Trust And Estate Planning
The best way to understand what estate planning is, is to define what estate planning is not. Estate planning is not a product or document. It is not a will, a living trust or a nursing home insurance policy. It may involve some, many or no documents.
An Estate Plan is a strategy to preserve and protect your wealth.
The type of Estate Plan or strategy that is appropriate for you should start with a comprehensive analysis of your family, health and financial situation by a qualified professional. If you have not been involved in a comprehensive professional analysis of your family, health and financial situation, you do not have an Estate Plan.
Thinking It Is Too Late To Plan – Even if you are in a healthcare crisis including a current nursing home stay, it is possible to retain as much as half of your remaining assets.
Listening To The Advice Of Others – What worked for your neighbor, relative or hairdresser may not work for you. Each and every case is unique.
Misunderstanding Your Legal Documents – While some trusts can protect your assets from nursing home costs, most types of trusts and all pre-nuptial agreements do not.
Failing To Use Specialists – Not planning with qualified professionals who understand the intricacies of senior planning could cause you to become ineligible for nursing home benefits. In some cases, you could even unknowingly open yourself to the risk of being charged with fraud for failing to properly disclose assets.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Estate planning is for everyone, whether your estate is $5,000 or $5,000,000. Regardless of the size of your estate, everyone needs to have a plan to preserve and protect their wealth. Your estate plan may be a very simple plan involving the use of basic documents or it may be complex.
Remember, if you don’t have a plan, the government has a plan for you, and you are not going to like it!