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Planning for long term care continued…

Planning for long term care continued…

There are many tools that can be used to prepare for long term care: trusts, insurance, TODs, and gift transfers during a lifetime; however, you must choose the right tools for your specific situation and you must make sure those tools are prepared correctly or you may find yourself paying criminal consequences.  Currently, the medicare lookback period is 5 years; however, it is likely the government will extend it to 7 or 8 years in the near future.
From my experience, financial planners tend to encourage clients to create trusts to avoid medicare rules.  This can be great advice in certain situations; however, the client must keep in mind that if s/he would like to create a trust to avoid medicare, it must be an irrevocable trust and the trustee must be someone that is not a relative.  Essentially, the government requires that the client give up all control over his/her assets.  Many people, (especially those with significant assets) will not give up all control over the estate they spent their entire life building.  In some cases, they can’t afford to give up all control because they need to have access to the assets in the event that something happens.
Insurance is a decent option.  There does exist a particular type of insurance that will protect your assets in the event that you go into a nursing home.  For instance, if you purchase the coverage for $200,000, the plan will allow you to keep $200,000 in assets (meaning that you have to spend down any assets above that) and then it will cover all other costs of long term care.  This is a great option if you want to be able to maintain control over your assets.  Obviously, the cost will be the monthly premium.  If this is an option you are interested in exploring, please speak to your financial advisor.  If you don’t have one, I would be happy to refer you to one.
Another great way to reduce assets for long term care planning is to give away assets.  If you have family members that you trust, you can deed real estate to them, open bank accounts in their names, and make gifts of up to $13,000 per year (without tax conseqneces).  I am always hesitant to recommend that my clients do this.  If you give something away, you must realize that you are doing just that: giving it away.  Once you give away an asset, you must expect that the person will treat it as their own.  If they comply with your wishes then that is great but you should always expect that they won’t follow your wishes because legally, they don’t have to.  People have a difficult time controlling themselves when money is involved.
No matter which tools you decide to use in order to adequately plan for long term care, you must make sure that your financial advisor and your attorney communicate and work well together.  Neither will be able to adequately advise you if each is not aware of what the other is doing.

Estate Planning Law 101: Selecting A Health Care Agent

Estate Planning Law 101: Selecting A Health Care Agent

Daryle C. Tibbs, owner of Tibbs Law Office continues discussing the basics of Estate Planning by explaining how to name a health care agent in your estate plan.

For more online sources on this and similar topics, please visit our firm youtube channel at:

www.youtube.com/tibbslawoffice

www.youtube.com/tibbslawofficeKentucky

Tibbs Law Office, LLC
1329 East Kemper Rd. #4230
Cincinnati, OH 45246
(513) 793-7544
www.tibbslawoffice.com

Probate Law Basics: Opening Your Estate

Probate Law 101: Opening The Estate

Daryle C. Tibbs, owner of Tibbs Law Office, explains the basics of Probate Law, beginning with opening your estate.

For more online sources on this and similar topics, please visit our firm youtube channel at:

www.youtube.com/tibbslawoffice

www.youtube.com/tibbslawofficeKentucky

Tibbs Law Office, LLC
1329 East Kemper Rd. #4230
Cincinnati, OH 45246
(513) 793-7544
www.tibbslawoffice.com

Key Life Seminar: What Are The Costs Of Estate Planning?

Key Life Seminar: What Are The Costs Of Estate Planning?

Daryle C. Tibbs, owner of Tibbs Law Office, continues a new series dedicated to the topic of Probate Law.

For more online sources on this and similar topics, please visit our firm youtube channel at:

www.youtube.com/tibbslawoffice

www.youtube.com/tibbslawofficeKentucky

Tibbs Law Office, LLC
1329 East Kemper Rd. #4230
Cincinnati, OH 45246
(513) 793-7544
www.tibbslawoffice.com

Transfer on Death and Probate

I got into probate practice on accident.  It all started when I worked for my previous employer as a law clerk (after I had taken the bar but before I had received my results).  Our firm had received a telephone call from a client/investor.  Our client had an investment property and the person staying in the property had passed away.  Our client needed us to somehow get the property released from administration so that our client could re-rent the property without having to foreclose (actually, you have to open probate to foreclose but that is a long, complicated story.  He definitely did not want to foreclose if he could avoid it).

Since working on that case (and since receiving my license) I have worked on several similar cases, I have administered several estates and now my firm is expanding into estate planning.  A very common question that I am asked (usually from financial advisors) is about retirement accounts and probate.  People want to know the following: if they set up their retirement account to transfer on death to the designated beneficiaries, will the beneficiaries still have to pay “probate fees and taxes” on that money?

If a retirement account is set up to transfer on death, that money is still taken into consideration for federal and state estate tax purposes.  However, setting up the account so that it transfers on death, still keeps a considerable amount of money in the beneficiaries’ pockets.  Attorneys fees are generally calculated as a percentage of the probated and non-probated estate.  The percentage paid for non-probated property is much lower than for probated assets because the amount of legal work required to liquidate and distribute non-probated assets is much less.  In addition, the fiduciary of the estate gets paid according to a percentage of the probated and non-probated assets.  By keeping large accounts outside of probate, you are paying less to the attorneys and the fiduciary.

Transfer on death designations keep money in the family in other miscellaneous ways as well.  Less paperwork will be required for filing, which saves the family money because probate courts generally charge per page.  Also, if a bond is required, the bond will cost less.  Bonds are required to be secured for double the amount of the probated assets; the more in probated assets, the more the bond will cost.