This page provides brief answers to several common questions about our law firm and our individual practice areas. Please note, this page provides general information but is not a substitute for professional legal advice. If you have a legal issue regarding estate planning, probate, or elder law, it’s best to consult with an attorney to address your concern.
General Law Firm Questions
Q. What are your practice areas?
Sean J Nichols, PLLC practices in elder law, estate planning, and probate. These practice areas cover virtually any legal issue associated with aging, death, and inheritance. This includes guardianship, trusts, estate litigation, and more.
Q. Do I need to visit your office to set up a consultation?
Not necessarily, most clients that visit our physical location are within 15 miles of our office. If a client is located further away we typically will work remotely for their convenience. It’s not uncommon for our law firm to receive calls from clients who are located far away or outside the state. In these circumstances, we accommodate their needs through the use of modern technology.
Q. Where is your law firm located?
Sean J Nichols, PLLC is located in Plymouth, MI. You can obtain our address and driving directions here.
Q. What do you charge for consultations?
The cost of most consultations ranges from $150-$500 dollars, depending on the case. Our consultations typically range from one to two hours and also include the time we spend reviewing the materials and intake you provide before the meeting. We credit the cost of the consultation if you hire us within seven days of the consultation date. This method has worked well for us since the practice started in 2011. We believe it shows in the referrals we receive from past clients, retired judges, practicing attorneys, financial advisors, Certified Public Accountants, and many other people and professionals. We have even received referrals from attorneys we were on the other side of in past cases.
Estate Planning Questions
Q. What is estate planning?
Simply put, estate planning is setting up a plan so that your wishes are known in the event you become ill or pass away. A common misconception is that this type of planning is only used for wealthy or elderly individuals. Estate planning can be used for anyone with any amount of assets who care about what happens to these assets in the event they become ill or incapacitated.
Q. What does an estate planning attorney do?
Estate planning is unique to each individual’s situation. Some plans simply involve drafting a will for your family. Other situations may dictate more comprehensive planning such as establishing a trust to provide for a child with special needs, business succession plans, charitable entities, etc. You can read more about the functions and duties of an estate planning lawyer on our estate planning practice area page.
Q. What is probate?
Probate involves the court supervised process of distributing someone’s assets after they pass away. This process is also known as estate administration.
Q. What does a probate lawyer do?
A probate attorney specializes in issues involving probate court. These issues relate to the distribution of an individual’s assets after death. Probate courts also hear cases related to guardianship, disputes over wills, disputes over trusts and other matters involving litigation.
Elder Law Questions
Q. What is elder law?
Elder law essentially involves any legal issue associated with aging. This area of law was established because attorneys and lawmakers realized that people were starting to live longer lives and develop unique needs due to aging and illness. Elder law is a capstone. In other words, it covers several practice areas such as family law, tax law, estate planning, probate, and in some cases, personal injury and litigation.
Q. What does an elder law attorney do?
There are many unique legal issues associated with aging. This includes elder medicaid, nursing home planning, long term care, and more. Our law firm is highly experienced in helping senior citizens and their families with these unique legal aspects.
Q. What happens to assets if you go into a nursing home?
Due to the high cost of nursing home care folks remain concerned about losing their life savings when a loved one requires skilled assistance. As stated above, MEDICARE may cover the first few months in a nursing home. After that time period expires, people need to know how to pay the exorbitant costs without going broke. There are three ways to pay for nursing home care: self pay, long term care insurance, or medicaid.