Gift giving is a profound expression of gratitude, and if you are going through life without an estate plan, you may want to use the holiday as motivation.
Passing Along Your Legacy
When you initiate the estate planning process, you should create an inheritance list and think about the best way to provide for each person. You do not have to provide direct, lump sum inheritances all at once, and this is not possible if you have minors on the list.
There really are no limitations, because there are many different methods that can be utilized.
For example, you can allow for distributions to the beneficiary of an incentive trust if certain stipulations are met. This approach can be used to guide a person toward positive behavior or away from a self-destructive lifestyle.
It is also possible to use a living trust with spendthrift protections without attaching any clearly define strings.
These are a couple of examples, but there are many other possibilities. If you work with an attorney, you can create a plan that provides for each person on your list in the optimal manner.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
A comprehensive plan will include a proactive nursing home asset protection strategy. This is something that a lot of people do not think about for a couple of different reasons.
One of them is the simple fact that they assume that they will never need nursing home care. The other assumption is the idea that Medicare will pay for it if you ever require living assistance.
Unfortunately, 35 percent of seniors will receive nursing home care per se, and 70 percent of elders will need help with their activities of daily living. Medicare will pay for convalescent care after an injury or illness, but it does not pay for the custodial care nursing homes provide.
Medicaid will fill the void, but you can’t qualify if you have significant assets in your own name. If you act well in advance, you can fund an irrevocable Medicaid trust to develop the right financial profile.
Family Heirlooms, Ethical Will, and Family History
The matters that we looked at above are purely practical, and you can choose to add another dimension to your legacy plan. If you have family heirlooms that have been passed down, you can evaluate all the items and make decisions about the future caretakers.
As an elder, you are a repository of information about your family, so you may want to record everything that you know about your family history. This is a gift in the present, and it is an expression of gratitude and respect for your ancestors.
Ethical wills stem from the Judaic tradition, and they have been used for millennia. In this type of will, you can share the moral and spiritual values that you have lived by throughout your life.
This is the traditional purpose of an ethical will, but modern end-of-life experts advocate the utilization of free-form ethical wills. You can look at it like a final letter to your loved ones, and you can include anything that you would like to convey.
Attend a Free Webinar!
You are here because you are looking for information about estate planning, and we invite you to explore all that we have to offer on this site. In addition to these written resources, we also conduct estate planning and nursing home asset protection webinars on an ongoing basis.
The sessions are offered free of charge, and you don’t have to go anywhere to join us, so this is a golden opportunity to build on your knowledge. You can see the dates if you visit our webinar page, and when you identify the session that works for you, follow the simple instructions to register.