Do You Need a Will?
Long Term Care Planning
Do you need an Estate Attorney?
You’ve worked hard for your money. You’ve been responsible. Saved for retirement. Built a nest egg for your family to fall back on in hard times. You’ve done all the right things. So it is only reasonable that you should make certain that your family benefits from all your hard work, rather than the government or medical system. That’s why working with an experienced estate planner is crucial to preserving your wishes.
A sound financial plan should consider your estate objectives
41% of Baby Boomers (age 55-64) do not even have a simple will.
Source: RocketLawyer.com survey
Death and taxes may be certain, but there is no reason to pay more taxes upon your death than is absolutely necessary! Federal estate taxes only impact the very wealthy after recent tax law changes, but did you know that the NJ state estate tax that is one of the highest in the nation? (surprised?) And that is applies to estates as small as $650,000? Good estate planning can help limit your families tax exposure.
Even if you have all the right wills and trusts created to minimize your tax liability, have you positioned your assets appropriately and named beneficiaries to take advantage of that carefully crafted estate plan and its special trust provisions. Many couples we meet with have not! The truth is that many people pay sizable legal fees to draw up a detailed estate plan, but fail to do the financial homework to put the plan in action.
Do you need a will?
We think everyone should have essential estate planning documents, including a will, power of attorney, and medical directive documents. Special attention is required in the following circumstances:
- You or your spouse have children from a prior marriage
- You have any special wishes for distribution of your assets
- You or your spouse are not a U.S. citizen
- You are in a non-traditional household or relationship
- You are a single parent
- You want to be sure your wishes regarding extraordinary medical treatments are understood and followed.
- You need someone you trust to manage your financial and legal affairs if you are incapacitated.
What about long term care expenses?
Maybe you have ensured your assets will be protected from taxation – but have you protected them from extreme medical costs at end of life? Medicare does not cover long term care expenses, either at home, or in a nursing home. Careful planning for long term care costs should be done years in advance of the need to make certain all options are available to you. With long term care expenses approaching $100,000 per year, it might not take long to see your entire life savings depleted! An estate planner can help review strategies to ensure that your still healthy spouse is protected and you are able to leave something for your children!
If your need for long term care (or that of a parent) is in the near term (i.e. less than 5 years) and you think you may need to rely on Medicaid for payments – you should seek the services of a qualified elder care attorney! Medicaid rules and regulations are extremely complicated, and even those who believe they are following the rules often get in trouble.
Need a qualified estate or elder care attorney?
Give us a call. We know several good attorneys in the area. We can refer you to an attorney in your area qualified for the type of work you need done!
Pick our brains, we’re here to help!
Stop worrying or worse, putting it off until tomorrow. You don’t have to go it alone. Give us a call at (908) 203-4664, or send us an email using the form on this page. We’ll explain how our estate planning services could work for you.
Disclaimer: We are not attorneys, and do not provide legal advice. However, we can show you how your estate plan (or lack of one) might impact your ability to achieve your financial goals. We can refer you to local attorneys if you need legal work done.