226 North 114th Street, Omaha, NE 68154
402-558-1404
cdorwartjd@dorwartlaw.com

Our Areas of Practice in Omaha, Nebraska

Trusts

A Trust is a contract that is entered into by a person called a Trustmaker. Sometimes a Trustmaker is also called a Grantor, Settlor, or Trustor. During the Trustmaker’s lifetime, the Trustmaker transfers property to another person, called a “Trustee,” who holds the property for the benefit of another person, called the “Beneficiary.” The same person may occupy more than one position at a time. The Trustee will be responsible for following all of the instructions contained in the trust similar to how an Executor is responsible for following all of the instructions in a will. To find out more about how we can help you build a quality trust that can protect your loved ones and assets, visit our LifePlan Nebraska Program page.

Wills

At LifePLan Nebraska we offer a variety of different Last Will and Testaments depending on your personal preferences and your goals for your family’s future after you are gone. Want to learn more about the differences between estate planning documents? Be sure to check out our comparison chart!

> Simple Will

A Will that leaves the person’s entire estate to their spouse or to their children, equally, without a trust. Wording such as “to my spouse or if my spouse fails to survive me to my children, equally” is a “simple Will.” Controls who is appointed to handle your affairs for you and who will receive your assets but it does not name a guardian or trustee for your children who are minors.

> Will with Testamentary Trust

This is the basic estate plan that every young couple with young children should consider. This allows you to determine who will handle your estate affairs and who will receive the assets from your estate. It permits you to name a guardian or guardians as substitute parent for the children and a trustee(s) to handle the assets for the benefit of the children. This plan does not provide for anyone to handle your financial affairs while you are still alive and incapacitated.

> Pour-Over Will

Upon your death, your Pour-Over Will leaves any property to your living trust that you did not put into it before your death. It functions as a safety net to make sure property you neglected to place in your trust can ultimately be managed by your Trustees pursuant to your instructions. If you have minor or disabled children, your Pour-Over Will names the personal guardians whom you have chosen to care for your loved ones.

Power of Attorney

A power granted to a person allowing him or her to act on your behalf, if you are disabled and unable to manage your financial or health care affairs. Copies of your powers of attorney are often given to several close family members. We can also include a Living Will and a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) document.

> Health Care Power of Attorney

A power of attorney that enables the power holder to make health care decisions for the principal in the event of the principal’s inability to make health care decisions for himself or herself, usually because of incapacity.

In the event of a medical emergency, this document can be presented to a health care service provider as written documentation authorizing the holder of the power to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so.

> Financial Power of Attorney

A power of attorney that enables the power holder to make financial decisions for the principal in the event of the principal’s inability to make financial decisions for himself or herself, usually because of incapacity.

Financial durable powers of attorney are potentially very powerful. They should only be given to close family members or other people you trust implicitly.

> Living Will

Not actually a will, but a set of instructions or an expression of wishes and desires regarding the use or nonuse of medical treatments or procedures that would artificially prolong life when someone is in a terminal condition, persistent vegetative state, irreversible coma, or has severe dementia so that they are no longer lucid.

Also known as a “physician’s directive.”

Probate

When a loved one passes away with just a will, or no estate plan at all, their families have to put the estate through a process called “probate.” We are often asked to help families go through this process and we meet a lot of new clients for the first time help­ing them with the estate of a deceased family member. (Most of those families choose to do comprehensive planning with our law firm after having gone through the process once with a loved one.)

No two pro­bates are ever the same, however, all of them involve locating the Will and/or making a filing with the pro­bate court. Once the Will has been accepted, a personal representative is appointed. Then all of the heirs will need to be formally sent notice (in writing), where they will have the opportunity to review the Will and make any appropriate challenges or contests.

Next, the assets will be gathered and the liabilities (debts and taxes) will be paid. Finally, the remaining assets can be distributed in accordance with the Will or intestacy. While many assets will pass through pro­bate, some assets, like life insurance and retirement accounts, will pass directly to the named beneficiary. Other kinds of assets, like those held in joint tenancy, will pass directly to the other joint ten­ant. The important thing to remember is that all of these assets are counted as “part of the estate” for purposes of cal­cu­lat­ing whether taxes are due and/or as part of any exist­ing or future Medicaid applications. You should be aware that estates over a certain thresh­old have to be pro­bated, whether they are “tax­able” or not.

As your trusted adviser, we can help you navigate this process, as you pre­pare to move on with life. If a loved one has recently passed away and you would like a no-cost confidential consultation, to dis­cuss the next steps, please call our office to schedule a meeting.

Guardianship

Our office can assist you with guardianship in two different respects. First, for clients who are doing planning for themselves, we take extra measures so that court-involved guardianship proceeding can be avoided completely. Second, we also help families with young children select guardians in case the unthinkable happens.

Unfortunately, not all of our clients come to us to do their planning before a crisis develops. Some­times, we meet family members of a mentally-declining individual where the only solution is a court-driven application for guardian­ship over the incapacitated individual. The process is more expensive and time-consuming than planning for disability by way of a comprehensive, estate plan. How­ever, we can still help guide these families through the process.

There are two types of guardians that a court can appoint, a Guardian of the Per­son and a Guardian of the Property. The Guardian of the Per­son makes personal and med­ical decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual. The Guardian of the Property handles financial deci­sions on behalf of the incapacitated individual. Depend­ing on the circumstances, the court may appoint the same per­son, or different people, to serve in these roles.

If you are interested in learn­ing more about how to avoid a guardian­ship pro­ceed­ing, call our office for a no-cost, confidential consultation. If the individual in question still has moments of lucidity, there may be a chance to avoid a hear­ing. If not, we can help navigate you through a guardian­ship application so you can take care of your loved one during this emotional time.

Either way, give us a call to learn what can be done.

Trust Administration

A trust is one of the most powerful tools in an estate planner’s toolbox. When properly designed and adequately funded, they can accomplish a wide range of goals. Many people believe that once they have created a trust and funded it, the trust will simply go into effect automatically when the time comes. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Trusts must be properly administered to ensure that the trustmaker’s wishes are carried out.
At LifePlan Nebraska, most of our estate administration clients are our estate planning clients. However, there are also times when someone has a plan drafted by another attorney, and when it comes time to administer that plan, they would like some help. That’s where we come in. We help make a complex process simple, easy, and worry-free.

Our role is to represent the executor or trustee in the administration of a decedent’s estate. When a loved one passes away with a trust in place (or one created under a will), there are number of steps that need to be taken for proper administration of the estate. These steps include filings with the court, state taxing authorities, and the Internal Revenue Service.

In addition, certain people need to be notified in accordance with law. After that, the executor is responsible for opening bank accounts, settling creditor claims, paying the final expenses of the decedent, arranging for the sale of assets – all the while, proper accounting needs to be maintained and provided to the beneficiaries.

Given that failure to properly administer a trust can have serious financial and legal consequences for the trustee or executor, the decision to serve in this capacity should not be taken lightly. If you have been asked to do so, we can explain the risks in clear, easy-to-understand language. If you decide not to accept the role of trustee or executor, we can help you select the appropriate person or persons. If you wish to serve as trustee or executor, we can offer guidance and peace-of-mind that you’re taking the right steps in the right order. In addition, we welcome the opportunity to work closely with any of your existing personal representatives and other fiduciaries to ensure the directives of the trust are carried out appropriately.

Call us to schedule a consultation to learn how we can guide you through this difficult time in your life.

Worker’s Compensation

With almost 15 years of experience working with Worker’s Compensation cases LifePlan Nebraska can expertly help you receive the proper benefits that you deserve.

In Nebraska, Workers’ Compensation is designed to provide certain benefits to employees who sustain injury by accident or occupational disease arising out of and in the course of their employment, and who are not willfully negligent at the time of the injury.

It is NOT unemployment compensation, Social Security disability benefits, health and accident insurance, or other disability benefit plans provided by the employer.

The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act, found at Section 48-101 to Section 48-1,118 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes, is the exclusive remedy of the injured employee if the employer has satisfied its legal obligation to secure payment of compensation under the act. Typically this is done by obtaining a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

In exchange for the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits from the employer, an employee forfeits his or her right to file a civil action against the employer for damages for work-related injuries or illnesses.

> An Employee Is Entitled to Worker’s Comensation Benefits When

1. The injury was caused by an accident or disease that arose out of and in the course of his or her employment;
2. The employee was not willfully negligent at the time of the injury;
3. The employment was in the usual course of the trade, business, profession, or occupation of the employer; and
4. The injury occurred in Nebraska; or the employer was performing work in Nebraska or the employment was principally localized within this state, whether or not the injury occurred in Nebraska; or the contract of hire was made in Nebraska and the employer was engaged in business or performing work in Nebraska, whether or not the injury occurred in Nebraska.

If an employee dies as a result of a work-related injury, the employee’s dependents may also be entitled to benefits under the act.

Small Business Planning

Let LifePlan Nebraska help you to determine which business entity you should enter into and to help you with the succession planning of your business. There are many advantages and disadvantages of starting any of the following, but we can help figure out which works the best in your individual situation.

> Sole Proprietorship
> Partnership
> Family Limited Partnership
> Limited Liability Company
> S Corporation

Medicaid Planning

LifePlan Nebraska is continuously striving to help families like your’s plan for the future. With Medicaid Planning services we can help your family plan for the future and help preserve your assets, both present and future. If you are need of help understanding medicaid or signing up for medicaid then call us at 402-558-1404 today.