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Patricia Van Haren
Family Law and Estate Planning Attorney Patricia C. Van Haren has been a practicing attorney since May of 2011. Prior to attending law school, Patricia was a family law and estate planning paralgel for approximately 20 years. In that time she acted as a Paralegal for several attorneys. For several years before becoming an attorney, she assisted couples through uncontested divorces as a paralegal and document preparation assistance. After establishing her own practice, she used all of her skills and knowledge to develop her family law, estate planning and wealth management practice.
Ms. Van Haren raised her three children as a single mother while working and attending law school at nights and on weekends. She is remarried with two young step-children. Ms. Van Haren is the parent of a special needs child and understands the struggles and additional resources that families with special needs children require.
After graduating law school, Ms. Van Haren established her first office and opened her doors as a sole practitioner. The focus of her practice is to assist families in their life transitions and growth. Our office prides itself on being able to establish personal connections with our clients. When working at law firms, Ms. Van Haren realized that very often the attorney knew little about the client or the family that they were working with. Ms. Van Haren wanted to practice differently. She understands that the key to being a trusted counselor and advisor and the key to achieving the clients objectives is to know the client on a personal level.
Ms. Van Haren focuses solely on family law and estate planning matters ranging from paternity actions, divorces, child custody & visitation, child and spousal support and property division. She also focuses on guardianships, conservatorship wealth planning, estate planning and adoptions. Ms. Van Haren has been designated by the Family Wealth Planning Institute as a Personal Family Lawyer®.
We are a law firm focusing on family law, wills, trusts, conservatorships, guardianships and estate planning. Working in both the family law and probate courts allows us to assist families in implementing plans across both arenas for your loved ones.
Do you have a need for a conservatorship, guardianship or have a special needs individual who can no longer manage their own affairs?
Do you need help in making sure that your loved one is taken care of financially after your are no longer able to be here to care for them?
Let us help, we treat our clients as family - making sure to protect their interests, secure their legal rights, educate you to make sound decisions and provide recommendations based on the particular needs to meet the entire family’s goals.
Areas of Practice:
ESTATE PLANNING: Estate planning is for everyone, not just the wealthy or the aging. Anyone can become disabled at any time. One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones is to establish an estate plan. A well-designed estate plan provide for loved ones, including minor children or aging parents, provide for incapacity, avoid probate at death, reduce or avoid estate taxes, and provide for charitable organizations.
I meet with individuals and families to review their personal and financial situation, including their needs, concerns, hopes and goals, and explain the options available to them based on their situation. This may include wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, or a combination of these, depending on client needs and goals. Once their estate plan is in place, my client’s enjoy peace of mind knowing they have provided for themselves and their loved ones in case an unexpected crisis occurs.
ESTATE ADMINISTRATION: Administering the estate of a family member can be time consuming and emotionally draining. Handling the details of an estate can be particularly hard if you are grieving the loss of a loved one or if there is disagreement within the family. I regularly represent clients who serve in a fiduciary capacity, such as executors, administrators and guardians.
SPECIAL NEEDS CONSERVATORSHIPS: Parents of special needs children are often not aware of the resources available to those children when they reach the age of majority. Where a special needs child is unable to make medical and educational decisions for themselves, the parent may been to remain as the conservator of that special needs adult child. I represent parents in all phases of a conservatorship matter so that they are able to continue to act as the guardian for their children into adulthood.
GUARDIANSHIPS: There are times that for whatever reason the parents are unable to raise their children. This may be due to the death of the parents, drug addition, imprisonment, etc. In those circumstances, it is far better for the children to be cared for by a loving family member or close friends. We assist our clients in all aspects of guardianship matters, both opposed and unopposed.
ELDER LAW: Seniors and their families often face a myriad of legal and extralegal needs such as end-of-life decisions, unexpected incapacity, public benefit eligibility, or long-term care concerns. I strive to help my aging clients preserve their assets and maintain dignity and control as they grow older. This often requires a focus on planning for incapacity, asset protection and long-term care. I also represent clients in every phase of incompetency and conservatorship proceedings.
PET TRUSTS: Pet trusts are for clients who wish to provide for their beloved non-human family members, and are not just for the rich and eccentric. They are for any pet owner who wishes to ensure the proper care and treatment of their much-loved pet should the owner become disabled or pass away. Giving away a pet to a friend or family member does not always accomplish this goal. I work with clients to design the best estate planning method based on the client’s goals, their pet’s needs and the client’s financial resources.
FAMILY LAW: I represent married and single individuals with family law related legal needs. This includes, but is not limited to, adoptions, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, contested and uncontested divorces, child custody matters, paternity cases and child support modifications. With this experience, I have become comfortable with understanding intricacies of property arrangements, and the characterization of property as it relates to my clients’ situations and needs.