When people think of creating an estate plan, a will is often the first thing that comes to mind. A will lays out where your assets should go, and who gets what when you die. And while a will is a key component of an estate plan, it often isn’t enough, and, in fact, is a fairly limited tool when it comes to an estate plan.
It is important to have a comprehensive plan in place.
A pet trust is a blanket term used to describe funds and instructions that have been set aside to care for your pets after your death. Some individuals choose to set aside funds in an existing trust while others establish provisions in their wills.
For families with a loved one with disabilities, a special needs trust can provide peace of mind. For people with a developmental disability, a special needs trust may enhance their life. A special needs trust maximizes the resources available. While it preserves eligibility for programs like Medicaid and Supplementary Security Income, it also can be used to pay for quality-of-life items.
Charitable giving is a way to help the causes you care about and ensure they’re able to carry on important work. It’s a way to live your values and make a real difference in the lives of others. Financially, it can be a way to lower taxes, ensuring that the most is made of your gift, as well as any assets you’ve preserved for your family and loved ones. This is why it’s important to give to charity wisely and create a charitable giving plan.
For several reasons, including illness and physical limitations, many people will require long-term care at some point in their lives. When that time comes, choosing a nursing home can be an overwhelming decision, especially when it comes to planning for a family member, such as a parent.
According to the Florida Health Care Association, there are over 691 licensed nursing homes in Florida alone. With so many options for care, it can be difficult to know where to start when researching nursing homes.
There are a few key factors to consider when choosing the right nursing home, whether you are planning for yourself or a loved one.
There comes a time while making long-term estate plans that some people will need to choose a guardian for their minor children, should the worst happen. In fact, it should be one of the first decisions you make when thinking long-term, and it should be made as early as possible. This a tough but important decision to make. There are things to consider when thinking about a guardian, and it should be a well-thought-out decision.
If you have retired, you may be considering which route is better to take when considering where to live. As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to both renting a house and buying a house. Which is better for people who are retired? It depends on what you are looking for.
For instance, if you are looking for a maintenance free home in which you’re not responsible for repairs or upkeep, renting may be the way to go. However, owning a home takes the landlord out of the equation and keeps things like rent increases from happening. Of course, maintenance falls under your purview as a homeowner. It can be a tough decision to make and something retirees struggle with. Despite which way you go, one thing is for certain: Housing costs will factor into your budget.
There are several ways to protect your assets for the future and ensure that they go where you want them to when you die. Trusts, wills, and estate plans can all be used to make sure your assets are protected, and your family is taken care of. Trusts and wills each have their own benefits, and they all can be used in conjunction with each other. What you’d like to do with your assets and how you want to protect them should inform how you choose to do it. Those are important things to think about as you move forward in ways to protect your future.
As we age, we may have a need for long-term care. Whether it is care for a specific cognitive illness, or any number of physical ailments that may leave us unable to care for ourselves, going into nursing home care requires us to examine a host of issues, including the costs and how to protect our assets. The costs of nursing home care can vary but can easily be around $10,000 per month and most people cannot sustain paying privately for very long. Usually, people will apply for Medicaid. However, Medicaid has an income eligibility threshold that must be met to qualify, including a five-year look-back period. It’s important to understand how the look-back period works before you or a loved one is in this situation.
Estate planning is important and gives us the opportunity to decide who receives our assets when the time comes. By estate planning, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass away. Estate plans can use different types of documents to secure your assets after you pass. This may include a will, as well as a living will. A living will explains the type of medical care you want to receive should you become incapacitated. It may also help your family avoid having to make difficult end-of-life decisions without knowing your wishes, and it could save them money in future legal fees. You can also designate a financial power of attorney with an estate plan. This person can handle your finances if you become incapacitated. They can make transactions on your accounts, make business decisions, and financial decisions, based on what you elect to allow. Establishing a power of attorney is a good way to keep your finances stable, should something happen to you.