Many seniors understand the benefits of working with a Newport Beach estate planning attorney to finalize their will or trust. They have very clear goals regarding their planning, which are typically to:
- avoid probate,
- make decisions regarding trust administration,
- and—most importantly—to protect their assets for their heirs.
But what if I told you that having a trust does not necessarily ensure that your assets will stay protected for the benefit of those you love?
In fact, what if I told you that there’s a possibility that you could wind up with ZERO assets left because they were gobbled up by a nursing home other long-term care facility?
It’s true and it’s an unfortunate situation that catches families financially off guard every single day.
It’s no secret that nursing home and home health care is expensive and can put your entire estate at risk.
If you find yourself to be among the millions of people who do not qualify for Medicaid, your assets will need to be used to pay for your medical and long-term care needs, potentially leaving little or nothing left to your estate.
This means that even if you have a trust directing how your assets should be distributed, it will be referring to assets that were already sold off to cover expenses.
Unless, of course, you have the right kind of trust in place designed to protect your assets from creditors, lawsuits and long-term care costs that can be incurred while you are still alive.
This is typically referred to as incapacity planning, which for many people is a critical piece of their overall estate plan.
However, keep in mind that not all estate planning attorneys focus on asset protection or planning for incapacity, so you’ll want find an attorney who is familiar with elder law and long-term care planning issues.
Just let him or her know that you’re concerned about long-term care costs and that you want to proactively minimize the damage they can have on your estate.
Of course if you live in the Orange County area and you’d like to learn more about incapacity planning and how to shield your assets from skyrocketing long-term care costs, I invite you to call our office to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session.
Don’t just assume that because you have a trust that your assets will be protected in the event of incapacity. Instead, schedule an appointment and bring in your trust so we can review it for you and help you gain the peace of mind knowing that your estate will preserved for the people you love.