Gainesville Estate Planning Law Blog

Long-Term Care Options for Estate Planning

Long-Term Care Options for Estate PlanningLong-term care is an essential part of estate planning for those who are no longer able to care for themselves or suffer from serious health issues.

Long-term care can be provided in many ways, and there are numerous options available when planning for the future of you and your loved ones.

Long-Term Care Issues in Estate Planning

Long-term care allows individuals to meet their daily needs. These include bathing, dressing, eating, and personal hygiene needs. Aging, disease, and other factors determine the level of care that's required now and in the future.

Many long-term care providers offer in-home services while others consist of assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Long-term care solutions can be costly, reaching over $20,000 a year in many cases. For more significant levels of care, the cost can be even higher. Also, health insurance plans may only provide coverage for these services for a limited time.

Planning for long-term care in your estate plan ensures that you or your loved ones receive the medical care needed for lasting wellbeing.

The many benefits of a trust in Georgia estate planning

Estate planning can be a complicated process. Of course, you want to ensure that your loved ones and family members will have access to assets after you pass on. You also probably want to make sure certain assets go to certain people. You may have minor children, special needs family members or even beloved pets who require care after you die. A trust is an ideal way to provide for all of those concerns.

A trust gets funded by assets either during your life or when you die. This specialized legal entity creates rules for the disbursal of assets in an estate. There can be limits placed on the use or withdrawal of funds. There can be conditions placed on certain inheritances. The person creating the trust can even make special protections for the ongoing care and financial support of special needs loves ones, young children and pets. Trusts offer those planning estates a wide range of benefits.

Specific wording needed in residuary clauses for asset protection

Helping an aging parent solidify an estate plan can be challenging. Many adult children in Georgia face complicated situations regarding asset protection that make executing estate plans difficult. Much stress can usually be alleviated by enlisting the help of someone who is well-versed in long-term care planning.

Many people understand the importance of helping elderly parents get their estate plans in order. Certain crucial factors can mean the difference between a clear and comprehensive plan and one that has the potential to cause problems for heirs when the time comes to administer the estate. One key component that helps clarify an estate owner's intentions is known as a residuary clause. This provision ensures that any assets not listed under specific bequests are accounted for and appropriately distributed according to an estate owner's wishes.

Power of Attorney Abuse: Recognizing its Signs to Protect You and Your Loved Ones

Power of Attorney Abuse: Recognizing its Signs to Protect You and Your Loved OnesPower of attorney (POA) is an estate planning instrument that authorizes another individual to act on your behalf in legal, personal, and professional affairs.

But granting this authority can put people at risk for abuse. In many cases, the person who has issued the POA (grantor) may be incapacitated due to age, health issues, or financial limitations.

This increases the damages that may be caused when the person granted the authority (agent) abuses their position.

Preventing power of attorney abuse requires family members and loved ones to recognize its signs and know the legal options that are available to them.

Power of Attorney Essentials

Each state has its own regulations for creating POA agreements. It's a good idea to consult with a skilled estate planning attorney prior to creating your POA so that you understand all applicable laws.

The agent you select in your POA has the ability to make decisions related to your finances, health care, consent of medical treatments, and guardianship.

Unfortunately, the limited capacity of grantors who have special needs can put them at risk for power of attorney abuse.

Is it time to explore assisted living options?

Many adult children in Georgia do their best to help their aging parents enjoy their lives as much as possible in their golden years. Some have health concerns and other impairments that necessitate additional help and support. It can be a very difficult and emotional experience trying to determine whether assisted living care is needed.

Some older people resist leaving the homes they have lived in for years, perhaps decades. It is understandable that strong attachments are forged after raising families and building memories in the same places for so long. However, many have needs they can no longer fulfill while living on their own; in such cases, it helps to know where to turn for support in determining whether the time has come to secure assisted living arrangements.

How an Irrevocable Trust Benefits Your Estate Planning and Future

How an Irrevocable Trust Benefits Your Estate Planning and FutureProtecting your assets is a fundamental goal of estate planning. It ensures that assets are managed and distributed appropriately based on your preferences.

Irrevocable trusts are just one of many tools used in estate planning. They reduce the tax burden of your estate and allow you to transfer its value to loved ones. But there are many other benefits of an irrevocable trust.

Knowing what an irrevocable trust is and the benefits it can provide you and your family gives you the resources to make the right estate planning decisions.

What to Know About Irrevocable Trusts

An irrevocable trust protects assets from legal claims, taxation, and other common financial risks. Irrevocable trusts require the permission of the beneficiary in order to be changed or canceled.

The individual who creates the trust (grantor) gives up ownership rights to the assets that are contained within it. This protects assets from legal judgments made against you.

Because you no longer are the legal owner of the assets, creditors cannot access your property.

Estate planning offers two types of irrevocable trusts: living and testamentary. A living trust is managed by the grantor throughout his or her lifetime. These include spousal lifetime access trusts, life insurance trusts, and others.

Testamentary trusts are created after the time of the grantor's death. The person's will can include terms that direct the creation and funding of a testamentary trust. It also prevents anyone who doesn't have legal authority from modifying the trust.

How Elder Care Law Attorneys Help Make Medicare Decisions

How Elder Care Law Attorneys Help Make Medicare DecisionsOlder adults face many challenges when making decisions related to Medicare and other health care needs.

Elder law attorneys help you make Medicare decisions that support your long-term wellbeing and ensure that you have everything you need for the future.

The complexities of Medicare laws and regulations add to the challenges that elders face. Working with an elder law attorney can help you make the right decisions for your legal, health, and financial concerns while helping your protect your rights.

Common Issues to Consider

Elders often end up relying on family members to provide the necessary care and attention as they age. But there are legal factors related to personal finances, healthcare, and final wishes that you should consider.

Decisions related to Medicare increase the need for the right elder law resources to help you and your family make decisions for the future.

Otherwise, older adults may become vulnerable to being taken advantage of and missing out on opportunities to receive medical and financial protections.

Choosing the right Medicare plan prevents costly mistakes that can lead to lasting impacts on the future health of older adults.

Understanding Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and other plans that are available is the first step in making Medicare decisions.

When adult children fight of estate planning issues

Many Hollywood fans grew up enjoying the antics of famed actor and comedian Jerry Lewis. Georgia residents were likely among many others throughout the nation who mourned his death at age 91 from heart failure. Since then, news has gone viral regarding several estate planning decisions Lewis reportedly made before he died.

In 2012, Lewis executed documents in a final will and testament that specifically excluded his six sons from inheritance. The father of many named each of his sons and clearly stated it was his explicit intent to disinherit them and their descendants. While some shared their shock and dismay regarding these decisions, others say it is not uncommon for elderly parents to disinherit adult children from their estates.

Have your aging parents created a health power of attorney?

No one wants to think about their parents getting older, losing mental clarity and slowly dying. However, aging and the physical and mental deterioration that come with it are a part of life. If you're worried about the health and mental capacity of your aging parents, it may be time to talk with them about creating a specific power of attorney to deal with health issues in the future.

You love your parents and want what is best for them. You also want to follow their instructions when it comes to health decisions and end of life care. Talking with your parents about creating a special power of attorney for when they become medically incapacitated is a smart decision. The document will protect you, your parents, their wishes and their estate in the event that they become unable to make their own medical decisions in the future.

Need the low down on trust planning?

Many Georgia residents (and those elsewhere) avoid the topic of their own mortality like the plague. Others understand the potential benefits of such discussions, especially when it comes to estate planning. Procrastination in organizing an estate arises for many reasons. Often, it is lack of knowledge about a particular issue, such as trust planning, that keeps people from moving forward with their estate plans.

An estate owner may know how he or she wishes to approach a living will, any powers of attorney deemed relevant or other matters, but may lack necessary information regarding the different types of trusts available. Trust planning is a valid facet of estate planning as a whole. By knowing where to find answers to questions and what resources are available to help navigate the process, much stress can be avoided.

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