.m. Adding Real Estate to Your Estate Planning
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