Estate planning is one of these topics (think relinquishing a driver's license or making long-term care arrangements) that can cause difficult conversations between adult children and their elderly parents. For one thing, your parents might get the impression that you are being greedy when you are just trying to help them. The reality is, though, if you have to ask yourself whether to have this conversation with your parents, you probably should. Here are some tips to make the talk go over well.
No matter how advanced medical technology gets, the reality is that all people are going to eventually die. While no one likes to think of their own mortality, the more prepared you are, the happier your family is after you are gone. A will allows you to appoint an executor to pass out your belongings and give guardianship to any minors living in your home. Simply put, a will is a huge protection for your family.
Organizing your estate is an important responsibility, one that demands your full attention. You need to plan it carefully and involve the people you trust the most to ensure it is carried out according to your wishes. Choosing who will assume the essential role of executor can be difficult, but there are several criteria you can refer to that should make the decision easier. Before asking anyone to be the executor of your estate, consider whether that individual satisfies the following four qualifications.
The process of estate planning may seem overwhelming to many families. They may know that a thorough estate plan is important, and be aware that there are a number of different important considerations and documents that may be included in the process, but may not always know what each estate planning tool refers to. One estate planning tool you may have heard of but wondered about and wanted to know more about is a power of attorney.
Estate planning can be intimidating for many people because of its perceived complexity. Many people may also be confused about what "estate planning" really refers to because of the word "estate": they may think that it is something that only applies to those with considerable wealth or assets. Estate planning is for everyone, however, and has many different facets. One commonly overlooked, but very useful, component of estate planning is the power of attorney.
Estate planning can be difficult. It requires people to plan for events to take place after their death or for when they are no longer able to manage their own affairs the way they were accustomed to previously. Planning for these circumstances is very important, however, especially if people want to maintain their independence as long as possible and direct the way their affairs will be managed when they are no longer able to personally manage them. A power of attorney is a very useful tool to achieve these goals, but it is important to make a wise choice to avoid exploitation or other problems, as the story of one Michigan women recently revealed.
Many people may be familiar with Medicaid, a program operated by the state and federal governments to provide medical coverage for people who meet certain income and health-related qualifications. In addition to providing basic medical coverage, Medicaid benefits can also be used to cover the cost of long-term care.
One of the most talked-about news stories in recent years has centered around same-sex marriage. During this time, a wave of states has approved same-sex unions through legislative initiatives or court decisions. However, not every state recognizes same-sex unions, which obviously has implications for estate planning.
Completing a will is a critical juncture in estate planning, but it may not be wise to make it the first and only step in the process. As we've covered on this blog, there are a handful of documents that can effectively stand alongside and support a will. Namely, creating power of attorney plans is a critical step for many people.
The significant cost of long-term care might be on the minds of many people. Whether this need will arise sooner or later, it’s possible to prepare for the possibility of an extended stay in a nursing facility. Although this kind of care might simply become necessary, receiving adequate care is going to create a financial burden.