11 months ago


Planning for the Second

Planning for the Second Half of Life: Asset Protection Focused Estate Planning As with anything in life, your estate planning needs to change as your life changes. In retirement, the greatest risk to you & your assets is the potential for long term care crisis – and the attendant costs for that care – to decimate your estate. Statistics show that between 50-70% of all people over age 65 in the U.S. will need long term care at some point in the future, with the average length of stay between 3.5 to 4 years. Does your financial plan account for $6,500-$7,500 per month in extra expenditures for a long term care event? Over four years, that could equate to over $360,000 at today’s cost – and the cost always, always goes up each year. Most are unprepared for this very likely event and. In fact, most people have never given a thought to planning for long term care. This is where a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, or CELA for short, can help. There are only nine CELAs in the state of Georgia. Without planning for long term care, a family could lose everything they have saved to a spend-down, and also their home to the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. Most of the clients of The Smith Law Firm are not concerned about protecting against estate taxes because they do not have over $11.2 million in assets (the new Federal Estate Tax limit for 2018). Instead they want to avoid probate & make their passing as simple as possible for the family, protect against long-term care a provide a legacy to their children. One of the best tools a Certified Elder Law Attorney has in his/her tool box to assist with these goals is the modern asset protection trust. We never recommend just giving your assets away to children or others for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that you lose control. Incorporating long term care planning and an Asset Protection trust into your estate planning makes sense for many families for a variety of reasons. Typically clients like the flexibility, asset protection, and simplicity provided by the Asset Protection Trust. With this type of trust, you can: • Stay In Control • Avoid Probate • Provide Asset Protection for Your Children • Provide Asset Protection for You • Protect Against Long-term Care Costs • Protect Against Lawsuits • Avoid Trustee Problems • Leave a Legacy for the Next Generation The utilization of these types of trusts is critical to anyone looking to plan ahead to protect their estate from long term care costs, while also remaining in control of the assets in their estate. Elder Law . Estate Planning . Asset Protection . Special Needs Planning 42

What about the standard old revocable living trust used in estate planning? The biggest difference between the traditional Revocable Living Trust (RLT) and the irrevocable Asset Protection Trust is that the latter can protect your assets from creditors and nursing homes. The Asset Protection Trust is a modern form of irrevocable trust that allows you to change beneficiaries, change trustees (and be the trustee yourself ) and get assets back into your name at any time following certain rules we set up. And these types of trusts do not require a separate tax return or tax ID number, making them very easy to manage: as easily as you manage your assets without one. Perhaps the strongest reason to create an Asset Protection Trust is its great flexibility to meet a wide range of needs. With a this Trust you can maintain control of your assets (unlike outright transfers of assets to a child or to a traditional Irrevocable Trust), while at the same time protecting your assets from probate (unlike wills) and from creditors and nursing homes (unlike Revocable Living Trusts). A Certified Elder Law Attorney has the expertise to properly guide you towards the type of estate planning might be right for you in retirement, based on your needs and concerns. THE SMITH LAW FIRM ELDER LAW & ASSET PROTECTION Your Family . Our Focus . Protecting What Matters. Call Us For A Free Consultation About your Estate & Asset Protection Planning Patrick Smith Certified Elder Law Attorney Lindsay Barnes Elder Law Attorney 3549 Wheeler Road Augusta, Ga 30909 Tel: 706-826-1500 Download Our Book For Free!! 43

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