Most adults in the United States do not have estate plans in place, and this even applies to individuals that are in their 40s and 50s. Obviously, most people do not pass away before their time, but it does happen each and every day, so these people are taking unnecessary risks.
Estate planning is one of the core responsibilities of adulthood, and you never know what the future holds. Granted, you may be able to go without a plan when you are a very young adult with no one depending on you. However, it is irresponsible when you have a partner and/or children.
The First Steps
Your initial estate plan should include life insurance as an income replacement vehicle, and if you are a parent, you should designate a guardian for the children. From an overall financial perspective, the ideal plan will depend upon the circumstances.
After you put your initial estate plan in place, you should fully embrace the fact that updates will be required over the years. You should carefully choose an estate planning attorney that you feel comfortable working with and you can maintain that relationship going forward.
Your lawyer will have an understanding of your situation as it evolves, and they will always be ideally suited to make the appropriate recommendations.
Updates will be required when you have additions to your family, and your executor or trustee designations could be impacted by subtractions. Adjustments will be necessary if you have a change in marital status, and there are strategies that can be implemented for blended families.
Many people enjoy ever-increasing financial success as the climb up the career ladder, and the same thing can be said for entrepreneurs that own their own businesses. Asset protection can become necessary, and there are those that face estate tax exposure.
Speaking of taxes, changes in existing tax laws can come down the pike at any time. Plus, new laws that have nothing to do with taxation can impact estate plans. The legalization of same-sex marriages would be a case in point.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
At some point, you have to seriously consider the looming specter of long-term care costs. About three out of every four senior citizens will require help with their activities of daily living eventually, and more than one third will live in nursing homes.
You might assume that Medicare would pay for a stay in an assisted living facility or nursing home, but in fact, this program does not cover custodial care. The average cost for a year in a nursing home in the Los Angeles area is over $100,000, so this is a pretty big deal.
Medi-Cal does cover living assistance, but as we all know, this government health insurance program is only available to people with a significant level of financial need. It is possible to position your assets intelligently with Medi-Cal eligibility in mind, but it takes careful advance planning.
Access Our Free Worksheet
We have prepared an estate planning worksheet that you can use to gain a better understanding of the process that we have described in this post. The worksheet is being offered free of charge, so you really should take advantage of this opportunity to learn more.
To get your copy, head over to our worksheet page and follow the simple instructions.
Schedule a Consultation!
Today is the day for action if you are going through life without an estate plan. We are offering consultations through video and teleconferencing, and if you would rather come into the office, we maintain a completely safe environment.
You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, we can be reached by phone at 310-337-7696.