How do you imagine your life in old age? Will you live in relative comfort at home or in a nursing home setting?
One fact is certain: Nearly 50% of Americans will experience some disability during their lifetimes. Without a proper estate plan, you may find yourself under the care of a court-appointed guardian…a relative you wouldn’t ordinarily choose as a caregiver, or even a complete stranger. Planning properly for long-term care can help you avoid the angst and financial risk.
Revocable Living Trust
To create a revocable living trust in Missouri, your asset protection attorney will prepare a legal document (“trust agreement”, “declaration of trust” or “indenture of trust”). You – the “Grantor” or “Settlor” — and your trustee will sign the document. You will then transfer funds to the trustee, where it will be held for the beneficiary or beneficiaries you have named.
Simply put, a properly structured revocable living trust ensures that, should you become incapacitated, funds can be used for your benefit or transferred out of your name to your beneficiaries.
Long-Term Care Insurance
If long-term care is required, funds to pay for care may come from your assets, rather than transfers to your children, as you might wish. Long-term care insurance pays for home health care and other levels of care, eliminating the need for nursing home care and protecting your personal assets. For married couples, home health care protects the well spouse too, reducing both the caregiving and financial burdens.
What if you cannot get or afford long-term care insurance?
“Income Only” Trust
Also known as the Irrevocable Medicaid Trust, a trustee must be named. Usually this is an adult child as it cannot be the Grantor/Settlor (you) or Grantor/Settlor’s spouse. This type of trust protects your principal by limiting you to the income, with no access to the principal. You may still receive social security checks, your pension, etc. Particularly for seniors, a new trend is the home care-only policy, combined with the Medicaid Trust. If nursing home care is required, this policy provides flexibility for care to be provided in a home setting while maximizing your asset protection.
At Quinn Estate & Elder Law, we listen first. We want to know what’s important to you before we create legal solutions. Talking with us about wills, trusts or estate planning provides peace of mind at a reasonable cost. Contact us today to discuss your future.