When you think about the future, you need to consider what may happen if your health fails as you age or what will occur after you die. Your estate plan can protect you later in life and can help you leave a meaningful legacy for your closest family members and friends. You could also arrange to leave money to support different charitable causes.
Although there are certainly certain tips and tricks that apply to a large number of people, every estate planning situation is unique. Integrating the right protections into your documents will help you as you age and support your family members after you die. The three tips below can help you arrive at the most effective estate plan possible.
Use the right tool to pass on property
For many people thinking about estate planning, this is the primary issue that they need to address. They need to decide who will inherit from their estate and what will happen to the remainder of their property.
You can accomplish some of your goals using a will, but those with more robust legacy wishes, like the establishment of a scholarship fund, may want to use a trust. Directly addressing what should happen to your property when you die is an important step during estate planning.
Think about if you’ll need Medicaid benefits
Medicaid isn’t necessary for all older adults. Some people only ever require the support provided by medicare. However, those who end up in a nursing home or who require other forms of intensive medical support may not be able to pay for that care themselves.
Medicare will not cover such treatment, which means you need to be ready to qualify for Medicaid when your health changes later in life. Advance planning makes it easier to qualify when the time comes. It can also protect your most valuable property, including your home, from Medicaid estate recovery efforts after you die.
Protect yourself from the stresses of aging
Your estate plan can include powers of attorney and an advance directive that can protect you while you are still alive but in a medically vulnerable position. You can name someone to handle your medical decisions and your financial affairs. You can also provide clear written directions about your medical preferences.
People in unique situations, like those estranged from certain family members or hoping to provide for a child with special needs, may have very different estate planning goals and requirements than the average adults in Michigan. Identifying your biggest concerns can help you take the right steps when planning your estate.