When medical issues arise, it is imperative that you have a plan in place, in order to help you and your family deal with the situation. Many who face these types of problems do not have the legal, financial, and medical steps put in place, in order to deal with the ramifications of this crisis.
As you get older, it is important to keep an eye on your future. Whether you are examining your physical health or your financial health, you need to make sure that should any type of emergency arise, you and your loved ones are protected. You need an estate plan.
Understanding the need
If you have not gotten one yet, it is understandable. Many who get older often put it off, because they feel that they have plenty of time. Unfortunately, that is not the case for over half of Americans. The American Bar Association cites statistics that state that 55 percent of Americans die without a will or estate plan.
You may be like many Americans, who are unaware of what an estate plan accomplishes. In “Personal Financial Planning for Executives and Entrepreneurs,” the financial professionals who authored the book explain that the main objectives of estate planning are an orderly distribution of estate property, tax mitigation, welfare planning, income continuity, asset protection, beneficiary security, and possible philanthropy.
For those who are concerned about navigating these complicated subjects, it may seem easier to procrastinate your estate plan. However, having a complete estate plan protects you and your family, should anything unforeseen occur. You do not want to die intestate.
Contact your elder law attorney
This is why it is imperative to contact the elder law attorneys at Lifeline Tax. Their experience at crafting estate plans that are uniquely made to fit your needs. They also will provide tools and information necessary to deal with any potential problems that can arise during the aging process.
Even if you have not retired or are not near the age of retirement, you still should have a plan in place, especially when it comes to medical decisions. If you were to need medical treatment or long-term care, how would you pay for it? Furthermore, how would you prevent the treatment or care from draining your accounts and leaving your healthy spouse without funds to sustain themselves?
Navigating medical decisions
Your elder law advisors at Lifeline Tax can help you navigate the complex waters of Medicaid, which is a federal-state program that provides medical assistance to low-income individuals, including senior citizens ages 65 and older.
Your elder law attorney will be able to help you qualify for Medicaid through proper planning. This will allow you to shelter countable assets, preserve assets for your beneficiaries through the use of irrevocable trusts, and provide for your healthy spouse through the use of an annuity.
When you are planning for your medical future, you also have to worry about HIPAA authorizations. According to “Real Property, Probate, and Trust Journal,” published by the American Bar Association, there is a document involved in estate planning that often is included with the durable and health care powers of Attorney, that enhances the privacy of medical patients and restricts who has access to pertinent medical records.
Dissecting Powers of Attorney
A health care Power of Attorney is just one that you need to consider when planning for your future. There are many types of the document with various functions. A limited Power of Attorney may give someone the right to sign a deed to a property on a day when you are out of town or the right to sign a check for you.
The person you name in your Durable Power of Attorney to be your “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” to act in place of you, will be able to step in and take care of your financial affairs when or if you ever become incapacitated.
However, many financial institutions have issues in recognizing the authority of an agent under a Durable Power of Attorney, which is why it is important that the documents are crafted correctly with an experienced elder law attorney.
When you are planning for your future, you need to consider the worst case scenario and make sure that if that were to occur, you and your loved ones are protected. You need to have a plan in place, so that your assets are protected and your loved ones know what your wishes are.
Through contacting the experienced elder law attorneys at Lifeline Tax, you are taking steps to safeguard your family from the uncertainty of the future.