Estate Planning

Your Will, Your Trust, Your Power of Attorney, Your Advance Healthcare Directive, HIPAA

Estate planning is a collaborative process that results in an action plan to deal with surprises during life and to avoid chaos at death. No, putting your plan in place does not wake up the Grim Reaper!  The plan becomes the foundation from which authorized people (your agents) can help you with financial and healthcare decisions should you become unable to do so.  Your agents will have the authority to protect your assets from the Medicaid spend-down requirement should you require expensive care with activities of daily living.   Not only this, you can include a strategy to protect your house for Medicaid qualification purposes in advance of requiring very expensive care in the future.  

Your plan also becomes the road map for administering your estate when you die. Yes, we all will die someday so we might as well have a plan for it.  If you don’t have a plan, then you will leave chaos behind you. You won’t feel a thing, but your loved ones will be very upset with you. 

The foundational plan consists of a will or revocable trust, financial durable power of attorney, advance healthcare directive and HIPAA release. Having a plan allows you to control who will be in charge of your estate.  You get to pick your beneficiaries and control what, when, and how they will inherit from you. You can exclude unwanted beneficiaries from your estate.  You can set it up so that a disabled beneficiary can inherit assets into a special needs trust. This will allow them to still qualify for government benefits. Your plan can include strategies to avoid the probate process and its associated costs, and to fully utilize the available estate tax deductions and credits.  You can make it so that your estate will not have to pay a lawyer to help with the administration when the time comes.