Get a Head Start on Your Unfinished Estate Planning Objectives


Get a Head Start on Your Unfinished Estate Planning Objectives

As another summer season comes to an end, you settle back into a routine and take inventory of the tasks that need to be completed before the end of the year: a discussion with a professional about your estate planning needs; a promise you made to yourself to look at a rock-solid plan to protect your assets against future, catastrophic nursing home costs; a recent re-marriage resulting in a blended family; or a devastating diagnosis requiring long-term care. Life is busy but death and disability don’t take vacations or holidays.


__ Working with the right estate planning professional, you can design an individualized plan around a Will or Living Trust
     to ensure that the wealth you have built is protected, administered and distributed on your terms without government or court interference,
     as when you fail to properly plan. There are significant differences between these legal plans, involving a myriad of options,
     that can be best explained only by a legal specialist. Take action now to avoid being among the 70% of Americans who
     do not have the proper estate plan in place for their circumstances. 

__ Proper estate planning involves many legal strategies, as well as non-legal options – including beneficiary designations, joint
     asset ownership, transfer on death deeds, gifting, protection against estate and capital gains taxes, insurance options, and more.
     Too often, people only get “part of the picture” when talking to non-attorney advisors, but they choose not to sit down with a
     legal professional. Worse yet, online services provide false promises of easy, cheap and complete do-it-yourself solutions. Don’t
     put your family’s future at risk by cutting corners in such important matters.  

__ A properly drafted power of attorney and health care directives are vital to provide the appropriate legal authority to a
     representative who will make financial and medical decisions for you when you can’t speak for yourself. These must be updated
     regularly to avoid rejection by banks, government offices and other third parties. And careful consideration must be given to the
     consequences of granting so much authority to an agent to avoid financial fraud and elder abuse.

__ There are little-known strategies available to reduce your financial burden for nursing home expenses of $8,000 - $12,000 per
     month, where one cannot live independently. Dementia affects 1 out of 8 people older than 65 and 50% of people older than
     85. America is in the midst of a “silver tsunami” with 10,000 individuals turning 65 every day; starting in the year 2030, they
     will turn 85. The number of people reaching 100 is expected to double in the next twenty years. We are living longer but not
     healthier. Without proper asset-protection planning, your life savings, retirement security, and family’s future will be wiped out.  

__ Quality of life decisions as a loved one loses the ability to live independently involves safety, comfort, socialization, and being
     in the least restrictive residential setting. Working with a transitional or geriatric care consultant to navigate you through these
     challenges and to coordinate all the services of hospitals, physicians, skilled nursing facilities and government bureaucracies can
     greatly improve your odds of getting the most appropriate and compassionate care.

__ Elder abuse, assault, fraud, theft, and scams are the “silent” crimes that are too infrequently prosecuted and protected against.
     You must be vigilant in ensuring that loved ones do not become victims and, when they do, to advocate for them vigorously.
     Know your rights. Seek proper guidance from a legal professional specializing in elder law.


There are resources available that families can use to deal with these deeply complex issues. Local workshops by estate planning and elder law professionals, such as the Aspen Legacy Planning, are available to address in detail the strategies available to provide security for you and your family.  These workshops are informative and sign-ups are available now, followed by individualized no-obligation consultations to evaluate your unique needs and solutions.

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