If you have been intending to make an estate plan but never seem to make it a priority, there is one thing to consider; an estate plan is not for you as much as it is for your family. In addition to passing on your money and property to your heirs, creating an estate plan also prevents the trouble and expense of fighting with a probate judge over the distribution of your assets. A good estate plan can help your family avoid conflict and stress.
Now is the time to establish your estate plan, and Landes Law, LLC, can help. Attorney Eric J. Landes serves clients throughout the Pottstown, Pennsylvania, area in all types of estate planning matters. As a local, he understands where you are coming from and provides personalized service that will help ease the challenges of creating an estate plan.
Handling All Aspects Of Your Estate Plan
When making an estate plan, it is critical to make sure all the various documents and instruments are coordinated to work together to create one comprehensive plan.
The firm helps clients draft basic wills, which can either stand alone or be the foundational document of a more complex estate plan that employs multiple instruments.
Trusts are the most important and versatile instruments for achieving more complicated estate planning goals. Trusts allow a tremendous degree of control over every aspect of the asset transfer. Attorney Eric J. Landes can help you establish both revocable trust and irrevocable trusts.
A trust can be used to spread payments of a gift over a span of time, save the gift for a specific date or upon the accomplishment of a specific life achievement like graduation, or they can be used to provide for specified items like a new home or college tuition.
As the names imply, revocable and irrevocable trusts are distinguished primarily by whether or not they can be revoked. Irrevocable trusts do not give you the opportunity to revoke them, but they do allow for a greater degree of control over the details surrounding the transfer of assets.
Benefits Of An Irrevocable Trust In Medicare Planning
An irrevocable trust is a great tool for asset protection when it's likely you are going into long-term care, allowing you to avoid the Medicare 5-year lookback. If you go into a facility that accepts Medicare, but the costs are greater than Medicare, the standard payment model is to have Medicare cover a portion of the monthly bill and you will cover the other portion. Once you run out of money, Medicare will pay for the entire portion.
A revocable trust is still technically your money, so Medicare will require that you spend it all. An irrevocable trust created 5 or more years prior to entering a care facility, even for you or your family's benefit, is not considered an asset and as such is not subject to pay for your long-term care.
Health Care Instruments
The most important nonfinancial aspect of your estate plan will likely involve your health care planning. It is not uncommon for someone to lose the ability to make or communicate decisions for themselves due to accidents, declining health or specific health events like a stroke. By planning ahead for this contingency, you will be providing a great service to your family by communicating to them ahead of time how you want to take responsibility for your health care. A health care directive also allows you to make your wishes known concerning the level of care you wish to receive in the event of a traumatic injury or health event.
Another important piece of health care planning involves how you are going to pay for late-life health care, which can be terribly expensive. Medicare planning can help you protect assets from mandated spend-downs if circumstances require that you move into a nursing home or similar facility.
Help From A Knowledgeable, Friendly Hometown Attorney
At Landes Law, LLC, you will find a lawyer who will listen to you and work closely with you to establish a customized estate plan. He minimizes the challenges and strives to make the process as painless as possible. Call 610-334-1463 or email the firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.