Far too many people are unprepared from an estate planning perspective, and there are many reasons for this phenomenon. One of them is the idea that estate planning is a simple matter that you can take care of yourself at some point in time when you are very old and gray.
This notion has been bolstered by the websites that sell boilerplate fill in the blanks legal documents. While it is true that there is no law against a layperson drawing up some type of document on their own, there are some good reasons why legal counsel is invaluable.
Choosing the Right Asset Transfer Method
The most commonly held myth in the realm of estate planning is the belief that trusts are only used by multimillionaires. This is not the case at all, and in fact, there are trusts that would not satisfy objectives that are held by very high net worth individuals.
One of them is the revocable living trust. If you use this type of trust to state your final wishes, you would act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are alive.
You would have complete access to all assets that you conveyed into it. Plus, as the name would indicate, you would be able to revoke the trust if you change your mind.
One of the major advantages is the avoidance of probate. This is a costly and time-consuming legal process that strips your family of privacy. It would enter the picture if you state your final wishes in a last will.
This is one of the benefits that living trusts provide, but there are others. In addition to the living trust, there are other types of trusts that can be ideal under certain circumstances.
An estate planning attorney will be fully aware of all the different legal devices that can be used to facilitate asset transfers. When you obtain legal advice, you can make fully informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.
Understanding of Legal Procedures
Probate is a court proceeding, and during the process, the court will examine the will to determine its validity. Very specific rules must be followed during probate, and the same thing is true about the trust administration process.
Do you know what is going to be required? Is there someone that you know that will act as your trustee or executor that has a thorough understanding of estate administration laws? Would your family know how to proceed shortly after your passing?
Clearly, very few people have any experience in this area, and this is another reason why you should engage an estate planning attorney.
Implementation of an Inheritance Preservation Plan
There is a very real possibility that a significant portion of your legacy can wind up in the coffers of a nursing home if you do not address this looming threat. More than one third of elders will eventually live in nursing facilities, and the cost is over $170,000 a year in our area.
Medicare does not pay for the custodial care that nursing homes provide. Medicaid is the widely embraced solution, but you can’t qualify if you have significant assets in your own name.
Most estate planning attorneys have a great deal of experience helping people position their assets with Medicaid eligibility in mind.
Attend a Free Webinar!
If you would like to learn more about estate planning, we have some great opportunities coming up in the near future. Our attorney is conducting a series of webinars, so you can absorb all this important information from the privacy of your own home.
There is no charge, but we ask that you register in advance so we can reserve your spot. To see the dates, visit our webinar page and follow the simple instructions to register.
- Living in a Digital World and the Importance of Planning for Cryptocurrency - January 5, 2022
- Don’t be a Turkey – Use Your Annual Per Donee Exclusion Amount - December 29, 2021
- Are You Too Young for Estate Planning? - December 28, 2021