It is said you have to spend money to make money. Estate planning is not quite like that – you won’t make money writing an estate plan. However, most people save money with a complete estate plan.
Probate proceedings can cost thousands of dollars in fees. Estate plans can be structured so that most –and sometimes all – of the decedent’s assets pass without going through probate.
For example, assets transferred to heirs through a trust seldom pass through probate. Doing so preserves more of your estate for your loved ones.
Sometimes people need extra help taking care of themselves, and sometimes that help takes the form of a guardianship. However, before a court will appoint a guardian, paperwork must be filed. It’s also very likely there will be several hearings. An investigation may be conducted to make certain the person applying for guardianship is suitable. Fees related to guardianship proceedings can run into the thousands.
However, a general durable power of attorney allows the principal (the person signing the power of attorney) to name an agent to handle their affairs. The power of attorney may become active only if the principal becomes incapacitated. The cost of preparing a durable power of attorney is small compared to the cost of a guardianship.
Estate plans sometimes include asset protection trusts. These are especially useful to people who may be vulnerable to claims from creditors, ex-spouses, and civil judgments.
With the right planning, as advised by an attorney, you may be able to save your assets for your family.
It may seem difficult or counterproductive to put money into incapacity planning. Medicaid provides the most money for long-term care, and they have strict rules about eligibility. Without Medicaid, your loved one could spend every penny they have on long-term nursing care before However, using estate planning strategies, an individual can set up trusts and use other strategies to prepare for the high cost of long-term care.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Estate Planning Options.
The attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law use their experience and skills to help clients just like you prepare complete estate plans. We also help with Medicaid planning and estate planning. For a free consultation with an experienced Alabama attorney, contact us at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form.
We have offices in Anniston and Birmingham and serve clients in Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.