As we age, planning for our estates and end of life care becomes increasingly important. Part of this planning may include the possibility of being incapaciatated, and requiring someone else to make important decisions regarding your health or assets. There are, of course, options for this kind of thing, including conservatorships and powers of attorney. Which is right for you? That depends on your situation.
If you have recently lost a loved one, you may have heard the word “probate” thrown around. You may not know what it means, or what happens during a probate court hearing. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place.
As we age, we start looking at end of life care more seriously. We know that when we turn 65, Medicare will kick in, and it will cover our doctor visits and prescriptions and hospital visits. However, when it comes to long-term care, what is Medicare’s role, and how do we protect our assets?
When a family member dies, there can sometimes be disputes over the validity of the will. This is called a will contest. This can be a difficult time for families, and contesting a will can make a tough situation even more difficult. In a will contest, certain parties to the will may raise an objection to the will, with the idea that it is not conveying the deceased person’s true intentions with their assets. Those contesting the will may make the case that the deceased was incapacitated at the time the will was drawn up, and unable to make clear decisions. Of course, not just anyone can contest a will. According to Florida probate law, only “interested parties” can make the case against a will. And they can only challenge the will for legal reasons. Interested parties are defined to include children, heirs, devisees, spouses, creditors, or any others having a property right, or claim against, the estate being administered. Those who may challenge a will generally fall into one of three main categories, which are the beneficiaries of a prior will, beneficiaries of a subsequent will, and intestate heirs.
There are several ways to protect your assets, and preserve them for your heirs. One way to do that is through a family trust. When someone decides to set up a family trust, it is meant to benefit their relatives. It is meant to specifically benefit the person’s family, which can include blood relatives, relations by marriage, or relations by law, in the case of adoption. These can be revocable or irrevocable trusts and are essentially a subcategory of living trusts.
After the death of a loved one, there are certain steps that need to be taken in regard to the person’s will to make sure it is probated and that the instructions are carried out. The quicker this is done, the quicker the assets in the will can be distributed.
A living trust is set up to benefit both you and your heirs throughout your and their lifetimes. It is designed to hold your assets safely within it and give you the power to organize it how you would like. A living trust helps to avoid probate and provide for a smooth transfer of assets after a person dies. Transferring assets into a trust can save years and thousands of dollars in legal fees. However, not all of your assets should be included in a living trust, for various reasons. We will go over those here.
Avoiding the probate process may be desirable both for the person who has passed away and for the person’s heirs. It does not have to be a difficult process, as it is easy to ensure your assets are going straight to your heirs while avoiding probate. Here are several ways you can avoid the probate process.
The reality of aging is a part of life, and, as unpleasant as it may be, it may lead to needing long-term care before we pass away.
Whether it is caring for a specific cognitive illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease, or any number of physical ailments that leave a person unable to care for themselves, going into nursing home care requires us to examine a host of issues. This includes the costs of a nursing home and how to protect your assets.
For some people without children, estate planning may not seem necessary. In some cases, people might also think that estate planning is only for the wealthy, and may not apply to them. It may also seem like a stressful endeavor not worth undertaking with no obvious heirs, such as children.