Oh, come on. Redoing an estate plan sounds about as exciting as purchasing tires! Well, it just so happens that tires are a perfect analogy. It is not fun to buy tires; it is necessary if the tread is unsafe – leaving your tires, your foundation for safety on the road, unable to perform the stated purpose of ensuring your safety.

The same is true about an Estate Plan that is out of date. By out of date, I mean one that will not achieve your stated goals – making sure you have the protections in place to address matters while you are living – and when you die.

Here’s a quick list of things that have changed over recent years that we find most Estate Plans do not adequately address:

  • The Durable Power of Attorney does not include proper HIPAA authorizations.
  • The Durable Power of Attorney does not adequately give your designated representative (your attorney, in fact) the authority needed to undertake emergency Nursing Home/MEDICAID planning when required when you lack the legal capacity to act for yourself.
  • Your Revocable Living Trust was created before 2017 and leaves all the money in the Family Trust – which restricts your spouse in a manner greater than you desire now that there is no practical Estate Tax (unless your Estate is greater than $12 million!)
  • You have listed your spouse or children as your IRA and 401k beneficiaries rather than achieving the same result by naming your Trust as the Beneficiary
  • Your Children have financial issues, and if you don’t plan, your assets, upon your death, may end up going to their creditors.
  • One or more of your children are in an unstable marriage, and you need to protect your assets from your son-in-law or daughter-in-law in case of divorce

Every one of these issues is a hot issue in today’s world. Without the HIPAA language, your Healthcare Power will be rejected by the hospital. That’s the easiest of the issues to understand – but the rest are far more critical.

The Supreme Court ruled that an Inherited IRA is not protected in bankruptcy. IRAs – when you own them, are protected – which means if you have to file bankruptcy due to unforeseen circumstances, you can keep the IRA in bankruptcy. Under the old law, when you died and your spouse or child inherited the IRA, they were afforded the same protection. If they had to file bankruptcy, they could keep the IRA. That changed.

Suppose you want to protect the IRA for your spouse or children. In that case, the only safe way is to make your Trust the Beneficiary – and then you need the proper language in the Trust. The IRA issue is just one of the issues – you need to investigate all of them. They are essential – they are the tread you need to make sure your Estate is safe, just like your family in the car.

Of course, I have a solution. Attend our upcoming Estate planning seminar. You will receive a $300.00 Gold Certificate (no, it’s not really gold!) off of the cost of an estate plan. You have no idea how great a deal this is, because our pricing for Estate Plans – even without the Gold Certificate – is probably the most reasonable deal in town – frequently ½ the cost that those big fancy firms charge. We have the talent you need, but not the overhead – so we do it right. Take advantage and come to the seminar or call today for an appointment.

Brian

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.