Oh, come on. Redoing my estate plan sounds about as exciting as purchasing tires! Well – it just happens that tires are a perfect analogy. No one wants to buy tires – it is a necessity that occurs when the tread reaches a dangerous level – leaving your tires – the foundation of your safety on the road in a position where they will not achieve the stated goal – of keeping you safe. The same is true about an Estate Plan that is out of date. By out of date, I mean one that is not going to achieve your stated goals – making sure you have the protections in place to address matters while you are living – and when you die. Here’s a quick list of things that have changed over recent years – that we find most Estate Plans do not properly address:
• The Durable Power of Attorney does not include proper HIPAA authorizations.
• The Durable Power of Attorney does not adequately give your designated representative (you attorney in fact) the authority needed to undertake emergency Nursing Home/MEDICAID planning when needed when you are lacking the legal capacity to act for yourself.
• Your Revocable Living Trust was created before 2017 and leaves all the money in the Family Trust – which restricts your spouse in a manner greater than you desire now that there is no practical Estate Tax (unless your Estate is greater than $11 million!)
• You have listed your spouse or children as your IRA and 401k beneficiaries rather than achieving the same result by naming your Trust as the Beneficiary
• Your Children have financial issues and if you don’t plan, your assets, upon your death, may end up going to their creditors.
• One of more of your children are in an unstable marriage and you need to protect your assets from your son in-law or daughter in-law in case of divorce
Every one of these issues is a hot issue in today’s world. Without the HIPAA language – your Healthcare Power will be rejected by the hospital. That’s the easiest of the issues to understand – but the rest are far more critical. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that an Inherited IRA is not protected in a bankruptcy. IRAs – when you own them are protected – which means if you have to file bankruptcy due to unforeseen circumstances, you can keep the IRA in bankruptcy. Under the old law, when you died and your spouse or child inherited the IRA, they were afforded the same protection – meaning if they had to file bankruptcy, they could keep the IRA. That changed last year – now if you want to protect the IRA for your spouse or children, the only safe way is to make your Trust the beneficiary – and then you need the proper language in the Trust leaving the IRA to your beneficiaries so they can spread the tax burden over time – as in the direct beneficiary designation.
The IRA issue is just one of the issues – you need to investigate all of them – they are important – they are the tread you need to make sure your Estate is safe – just like your family in the car.
Our next Estate Planning Seminar is covering these essential issues – and you’re invited to attend and bring your friends. Best yet, whoever attends receives a GOLD CERTIFICATE for $300.00 off the cost of an Estate Plan. You have no idea how great a deal this is – because our pricing for Estate Plans – without the Gold Certificate – is probably the most reasonable deal in town – frequently ½ the cost that those big fancy firms charge. We have the talent you need – but not the overhead – so we do it right. Take advantage and learn what you need to know. Sign up here – seating will be limited for this great Seminar.