If you are a careful life-long saver, investor, business owner or working professional, there are little-known strategies – secrets if you will – to plan for the second half of life to protect your loved ones, avoid institutional long-term care, preserve your assets and avoid becoming a burden to others. Working with the right professional will help you understand the differences between traditional estate planning and a more comprehensive approach, known as Legal Life Care Planning. Everyone’s “rhythm of life” is different and requires a plan uniquely prepared for your particular needs and concerns.
THE SECRETS IN A NUTSHELL:
- There are several ways to avoid probate, including joint ownership of property, using beneficiary designations and transfer-on-death deeds, gifting property, and establishing a revocable living trust. The right combination of these strategies will provide sure-fire protection. But a wrong decision here can result in disaster.
- A properly drafted power of attorney – with enhanced powers – can help your family provide you with life care planning and protect your assets. But most forms and online documents don’t address this feature, leaving your family at risk.
- There are substantial differences between wills and trusts that most people fail to consider or even understand. Worse yet, do-it-yourself and online documents simply give you the tools to commit moral malpractice. A plan, tailored to your specific objectives, takes time with the guidance of an experienced professional.
- There are little-known strategies available to reduce your financial burden for extended or long-term care. Such strategies might involve asset-based insurance or annuities to pay for your care in a private-pay residential facility of your choice, even if you don’t qualify for traditional long-term care insurance. Or, as an alternative, legal strategies can be implemented to provide asset preservation while qualifying for public assistance to pay the expenses of $8,000 (or more) per month without wiping out your life savings.
- You can ensure the optimum stretch-out, asset protection, and management of your unspent IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement plans you leave your children.
- The remarriage of a surviving spouse oftentimes results in a disinheritance of children and beneficiaries of the first spouse to die. Most people don’t even consider this possibility. With proper guidance, it can be prevented.
- Court proceedings routinely involve high costs, family conflict, and drama, especially where a parent or loved one has suffered a sudden stroke, Alzheimer’s, or other debilitating conditions. Proper designations of decision-makers will protect against this tragedy.
- Outright distributions to children or other beneficiaries are likely to result in losing an inheritance to divorce, creditors, predators, or destructive personal habits. Most inheritances are lost or spent in just a few years. This can be prevented with the use of continuing trusts tailored to the needs of your beneficiaries.
- Families can potentially pay undesired estate, capital gains or income taxes. With proper planning and the guidance of a professional, these tax obligations will be minimized or eliminated.
- With a carefully designed, advance plan for business or farm/ranch succession, you will avoid enormous challenges in achieving your objectives. Procrastination is your enemy.