It is never too early to start planning for your retirement and for when you are gone. Even if you are under the age of 40, it is not too soon to start making plans. If you are over 40 it is imperative to make plans now in order to avoid dire economic consequences when you are older. From understanding myths regarding estate planning to Medicare planning, we are ready to help you make plans for the future.
Myths Regarding Estate Planning
Many people do not want to do any retirement or end of life planning because they believe myths regarding these topics.
The state will take your money
- Fact: There is no federal or state tax on estates under $5.4 million dollars
If you put your home in a trust then Medicaid can’t take it from you.
- Fact: The opposite is true-the government will not take your home to pay Medicaid nursing home expenses. If it is in a trust, they will.
Probate is expensive and will be time consuming for my family.
- Fact: The laws have changed streamlining the process and, in most cases, your family will simply need to file some forms. In fact, a court appearance is never needed.
You can avoid probate by putting your house in your names of your children.
- Fact: Simply putting your home in their name could have dire tax consequences for them. The additional tax burden can often exceed the cost of going through probate. In addition, if your child has any financial problems of their own it could impact your home. It is almost never a good idea to put anyone else’s name on your house. Consult our skilled elder law attorneys today for alternatives that will work best for your family.
Many families set up living trusts assuming their assets will be protected. However, depending on what you are wanting to accomplish through a trust it may not be the right option for you. If you already have a trust that was created, we will review it with you to see if any changes need to be made to it.
Examining Your Will
Bring in a copy of your will or trust and we will look at it free of charge to see if you need to make any changes to the existing documents. Michigan laws frequently change, so we want to ensure your will is by to date with current laws.
Some recent changes to the law include the following:
- As of June 2016, you can appoint a “funeral representative” who is legally bound to follow your wishes regarding your funeral. Previously, it was up to your family’s decision even if their choices went against your wishes.
- We have been using a very effective estate planning tool recently - a Lady Bird Deed that avoids probate, has no tax consequences, and avoids the repayment to the government for any Medicaid services you may have received. Learn more about a Lady Bird Deed on our site and please call us for more details.
Our Medicare planning attorneys can help you understand how to protect your assets if it becomes necessary for you to supplement your coverage with Medicaid. State laws require advance planning long before care is needed in order to protect your assets. Contact our attorneys at Grewal Law PLLC to help ensure your assets are protected.
Medical & Financial Power of Attorney
Even if you feel you do not need to do any estate planning there are two documents everyone needs regardless of age or financial situation. These documents are a medical power of attorney and a financial power of attorney. It is important to have these documents completed in order to protect you if you are incapacitated and not able to make decisions.
- Medical Power of Attorney: allows you to direct what you want done if you are incapacitated in terms of life support or other medical procedures. It is important to let the person know what your wishes are in advance. Keeping them informed makes it easier for him or her to make those decisions for you based on your wants and desires regarding medical assistance.
- Financial Power of Attorney: appoints someone to look after your finances if you become incapacitated. If you do not have one appointed, your family will have to go to court to request a judge to appoint someone. Court costs can quickly add up and the process can be very divisive for families. Taking time to have a financial power of attorney in advance avoids these problems.
Elder Law Planning
The Michigan estate planning lawyers at Grewal Law PLLC are ready to help you understand how all of these issues may impact you and your family. Make an appointment to meet with one of our estate lawyers free of charge. We will be happy to look over your present will or trust to advise you as to whether or not you need to make any changes.
Taking time to plan for the future can save time and money in the long run. It will also ensure you are taken care if something happens where you are not able to make decisions for yourself. Having your estate plan prepared now is much cheaper than having your family burdened with the expense later.
Call us at Grewal Law PLLC for your no obligation quote at (888) 211-5798.