Understanding Estate Planning and Trusts – Ways to Protect Your Assets and Your Family

Estate planning and trusts is a step that is not just for the wealthy anymore. If you are an individual that has worked hard and saved for your retirement and plan to live out your days in your home and in your community, you are not alone. Baby boomers have spoken loud and clear. That is what they want.

They also plan to leave their hard earned money to their children. Think again, we are living longer and healthier than ever before. The care we are going to need is going to require finances and we are going to have to pay for it. Medicare and health insurance does not pay for the services that an aging elderly person needs. Most services are considered custodial or unskilled needs.

There are many family members that give up their jobs and provide care for an aging family member. Sometimes, moving their entire family from across the country and into what was once the family home. Many make this move to help an aging family member that absolutely refuses to move from the old neighborhood. In this economy today, it is not uncommon for the family to expect to inherit the family home in return for their care giving duties.

The problem is, that sometimes the stress and care of taking care of another takes its toll. Many caregivers health suffers from not paying attention to themselves and they end up ill and unable to care for their family member or in the hospital. Or the unthinkable happens and the family member they are providing care for becomes unmanageable.

So a time comes when money has to come from out of pocket or private pay. Often times, the aging family member ends up in assisted living or a nursing home. This brings us back to the home everyone is living in. Because the home is in the aging family member s name and there are rules, there is a strong possibility the house will be used to pay for those services. The family home, at some time will be lost.

More on is estate planning and trusts the definition for Medicaid asset protection information?

So it is important that the aging population take advantage of the laws that have been put in place to help them protect their assets, their home, and their savings, and, for some their business. Yes, there are laws that are on the books that are available to us that can save us lots of money and help us to pass those savings on to our children or use those savings for other purposes.

There are many different interpretations of the Medicaid laws, which is a federal program that is run by each state. So it is important that you develop an estate planning checklist and educate yourself on the inheritance tax laws in your area. The best way to do that is to do some simple research and learn some of the terms and understand what it is you want to accomplish before you get started. It is important to plan for your future care needs before you need them. Here are a few tips that may help to get you started on you way.

Understand the difference between Medicare, Medicaid and Medigap policies. If you are a Veteran, you really want to know what benefits may be available to you and your spouse. Part of estate planning and trusts is more than just having a will in place. It is so much more. It really is a planning process that includes a will and a trust and several other legal documents that could save you thousands of dollars.

Do not wait until it is too late to take action. Take a proactive approach and make sure that you take care of your spouse or children, if that is a concern for you. Do not take anything for granted. Estate planning and trusts are a form of Medicaid asset protection planning information in disguise.

Diane Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own homes. That decision may be made when you are 20, 30, 40 or in fact at any age, with sooner rather than later being ideal. Diane has developed a web site to make people aware of issues and options. You will find extensive helpful information that will be continually updated. Please visit Diane’s web site and learn more about estate planning and trusts. Sign up for “The Caring Advocate” her free newsletter and take advantage of a complimentary e-course Advocating For Yourself and Others

 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Diane_Carbo/5924

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

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