When a brand new year rolls around, a light bulb may go off in your head with regard to taking care of responsibilities that you have been putting on the back burner. It is a time for a fresh start, and you may be motivated to put the procrastination behind you and take care of some matters that have been left dangling.
This line of thinking can be applied to your estate plan. If you put your plan in place a number of years ago, it is very possible if not likely that an update will be necessary. You could be in a very different financial position, and there may have been changes to your family dynamic.
Advanced Planning Techniques
In addition to the minor adjustments that can be called for in some instances, your entire estate plan may need an overhaul. For example, if you used a last will as the centerpiece of your estate plan because the situation was very simple and straightforward, you may want to consider another option.
One of the major misconceptions that people harbor about estate planning is the idea that all trusts are only useful for very wealthy people. In reality, there are trusts that can be ideal for folks that are in many different situations.
If you have concerns about a loved one who has proven to be a poor money manager, you could rearrange your plan to include spendthrift protections. You can also address possible latter life incapacity if you did not do so when you established your initial plan.
Special needs planning can be required if there is someone with a disability that has made their way onto your inheritance list. With the proper planning, you can make the person more comfortable without impacting eligibility for government benefits.
Preparing for Long-Term Care Costs
Yet another important consideration is the matter of long-term care and the expenses that go along with it. If you established your estate plan when you were a relatively young adult, this is something that you may have completely overlooked.
Indeed, it is hard to wrap your head around a time when you will become unable to handle your own day-to-day affairs when you are completely healthy and self-sufficient. However, the cold hard fact is that most elders will eventually need assistance with their day-to-day needs.
About 35% of them will ultimately reside in nursing homes, and Medicare will not pick up the tab. Since long-term care facilities are extremely expensive, this is a very big deal. The resources that you intended to leave to your loved ones could be absorbed by a nursing home at the end of your life.
That is, unless you take the appropriate steps in advance to protect your resources. Medicaid does pay for long-term care, and though it is intended for people with limited resources, you could divest yourself of assets before you apply. One way of doing this is through the creation of an income only Medicaid trust.
Take Action Today!
These are just a few things to think about, but the point is that estate planning is a long-term, ongoing process. The estate plan that you put in place long ago was based on a snapshot of your life at that time, but things do not stand still. You should certainly review your estate plan with the benefit of professional guidance so that you can make the appropriate updates.
We would be more than glad to sit down, get to know you, and gain an understanding of your current situation. After we examine your existing plan, we can make suggestions and alter the plan appropriately if you decide to move forward.
To set the wheels in motion, you can send us a message through our contact page, and we can be reached by phone at 513-721-1513.