Is Your Will Or Trust Like Stale Old Bread?

An old will or trust is sort of like stale bread. And just as useful.

And if you’re planning to stick around a while – and if your circumstances might change while you stick around – it may be totally worthless!

For example, if you have a Power of Attorney for property (and it’d better be a new Power of Attorney, as the Florida laws governing them just changed on October 1st!), it probably says that your loved one can act for you. But if your agent is applying for Medicaid assistance for you, they probably won’t know the complicated qualification rules. And they may not know, either, that the usual Power of Attorney doesn’t even allow him/her to make changes in your estate plan – potentially costing you every cent you’ve ever earned!

What’s the answer? A POWERFUL Power of Attorney…one that won’t leave your spouse/family destitute after you’re gone. And a comprehensive Estate Plan that leaves no stone unturned.

What about Revocable Living Trusts, you say? Good question. The answer, however, is not quite as good. If you become disabled, the trust usually transforms itself into an irrevocable trust – which won’t allow changes in your assets. But which might force your spouse to drain them all on your care until you qualify for Medicaid!

Most traditional estate planning documents are simple wills – and wills don’t do you much good until you’re dead. If you or your spouse end up in long-term care (and 70% of us will), and you don’t have a POWERFUL Power of Attorney, your assets can’t be changed to help pay for this care.

You may end up on Medicaid – which limits your personal assets to $2,000. And then the children to whom you were planning to leave money will be the ones supporting you!

You need estate planning for your life as well as your death. And you need planning that will protect your spouse and family from catastrophic long-term care costs.

We can craft a POWERFUL Power of Attorney for you…in accordance with the new laws just enacted. We can craft effective wills, trusts, long-term care plans, Medicaid or VA assistance, and asset-protection plans. In short, we can craft a comprehensive, air-tight Estate Plan that works for you.

We’ve been doing it for 33 years. And we’ve walked thousands of South Florida families through the Elder Law maze.

We’re the Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates. And we’re just a phone call away.

Posted in Alice Reiter Feld Florida Elder Law Monday Memos

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