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Is your estate plan worth what you paid for it?

April 12, 2017

 

We have our attorney put together an estate plan be it a will, living trust, or a combination of both.  Why do we put together such a plan?  After working hard, upon our passing, we want our money to go to those we identify to receive it.

 

It is common to use what is lawful to save taxes, time, and expenses by setting up a customized estate plan.  It makes sense! A correct estate plan can allow us to control what happens to our money from the grave.  Some now use their estate plan to dictate the actions of family members.  As an example, we may use a living trust to inspire our child or grandchildren to get an education.  The trust is structured to pay out x amount of money to our loved one (or ones) only if they graduate from college.  We might require they receive a certain grade point before receiving any of our hard earned savings. We might require them to sit on a philanthropic board and do good things for the community else no money from the trust.

But what if after all the planning, family meetings, and attorney meetings along with paying a good chunk of money to the attorney to provide all of the necessary documents and their time, we failed to take into account one important estate planning consideration. The financial planner nor the attorney mentioned, if you have no money, your estate plan is worthless.  A lot of money spent for nothing.

 

What am I referring to?  The number one reason people become impoverished in retirement is the cost of long-term care.  So what if you have an extra $90,000 a year in long-term care expenses you never planned on?  What if your estate was financially diminished or gone all together?  Obviously, your estate plan isn’t worth what you paid for it.

 

Adding long-term care planning to your estate plan can help it maintain its value and allow you to control your money in the manner in which you designed.  By employing the Pension Protection Act and with proper arrangement you can protect your plan and your money. This can be accomplished without costing you any additional expenses. If you haven’t done this type of planning you may want to consider it.

 

 

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