Thursday, June 17, 2021

Bushnell Law Offers Free Estate Planning Classes

Staff Writer | January 7, 2021 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — Don and Mary Cay Dinning put off writing a will or planning their estate because they expected the process to be complicated. Then Mary noticed a sign outside Bushnell Law offering a free class on estate planning basics. It seemed like a good place to start.

According to Thomas Bushnell, estate planning is more than simply writing a will. Even if your estate is small, it’s still important to make provisions to protect your assets and your loved ones, otherwise they might be dealing with a lot of legal and financial red tape at an already difficult time.

One such difficulty? If you’ve ever been on Medicaid, or if Medicare subsidizes your expenses through Medicaid, something that many low income seniors sign up for without even realizing.

What this really means is if you’re over 55 years old and have accrued any Medicaid expenses, your family members will probably have to deal with Idaho Medicaid Recovery when you pass. Medicaid Estate Recovery will put a lien on your assets to recoup their costs, a scenario Bushnell says he has seen play out many times.

Fortunately, Bushnell has some ways to protect your assets and possibly prevent your estate from being subject to these liens.

Even if this isn’t an issue for you, there are other areas he covers in his classes like probate, living wills, power of attorney, different kinds of wills, the five year rule, planning strategies and when to use a trust.

It’s a pressure free environment, said Mary. He doesn’t try to sell you anything you don’t need. After the class, you can set up a time for a free one on one intake session to discuss your options and goals.

In the end, it was Bushnell’s openness and honesty that encouraged Mary and her husband to move forward with the intake session and ultimately hire him to finish the process. Bushnell makes that easy too.

He charges a flat rate for his services with no hidden fees, takes no interest payments, and as a man who understands his community, sometimes even works out trades for services. “He’s taken a load of hay and even cows,” said Sheraya Hauck, office manager.

Bottom line, Bushnell made the whole process “simple and easy,” said Mary. “He educates you without legal jargon, breaks things down so you can understand.”

Classes are held in their office on the third Friday of every month at 6430 Kootenai Street, downtown Bonners Ferry. The next class is Friday, Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m. If you would like more information, you can contact Bushnell Law at 208-267-9321.