This is a simple question, and the answer is a stark reality.
Your future, like it or not, includes illness and, ultimately, death. You need an Estate Plan to address both contingencies. If you’re a young married couple with children – you also need an Estate Plan to include a guardian designation for your children in case both of you perish.
The Durable Power of Attorney is probably the most critical document in the plan. If Mom or Dad suffers a stroke and need nursing home care, emergency Medicaid planning is needed. Nursing home care typically runs $10,000 – $12,000 per month – with an average stay of 32 months. The cost of care will wipe out the net worth of most couples, leaving the other spouse without funds to live. If Mom or Dad signed a Durable Power before the stroke (when they were capable of acting), you could make the essential moves needed to preserve assets and qualify Mom or Dad for Medicaid. When both mom and dad are living, with proper elder law planning, you can preserve all of the assets.
You also need the Health Care Power so life and death choices can be made for you when in the hospital and you’re not capable of communicating. The Health Care Power takes care of this and avoids any dispute among your loved ones as to how things should be handled.
Last but not least, you need a Pour Over Will and a Trust to address the transfer of your assets to your intended beneficiaries. The Trust, when funded, eliminates the need to probate the will – a needless cost and annoying public process. Here, there are important decisions to make. Do you want to leave everything outright to your spouse – and let your spouse decide where the money goes after he or she dies? Alternately, do you prefer to leave your spouse the right to the money for their support and living expenses – but upon death, make it so that the remainder goes to your children? As to your children and your spouse – do they have creditor problems? If the answer is yes – then we need to do special planning to ensure the assets you want them to enjoy do not end up in the hands of their creditors.
Estate Planning may not be sexy, but we all need one, and we need it before it is too late. Of course, I have a solution. Attend our upcoming seminar on Estate Planning on February 8th. If you attend, you receive a $300.00 Gold Certificate (no, it’s not really gold!) off the cost of an estate plan. Save now and protect your family at the same time.
Did you know that THAV GROSS offers free consultations for business, financial, and tax problems? Call us anytime – (248) 645 – 1700 or CLICK HERE to send us a message.