Is Estate Planning The “Big Con”?
Tag Archive for: estate plan
You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!
We Also Scream To Avoid Planning
“We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.”
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
Are You A Failure At Making Excuses?
Poor Rudyard Kipling. He is like you. Forty million reasons, but not a single excuse? Perhaps he lacked skill. Or talent. Not even a single excuse in a gigantic 40 million straw haystack of reasons? And you are in the same boat. Have you ever come up with an excuse that satisfied your spouse? Me neither.
George Washington, Founding Father, spoke with the voice of experience: “Better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” How could it be that George Washington, “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” failed so miserably at making excuses? And fail at excuses he did… How else could he learn that bad excuses are the worst? And when George failed to excuse failure, what did he do? Founder the United States. Revolutionary. Beat the British. Farmer. Inventor. Statesman. Stuff like that.
You have 40 million reasons to avoid LifePlanning™. But when your dearly beloved suggests planning ahead, your 40 million reasons to do something else strangely evaporate. Like mist in the morning sun. Dense fog one minute, clear day the next. What is this phenomenon? The answer is obvious!
It is not reasons that you lack, but excuses. And we are here to help. As a public service. No charge. Expert excuses, here for the reading. High quality, too. When it comes to shirking important responsibilities, ordinary, everyday dodges will not suffice. You need professional help.
Tip-Top Training And Practical Preparation In The Art Of Avoidance
Otter: No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.
Bluto: And we’re just the guys to do it.
—Animal House, 1978
Four years at the University of Notre Dame, majoring in Philosophy and English. Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law.
Master of Laws, Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center. Judicial clerk. Five years in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, mostly on the Army General Staff, at the Pentagon. Topped off by a couple years with BigLaw. Then 32 years of growth: from one guy answering the telephone all alone to a firm of 50 persnickity professionals. Need know-how? Get know-how. Now.
We don’t just solve problems, we observe how folks run away from problems, too! Flee from foul facts. Dismiss, diminish, deride loved ones’ concerns. Deny, discount, deflect their own painful predicaments. Years of daily experience with responsible, middle-class, hard-working men and women who would prefer to chew their arm off than submit to the terrible torture that is estate planning.
Who else has seen it all? Who else can help you escape? You are in good hands. You came to the right shop. It is not an easy job. And we’re just the guys to do it.
Loudly And Firmly Proclaim These Affirmations Three (3) Times:
- Only Nerds Want To Retire Comfortably Financial Security Is Bad. And Impossible
- I Want To Die Broke, Splurging My Last Nickels On Long-Term Care
- I Look Forward To Nursing Home Poverty My Spouse Can Look Out For Herself. Or Himself.
- My Kids Don’t Need Money And Would Waste Any Inheritance Anyway
Take a deep breath. Excellent! You have achieved the correct state of mind. Remember, last week we covered the first four Excellent Excuses. Let us get down to this week’s Decisive Defenses to avoid any attempt at making you look ahead.
LifePlanning™ Is Unnecessary And A Total Waste Of Time & Money Because
Don’t loudmouths always impress you? So always lead off with an audacious affirmation!
Number One: Raise your voice and daringly declare: “LifePlanning™ is Stupid, Superfluous, and a…”
Number Two: Quickly follow with one of these Negative Nuggets:
#5 … Waste Of Time Because I Only Have A House And An IRA!
Are you opposed to draining your Individual Retirement Account (or 401(k) or 403(b) or Thrift Savings Plan or other retirement account) for long-term care? Of course not! Money in a retirement plan account is just a number, it does not reflect years of working and saving, right? Besides, what would you do with that money anyway? Might as well shoot it out the door at $10,000 to $15,000 per month. And you might get lucky. Maybe you only need assisted living services that cost $5,000 to $10,000 per month. Happy Days! And home care services are only $25 per hour and up. Foolish to worry about preserving that retirement money for your spouse when the government knows so much better than you do about how to spend it.
And everybody says that the homestead is “PROTECTED” so nothing to worry about there! Of course, even without planning, the house will go through probate to your family. And when everybody was explaining how the house was “PROTECTED”, everybody also told you that if you need help (Medicaid) with long-term care, the state wants its money back. And when you go through probate, because you are too smart to waste money on planning, the state will collect its payback. From your house. Which maybe isn’t so “protected”, after all…
Of course your kids would never sell your house while you need care, right? That’s why you do not even have to think about having cash instead of a house anymore. Cash that must be “spent down.” That is not a problem because you can keep $2,000 of it. More Happy Days!
So don’t worry! There is no way you would be one of the 70% of folks who the federal government says will need skilled nursing long- term care services for an average of 3 years or one of the 20% who will need services for 5 years or more. And neither would your spouse. So you should not be concerned about $360,000 to $900,000 of skilled care costs. Never happen.
#6 … Waste Of Time Because I Hate Medicaid
Since everyone always has saved enough money to pay for long-term care, there is no need for any government long-term care program. So Medicaid is bad and wrong. It is just like Social Security.
Everyone always has saved enough money to pay for their retirement. There’s is no need for any government retirement income program.
But wait! Social Security is different! You paid in. With every paycheck, the government skimmed off 15.3% FICA (employer and employee) to pay for Social Security. So getting some return on your payroll taxes is OK!
Help me out here… Is Medicaid different? Did you ever get a paycheck where you didn’t pay federal and state income taxes on every nickel you earned? Does the government run Medicaid for free? Did you somehow skip out on paying for Medicaid? With every paycheck. And Social Security check too?
Why are you opposed to getting something back for all the dollars you paid in? It is OK to get Social Security because you paid taxes for it. But it is bad to get long-term care Medicaid because you paid taxes for it?
There are lots and lots of Medicaid programs – dozens of them. Most Medicaid programs provide for our fellow Americans who have very little.
But there is a slice of Medicaid, middle-class Medicaid, that pays for long-term care. For all Americans. Even you.
For most Medicaid programs, you have to be broke. Middle-class Medicaid lets you keep your house, up to $700,000. And your stuff, no limit on value. And your “motorized vehicle”, also no limit.
So, Medicaid is bad and you hate it. You hate it so much that you will spend all your money. Then, sell the house and all your stuff, spend all that too. And then wind up on Medicaid anyway. Sounds like a plan to me! Good luck with that.
#7 … Waste Of Time Because Medicaid Nursing Homes Are Lousy Nursing Homes!
Medicaid nursing homes, long term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and anyone else who provides Medicaid care are just the worst! If a facility accepts Medicaid, the place smells bad, the staff is rude, the management is poor, and the care is awful. God forbid that you or a loved one is ever condemned to a Medicaid facility or is forced to receive Medicaid services. Great excuse!
Gee, I wonder what percentage of skilled nursing facilities accept Medicaid? 10%? 30%? 50%?
Actually every skilled nursing facility accepts Medicaid. All of them. 100%. Do you have enough money to pay $10,000 – $15,000 per month for skilled care? For an average of 3 years. With a good chance of 5 years? Is it ridiculous to think that nursing homes would like to get paid when you go broke? Are you opposed to caregivers getting paid? Do nursing homes get everything for free?
Not so fast! Everybody knows that there are very few “Medicaid beds”. You know, the ones that they seal with plastic. So the bedbugs cannot escape. Just a few Medicaid beds.
Funny thing, though. About 70-80% of long-term, skilled nursing facility residents are paid for by Medicaid. How did that happen? Maybe because all beds are Medicare-certified. And all Medicare beds can be paid with Medicaid dollars.
#8 … Waste Of Time Because Medicaid Is For Poor People!
Medicaid is for poor people (meaning people without any money or stuff). And you have money and stuff, so Medicaid is not for you! Logical!
Question: How long will you have any money or stuff if you are paying $10-15,000 per month for long-term care?
Are you opposed to not going broke? Is it ridiculous to think that you (or your loved one) might get better care if your life savings had not melted away like a snowflake on a hot griddle? Are you against paying for the extra services you want?
You get a shower a week in a long-term care facility. How often do you shower now? Are you against paying some of your hard-earned savings to get a shower more frequently?
If your long-term care “insurance” (also known as Medicaid) paid for the $10-15,000 cost of basic services, and, if your lifesavings were intact, would you choose to spend some of those savings to make your days more pleasant? Do you want to be poor? Is poverty more noble? Is it honorable to spend down a lifetime of work in a matter of months? Does it make sense to believe that the government knows best? Is it foolish to plan for your future?
#9 … Waste Of Time Because I Am Not Getting Older, I Am Getting Better!
Yesterday I was looking in the mirror. I felt depressed. I said to my bride of 15 years, “Honey, when I look in the mirror I see an old, fat, bald guy, and it depresses me. “Honey,” I said, “I need your help.”
“Oh?” said the love of my life, “How may I be of service?”
“Honey,” I replied, “I need a compliment. Looking at this fat, old, bald guy in the mirror here is bringing me down. I really feel the need for some compassion, a compliment would sure make me feel better!”
“Well,” said my soulmate, “Your eyesight is damn near perfect!”
Since I have been wearing glasses since the 8th grade, my wife’s compliment was exactly what the doctor ordered. I felt better immediately. So, when I ask you, “Is it ridiculous to think that you are not getting older, you are getting better?” Remember this little love tale of mine. And draw your own conclusions.
And the hits just keep on coming! More great excuses are on their way!
Here’s A Sneak Preview Of The Next Fabulous Five Excuses To Avoid Planning:
#10 … Waste Of Time Because It Is Overkill!
#11 … Waste Of Time Because I Will Spend It All Anyway!
#12 … Waste Of Time Because Medicaid Won’t Work When I Need It!
#13 … Waste Of Time Because Every Other Attorney Must Be Doing This!
#14 … Waste Of Time Because If This Worked, Every Other Attorney Would Be Doing This!
Is Now A Bad Time For A Real Solution?
Perhaps you already have all the answers. Maybe this is no problem at all. Possibly you do not believe in the passage of time.
Your habits and values have earned you peace of mind and financial security. LifePlanning™ is the easy part. You worked for the peace that only comes with financial security. What is most important, legal documents? Avoiding probate, is that the best you can do? Is family about inheritance? Or are the deeper things most significant?
Is any of this easy? Do you want to get lost in the overwhelming flood of claims and promises? Or would you like straight answers?
Well, here you are. Now you know. No excuses. Get the information, insight, inspiration. It is your turn. Ignore the message? Invite poverty? Or get the freely offered information. To make wise decisions. For you. For your loved ones.
The LifePlan™ Workshop has been the first step on the path to security and peace for thousands of families. Why not your family?
NO POVERTY. NO CHARITY. NO WASTE.
It is not chance. It is choice. Your choice.
Get Information Now.
Simple Questions… That Nobody Asks Until It Is Too Late.
Things Everybody Takes For Granted… But Shouldn’t
Would You Happily Put Your Kids In The Back Seat Of A Pinto?
Eyewitness: “the car exploded “like a large napalm bomb” when it was hit”
Why does anyone plan their estate? Why did you spend all that time and money for a will or trust? If you are like most people, you plan ahead for peace of mind. Sure, the future is uncertain, but we are not helpless. Estate planning and elder law can ensure that our life’s work will serve us. And our families or loved ones. Too bad most planning does not work that way.
What does everybody know about the Ford Pinto? It was a good-looking car. Economical! Popular in the 70’s. Millions sold. But it had an unfortunate tendency to explode on impact, engulfing its passengers in a gasoline fireball. With disastrous consequences for all concerned. Yikes!
I love my 1956 Chevrolet BelAir. Less than 26000 miles on the odometer. All original, from the canvas “carpet” to the radio with tubes rather than transistors. But the dashboard is painted steel, no padding. Seatbelts? Not in 1956. The steering column is solid metal. That ends in a point. Disturbing tendency to turn the driver into a shish kebab in a head-on collision. Airbags not invented yet. Whoops!
I do like to drive my BelAir… it is not a museum piece. But I drive it carefully. Cautiously. Defensively. With my kid in the backseat.
Today’s cars are loaded with airbags, mirrors, collision avoidance systems, backup cameras, beepers, buzzers, bells and whistles. New cars have airbags all over the place. Some slam on the brakes automatically. The Caddy even tightens your seatbelt before a crash. Nothing to worry about. Whew!
Your Estate Plan Is An Edsel
Most estate planning is like the Edsel. Obsolete from the get-go. Answering the wrong questions. And doing it poorly.
The Wrong Goals: Avoid Probate. Save Taxes. Get It to the Kids. These things all happen after you die. But you are not dead yet. Shouldn’t we be a little concerned with what happens before you die? Maybe taking care of you is the best way to take care of them.
How do you feel, loading your kids into the backseat of a 1975 Pinto? Taking them to school. Driving around town. Going to see grandma. Safe? Secure? Or are your eyes locked on that tiny rearview mirror. Fearfully scanning for danger?
Why Is LifePlanning™ Never Obsolete?
LifePlanning™ is not a Pinto. Or a 50’s Edsel. LifePlanning™ is focused on you. On the real concerns that affect you and your family. Incapacity. Dementia.
These dangers are real. Ignore them if you like. At your peril. That is what the Pinto folks did. With explosive results. You can take an outdated, obsolete approach. With an estate plan that has not evolved since the 1950’s. Resulting in Nursing Home Poverty. No choice for you. No legacy for the kids.
LifePlanning™ maximizes the things that are most important to you. We all have to go sometime, but why rush it? Why not remain alert? Independent? Engaged? Aware? In charge? Why shouldn’t your choices matter? Refuse to let others decide “what to do” with you! Reject dependence.
LifePlanning™ gets you the benefits you have earned, while preserving life savings. Not for the kids, but to supplement those earned benefits. Eight thousand dollars a month ($8,000/ month) for assisted living. Fifteen thousand ($15,000/month) for skilled care. Who can afford it? Medicaid is the way America pays for long-term care. Medicaid wants you broke. Medicaid is the government solution.
LifePlanning™ says OK! You earned the government solution. But since when was the government solution adequate? Why did you work? Take overtime? Save and invest? You do not have to settle. You can make your lifesavings work for you while receiving the benefits you earned.
Is A “Pinto” Plan “Good Enough” For Your Spouse And Family? For You? Why Don’t You Deserve “Cadillac” Planning? Is The “Cadillac” Plan Too Good For Your Spouse? Your Family? Why?
Thousands of middle-class families have used LifePlanning™ to get the peace of mind that comes from loading your family into the safest, most comfortable vehicle possible. Without thorough planning you will spend yourself into Nursing Home Poverty. You get what they feel like giving.
Not what you have earned. Not what you want. Not what you deserve. With a whimper, not a bang. Quieter than a flaming fireball of dramatic death, but just as devastating. To you. To your family. Are you really opposed to getting a small return on all the tax dollars you paid in?
Without LifePlanning™ , you are driving a Pinto. Do not have good answers to the questions. No one has your back. Maybe things will work out. Maybe you will get home today. Maybe. Why not be sure? Do you think security is a bad thing?
LifePlanning™ preserves your lifesavings. You never go broke. Your earnings serve you throughout your lifetime. And that means…
You stay home. Longer. You get the help you need, that your spouse needs. Clear-eyed. Relevant. Participating in your own care.
The Choice Is Yours. Does Quality Of Life Matter To You?
We Wasted 2021. See It Through in ‘22!
Last year, the number of regular folks planning their futures dropped. Significantly. Fewer people focused on planning ahead, LifePlanning™. I fear 2021 was a year of wasted opportunity for regular families. Devastating.
Get the information you want. In- person workshops and one-on-one meetings. Recorded and live-streaming webinars. Like you, we have never stopped serving. As you seek out new ways to accomplish your life’s work, we are on the same journey. By your side. Making the rules work for the people who play by the rules.
Sixty minutes to personal control. Now and as long as you wish. Because you earned it. Avoid Nursing Home Poverty. Thousands of middle-class families have learned and use these techniques. Why not yours?
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Your Estate Plan Is Doomed | Why Your Trust Will Fail | What Everybody Knows And No One Will Tell You
Why People Do Estate Planning
Nobody likes estate planning. Estate planning is like castor oil when you were a kid. You had to take it. It was supposed to be good for you. Not sure how or why. But it was unpleasant.
Like insurance, but worse. With insurance, you must have coverage. Just in case. Same with estate planning. You do not want to, you are not sure why you have to, but you must.
If you are like most folks, you do the estate planning because:
1. You have stuff now. House, money, investments.
2. You know you will die. At some point.
3. You think you will have some leftover stuff when you die.
4. You like some people. Spouse. Kids. Friends. Charities.
5. You do not want the government to get your stuff.
6. You want the people you like to get your stuff. Because why not?
Has anyone told you that you are likely to die without stuff? Without leftovers. Has anyone told you that long-term care will drain you dry? If there are no leftovers, why bother? Now you know. Consider yourself told.
Death Is Not The Problem
Some folks believe we will all pass over the Great Divide to the Other Side. Glorious! Other folks hold that sooner or later the organic metabolism that makes up your consciousness will cease and that will be that. Food for worms and nothing more. There are many variations on this basic theme.
Death is not your main problem. Those who survive you will figure out what to do with your remains. And whatever is left of your stuff. This can be done well or poorly. Mostly poorly.
Great families make great plans. Truth to tell, it is not that hard to do it right. But you are not going to see it anyway. Not really your primary problem.
Life Is The Problem
In the Army, I often heard (and often repeated) that, “There are no problems, just opportunities to excel!” Your life is your opportunity. And middle-class folks like you tend to make the most of the gift. That is great. You are independent. You did the work. You get to make choices. Until you cannot.
If you are like most people, you think that tomorrow will be like today. Pretty much. You handled things today. You will handle things tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. But that is not accurate. For most of us, at some point, we will not be able to carry on as we have. That is the castor-oil reality. And most estate planning has nothing, zero, zip, zilch to help you deal with this new, inevitable situation.
LifePlanning™ Is The Solution
LifePlanning™ is focused on you here and now. How do you maintain your independence? How can you stay in control and in charge for as long as humanly possible? Your freedom is what planning should be all about.
The Secret Truth: LifePlanning™ Is Like Hearing Aids
Why do folks buy hearing aids? Did you know that the #1 reason has nothing to do with chirping birds or adjusting the TV volume? The real reason is something no one will admit. It is kind of embarrassing. That is how you know it is true. Folks buy hearing aids because if you cannot hear, your kids will believe that you cannot think. And that is the first step to the kids “helping” you to give up your freedom. The first step to “we can’t trust mom and dad with the kids.”
The real reason for LifePlanning™ is to keep your edge. You do not need lectures. You do not need to hear how nice it is to live at Shady Acres. You do not need another Shady Acres brochure. You want to keep your home. And live there. And you might need some help with that. LifePlanning™ is how to get the help to keep your independence.
Your Trust Will Fail
You went the extra mile. Spent the extra dollars. Got the big binder. Got a trust. Everything is all good now, right? Not so fast.
Everybody knows that trusts fail. Almost all the time. Your financial advisor, insurance agent, banker, accountant. They all know that you will not re-title your assets to the trust. Sure, you will get some stuff in there. Maybe. Most folks have very little in the trust. One survey says 96% of trusts do not avoid probate.
The Institute for Continuing Legal Education gives out certificates to attorneys who want to practice estate planning. Including trust planning. Lawyers who want to be certified must take a whole raft of courses to get that piece of paper. When asked recently about the problem of trusts that do not avoid probate, the instructor was clear. “That is what the pour over will is for. No problem.”
Think about this. The instructor is a highly qualified and experienced estate planning attorney. Partner in a huge, prestigious multi-state law firm. This person is teaching would-be estate planning attorneys that going through probate is no big deal. Did you think that the whole point of the trust was to avoid probate? Whoops. Besides, probate is not that bad… they say…
Your LifePlan™ Will Not Fail
LifePlanning™ means your funding coach works with you to get the job done. To help make sure that your assets are safely in the appropriate trust. It is not easy. It takes time. Two months on average. But there are no shortcuts. No easy way out. And everyone knows it.
LifePlanning™ Is The Solution
LifePlanning™ is the way you keep your stuff. And at the same time, qualify for the government benefits you have earned. Focused on you here and now. By acting early, rather than waiting until the last minute, you will qualify for benefits that may mean you never need residential long-term care. Let’s face it, who can afford the $9000-$12,000 to $15,000 per month costs of skilled nursing? Even a little at home care is ruinously expensive at $30 – $50 per hour.
LifePlanning™ gets you what you have earned. Assistance to stay at home. Health care that keeps you healthy, active, engaged with your grandkids. Free to be your best self.
LifePlanning™ Prevents Tragedy
Nothing is more tragic than one spouse dying while caring for the other. The other spouse now faces institutional care. Which their spouse sacrificed everything to avoid. And that is what happens 40-50% of the time. LifePlanning™ supports the caregiver as well as the disabled spouse. Getting necessary benefits. Staying home. Maximizing potential. Living life to the full.
I Don’t Want Government Help!
Middle-class folks are independent do-it-yourself types. Government hand-out? Perish the thought! Understandable. But.
Government demands taxes. You pay taxes. You never thought you would see any of that money again, right? No return on that investment. This is a return on that investment. Unusual times.
That is the LifePlan™ approach to estate planning and elder law. You paid in, why shouldn’t you be paid back? If you need it. When you need it? Learn more. You can do this.
Secure Your Independence Today… Get Started
COVID flaring up again. Isolation for holidays. Merry Christmas? What are we waiting for? Isn’t today is the best time to plan? Begin by calling the LifePlan™ Hotline: 800-317-2812.
Get Information You Need: Your Life, You Choose!
COVID has not gone away. New challenges arise daily. The risks to your freedom to choose, to your ability to keep what you have earned and built have not gone away. And neither have we. It is your stuff… protect it. And yourself. With complete control. LifePlanning™ means your choices matter, whatever life brings.
How can LifePlanning™ protect your middle-class life savings? How to get this information?
Are you like thousands of Michigan families who played by the rules and earned homes, cottages, farms, lifesavings? Would you like the rules to work for you, for a change? Why wait until it is too late?
GET ANSWERS NOW… CALL THE LIFEPLAN™ HOTLINE
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Live, Streaming and Recorded “What could it hurt?”
But You Can Save the Universe!
What if Estate Planning were like Star Wars? Who is the bad guy? Who is the hero? How do you win? No technicalities. All the realities. For purposes of this parody (must call it a parody for copyright purposes), we assume you are familiar with Star Wars (only the first one).
You Are Luke Skywalker
Regular folks. Working hard on the farm. Faithful to your family. Life is boring, but you have ambitions. Wanting to make things better. For yourself right now. Then for the next generation. But the evil Empire is in your way. How can you win?
Nursing Home Poverty Is The Evil Empire
You face the future. Aging and disability are out there. Real. No kidding. Bad news. Darth Vader level bad news. Most families die broke. Most folks wind up in long-term care. You do not have to worry about probate because you spent everything on at-home care, assisted living or skilled nursing. But you are not cowardly. No running away. Heroic. You are not going broke! But what to do? How to beat the bad guys?
We Are Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan has been down this path before. Offering insight. Delivering your light saber. You have to save the day, but you are not alone. We can help, but that is all. Remember, you are the hero!
The Hero Needs A Plan… Here It Is!
Is it hard to beat the Evil Empire? To secure your lifesavings and protect your family? For a hero like you, it is super easy! Barely an inconvenience…
Every week Obi-Wan Kenobi will personally guide you along the path to victory. Sign up today for a Workshop or Webinar. Some are listed on this page. Call the Rebel Alliance directly at 800-317-2812.
Slack Off And Watch Darth Vader Take Over Your Universe
Can you afford to have the Death Star blasting laser beams at your planet? Can you afford $10,000 to $15,000 per month for skilled care? (Aren’t those the same question?)
If Darth Vader takes over, your choices are gone. No freedom for you! If your lifesavings are gone, what choices do you have? How have you provided for those you love?
With the Evil Empire in the saddle, life for future generations is bleak. If you allow Nursing Home Poverty to strike your family, who is going to help with your grandkids’ tuition? Bleak.
LifePlanning™ Is The Light Saber of Righteousness!
Luke Skywalker does not leave home without it. His light saber. LifePlanning™ is your light saber. LifePlanning™ is your arsenal to defeat Nursing Home Poverty. To preserve lifesavings. To stand up for Truth, Justice and the American Way! (That’s another hero…)
Still, you are not sure exactly what to do. As I see it, you have three options:
First Option: Same Old, Same Old
Look for an estate planning attorney. They still have Yellow Pages, don’t they? Research online. Ask your friends. Look at billboards on the highway. Call several and set up appointments. Go through the interviews. Ask questions, get fuzzy answers and pages of legal jargon. Work through that entire process to perhaps find yet another lawyer offering something similar to what you already have. Or maybe 4,5,6 lawyers offering the same old thing. Check out a few online internet services too! Sounds so easy… Then wind up back on square one. Still no peace of mind. No comprehensive plan. No security.
Second Option: Do Absolutely Nothing
Why does anyone plan their estate? Why bother spending all that time and money for a will or trust? Most people plan for peace of mind. Maybe you do not need that security. Stay exactly where you are. Getting exactly what you have always gotten. Acid indigestion. Insomnia. Migraines. Accept that what you have is as good as it gets. Suck it up, buttercup!
Third Option: Explore LifePlanning™
Give it a try. No need to give up your current plan. Just come to a LifePlanTM webinar or workshop. See what it is all about. What could you accomplish? Is it better than what you have now? Easy? Sixty minutes. At home. At one of our four locations. At your convenience. At your service!
Sure, the future is uncertain, but you are not helpless. LifePlanningTM means that your life’s work serves you. And your families or loved ones. LifePlanningTM never becomes obsolete.
Be The Hero, Save Your Universe
Get It Done In Twenty-One!
Luke was hibernating or something in 2020. A whole year of wasted opportunity. Darth Vader running rampant! Wake up… Take a stand. Be the hero! Use the Force…
Sixty minutes to personal control. Because you earned it. Avoid Nursing Home Poverty. Thousands of middle-class families have learned and use these techniques. Why not yours?
Got Questions? Get Answers!
GET ANSWERS NOW… THE CALL THAT CHANGES YOUR LIFE…
COME TO AN IN-PERSON WORKSHOP…
LIVESTREAM ON-LINE AND GET ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SERVE!
Is a “Pinto” Plan “Good Enough” for Your Spouse and Family? For You?
Why Don’t You Deserve “Cadillac” Planning? Is the “Cadillac” Plan Too Good for Your Spouse? Your Family? Why?
Thousands of middle-class families have used LifePlanning™ to get the peace of mind that comes from loading your family into the safest, most comfortable vehicle possible. Without thorough planning you will spend yourself into Nursing Home Poverty. You get what they feel like giving. Not what you have earned. Not what you want. Not what you deserve. With a whimper, not a bang. Quieter than a flaming fireball of dramatic death, but just as devastating. To you. To your family.
Without LifePlanning™ , you are driving a Pinto.do not have good answers to the questions. No one has your back. Maybe things will work out. Maybe you will get home today. Maybe. Why not be sure?
LifePlanning™ preserves your lifesavings. You never go broke. Your earnings serve you throughout your lifetime. And that means…
You stay home. Longer. You get the help you need, that your spouse needs. Clear-eyed. Relevant. Participating in your own care.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are now either considering putting an estate plan in place or reviewing their existing documents. Everyone should have an estate plan in place, whether there is a global pandemic or things are just fine for you now. Planning for the future just makes sense.
Once you decide that you need an estate plan, the next question, is “What documents do I need?”. Every competent adult should have a properly written Healthcare Power of Attorney document and Financial Power of Attorney document. (More on those in a separate article).
Some people wonder if they need a trust, or quickly dismiss a trust as an option – either because they don’t understand the benefits of a trust or think it is only for those with a net worth in the millions.
A trust is a legal document, created by a Grantor, and managed by the Trustee. Often, the Grantor and Trustee can be you – the person who creates the trust. There are many types of trusts and each has its own specific purpose. In general, the Trustee manages the assets in the Trust while the Grantor is alive, and transfers the trust assets to the beneficiaries upon the Grantor’s death.
Years ago, Trusts were a method to save on inheritance taxes. Unless your estate is approaching $11.5 million, this is not a concern for most people. Today trusts are used more for managing your assets while you are alive and distributing your assets the way you wish upon your death.
Trusts provide many benefits, including: 1) the ability to protect your assets while you are alive, by keeping your assets away from creditors or the nursing home, and leaving a legacy, 2) avoiding probate court and saving your heirs legal expenses and time upon your passing, 3) avoiding estate recovery if the State pays for your nursing home care, 4) providing a trust for your beneficiaries so your beneficiaries don’t lose your life savings to creditors, an ex-spouse or the nursing home, 5) the ability to more easily manage your assets if you are alive but not competent, 6) provide special needs planning if your beneficiary is not able to manage his/her assets due to a disability, and 7) a properly funded trust will avoid probate court when you die, and keep your estate private.
Selecting the right type of trust and drafting it for your own specific circumstance should be performed by an experienced Estate Planning attorney. Some people will research articles on the internet, and download a trust thinking that they will save themselves some money. Practicing Estate Planning is not something you want to risk with your life savings. The failure to have a properly drafted and funded trust can be expensive to fix later or cost you money by not properly protecting your assets for you or your beneficiaries. Some of the pitfalls are: not funding a trust, not having the right trust in place, estate recovery by the state, not protecting your beneficiaries.
Estate Planning is more complex than most people think. Don’t make the mistake of not putting a plan in place just because the thought of planning is daunting. The sooner you put an estate plan in place the sooner your life earnings will be protected, which will give you peace of mind.
Call 616-361-8400 now to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Estate Planning attorneys.