When you are engaged in the process of estate planning you are making preparations for the well-being of your family. These are largely going to be financial in nature, but it is a good idea to consider the human side as well. Though there may be the perfect family out there that consists of nothing but people that see things exactly the same way, this is not the norm. It is possible that family members will disagree with some of your wishes, and aside from this there can be issues that were not directly addressed in your estate planning documents.
Challenges to your estate can take place when family members are in disagreement about the wishes that you leave behind. This is one of the reasons why a lot of people choose to execute revocable living trusts rather than utilizing last wills to elucidate their final wishes. When you use a will your estate must pass through probate, and during this process disgruntled parties could present their arguments before the court. Even if the challenge was not successful your estate could be held up for a great deal of time and your rightful heirs would not receive their inheritances until the estate had been probated and closed.
Even in cases when no family members want to go so far as to contest your wishes legally there can be personal disagreements that can damage relationships. Something as simple as a particular sentimental item that was not specifically addressed in your will or trust can be argued over and rifts can result. The best way to handle this type of thing is to nip it in the bud. This can be done by getting together with your loved ones and having an honest conversation about your estate and the decisions that you have made so that there are no misunderstandings.
For some people death is a difficult subject to talk about, but this silence can often result in misunderstandings later on. Family communication is one of the keys to successful estate planning, and it is something to consider when you are making preparations for the future. This applies to the way that your assets will be distributed after you are gone, but you should also discuss the eventualities of aging with your family members.
United States Department of Health and Human Services maintains a very useful website called LongTermCare.gov. There are many eye-opening facts on the site, and one of the immediately grab your attention. Statistics indicate that seven out of every 10 people that are attaining senior citizen status of any given day will someday require help with their activities of daily living. Many of them will ultimately reside in assisted living facilities that provide skilled nursing care.
The vast majority of senior citizens will qualify for Medicare as a source of health insurance. This coverage will certainly help with many different health care related expenses, but there are out-of-pocket expenses. These would include deductibles, copayments, and monthly premiums. It is important to do some research and gain understanding of the extensive these costs that are you have to pay out of your own pocket.
In addition to these expenses that are manageable for most people, there is an enormous gap in the coverage that you should be well aware of when you are discussing the future with your family members. The Medicare program does not pay anything for the custodial care that you would receive in an assisted living facility or a nursing home.
This is a very big deal, because nursing home care is extremely expensive. Our Medicaid attorneys are located in Mount Clemens, Michigan, which is near Detroit. According to Genworth Financial, which is a company that provides financial products for senior citizens, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home in the greater Detroit area is $104,025. For a semi-private room, the median annual cost in 2017 was $94,626. Their research would indicate that people can expect to see a 4 percent increase in these costs over the next five years. As you can see, if you were to spend considerable time in a nursing home, everything that you intended to leave your loved ones could wind up in the coffers of the facility.
Our Medicaid attorneys can step in to help you prepare for this eventuality. Medicaid is a jointly administered federal/state program that does pay for long-term care. There is a low asset limit of $2000, but if you divest yourself of assets at least five years before you apply for coverage, you can gain eligibility. Of course, it takes careful, informed planning to do this effectively.
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