PRESERVING ASSETS AND LEAVING LEGACIES TAKES PREPARATION
If you and your spouse have amassed significant assets and/or businesses during your lifetimes, you want to preserve them for future generations instead of letting the government erode them through taxes and other depreciation.
Below are some vital reasons for you to work closely with your estate planning attorney to preserve your hard-earned assets.
LEAVING YOUR SURVIVING SPOUSE WITH SUFFICIENT INCOME AND ASSETS
You don't want your spouse to experience a decline in his or her standard of living. While there may be no way to prevent a reduction in Social Security or retirement pensions, that can be offset with savvy investment strategies to allow your beloved spouse to live out the remaining years comfortably.
PROTECTING INCOME AND ASSETS FROM DETERIORATING
If the surviving spouse is not the one who typically was responsible for property maintenance, it can be especially difficult for him or her to tackle both routine maintenance and major renovations. An estate plan can be structured to provide for these eventualities.
TRANSFERRING ASSETS TO QUALIFY FOR GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE
Strategic asset transfers over a period of time can legally clear the way for an individual to qualify for Medicaid or eligible Veterans Affairs (VA) programs. But this is a long-term strategy that must be put into practice years before the need is present.
RETAINING ASSETS TO AFFORD END-OF-LIFE CARE
Nobody wants to live comfortably all of their lives only to face their final years in destitution. Purchasing an adequate long-term care policy while still in relatively good health can avert this disaster.
COMPENSATING ADULT CHILDREN OR GRANDCHILDREN FOR SERVING AS LOVING CAREGIVERS
When advancing age and infirmity make it necessary for someone to step in and help with activities of daily life (ADLs), often an adult child or grandchild will step up and agree to take on the responsibilities of caregiver. But this sacrifice does not come without some negatives.
A caregiver who is out of the workforce for several years can find it very hard to re-enter at the same pay and experience levels. Providing a loving caregiver with a financial cushion to ease their transition back into the workforce is a kindness.
LEAVING AN INHERITANCE FOR DESCENDANTS
It's honorable to want to leave behind resources and assets for the next generations, but if an estate has not been properly structured to provide for same, senior citizens may wind up skimping on expensive medications or medical care to leave something behind as a legacy.
There are better ways to assure that loved ones are remembered and taken care of financially. By engaging in frank discussions with your estate planning lawyer, the two of you can devise the best strategies to cover all contingencies and meet your exacting standards.