We plan all kinds of things in our lives. Some decisions may be simple, like what we’ll have for lunch tomorrow, while other plans are much more complex. For example, how much time have you spent preparing for the future? With estate planning, you can put prepare a plan that means peace of mind for your loved ones – and for you.

Are You Ready for the Potential of Long-Term Care

Approximately 69% of people turning 65 this year will need some form of long-term care at some point in their lives. Long-term care ranges from receiving home-health care to having the 24/7 care of skilled nurses and staff at a nursing home. This type of care is expensive. The costs surprise many people as they begin to explore their options.

With estate planning tools, you can better prepare yourself and your loved ones. For example, qualifying for Medicaid can be difficult, in part because of their five-year look back period. If you applied for Medicaid today, your finances will be reviewed for the five years prior to your application. Transfers made during that time may cause your benefits to be delayed or reduced.  That’s why it’s important to begin preparing today.

In addition, you may be able to form a Medicaid trust that holds your assets, so they do not prevent you from qualifying for Medicaid and other benefits. Talk to an experienced estate planning attorney today to learn more about planning for long-term care.

Have You Prepared for Incapacity?

A typical estate plan includes a durable power of attorney. This documents names an agent to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Rather than going to court to have a guardian or conservator appointed, your agent can start handling your finances as soon as you become incapacitated.

Likewise, if you have formed any trusts, your trustee will handle your trust assets according to the terms of the trust. If you served as your own trustee, you likely named a successor in the trust document. Upon your incapacity, the successor trustee takes over.

Are You Ready for Retirement

Here again, a trust might help you fund your retirement. Some irrevocable trusts may even pay you an annuity, provide support for your spouse while preserving an inheritance for your children, and help you plan for Medicaid eligibility.

It’s also crucial to coordinate your retirement accounts with your estate planning. As you may know, financial accounts and insurance policies allow you to name beneficiaries to receive the funds in the account after you pass away. Without careful coordination with your estate planning strategies, including beneficiary designations, your estate may become unbalanced.

Attorney Bruce Adams assists clients like you with their estate planning and probate matters. Call us at 256-237-3339 to schedule an appointment. We are located in Anniston, Alabama, but help clients in surrounding communities like Oxford, Jacksonville, Heflin, Gadsden, and Pell City.

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