When facing a major life transition there are often a lot of questions, yet somehow at the very same time, there is way too much information. Things like long term care planning, and estate planning can have you feeling like you’re drinking from a firehose. It’s all coming right at you, and it all requires your attention, but you just can’t catch your breath. Perhaps you’ve already become aware of the endless paperwork, the myriad options available to you. All the questions with answers that seem to start with “well that depends on…”
We understand, this is essentially why we became Eldercare Resource Planning. Our own family member was in need of Medicaid planning, and for us there was a little too much “well that depends on…” So we took matters into our own hands.
And now, you’re in good hands with us. We learned what we needed to take good care of our family, and then we made it our business to help others. There is a lot to know, and it can get complicated, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be confusing. This is true for Medicaid planning and things like estate planning too. We’re here to help demystify processes, and we can help do that by breaking down this mountain of paperwork.
Did you know there’s a huge difference between a Living Will, and a Last Will? You’d think they would be similar, given their names, but they serve two completely different functions. One has to do with your possessions. Things like your loveseat, and the good china. The other has to do with your person, the care of your physical body before and after death. Both are extremely important.
Each aspect of any planning process must be carefully considered. The choices you make now can affect the level of care offered later. They can affect the ease of access that heirs have to their inheritance too. Here are a few key pieces to be aware of:
There are several ways to organize a trust, and reasons why you’d want to. One important purpose of a trust is to avoid the publicity and delays of probate court, the procedure associated with executing a will. Trusts don’t have anything to do with court so this can be a good way to speed things along and keep it private too.
Last Will and Testament
Often simply referred to as a “Will”, this document controls the disposition of a person’s sole property at the time of their death. It does not have control over life insurance, retirement benefits, trust assets or jointly owned property. A will is subject to probate court, and may result in higher estate taxes.
Power of Attorney
There are a few different types of power of attorney, and it’s important to choose the right one when planning your estate. Durable Power of Attorney allows you to appoint another person (Agent) to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters.
Advanced Directive for Health Care (Living Will)
A Living Will is also known as an Advanced Health Care Directive. This document gives instructions on a person’s health care. It specifies which medical procedures an individual wishes to forego in the case of a terminal illness. A person has the final word and can always change their mind. However, if they are unable to speak for themselves, a Living Will expresses their wishes.
There is a lot more to know about each of these aspects to care and estate planning. As you can see, each of them plays an important role in what comes together as a solid plan, and that’s really what this is all about. Some research, thought and planning now, will go a long way toward enjoying this next phase of life. You don’t have to be mired in “what if”s, and you don’t have to go it alone. Working with professionals to help plan for the future will help avoid issues when long-term care becomes an urgent matter. We’re here with you every step of the way so you can confidently move forward into the future, knowing everyone in your family is protected, including you.