Elder Law: Age Your Way by Protecting Your Assets

November 25, 2020 Austin F DuBois

The focus is on asset protection for long term planning.

Life planning is really what lies at the heart of estate planning.

We are a person-centered firm. We understand that people want to age how they want to age. They want to be independent, remain at home and, most of all, have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their hard earned assets will be managed in a way that allows them to age comfortably. This is why I focus on asset protection when it comes to estate planning.

When a client and I map out a course for managing their future, we aim for long-term economic independence by protecting their assets and income. The goal is to help people hold onto their homes and maintain their savings and other items that contribute to their net worth, all while planning for times they may find they need a little help. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t being hit with taxes that poses a negative threat to wealth later in life, it is the potential need for long-term care.

For example, an older person living on a fixed income is likely receiving between two and four thousand dollars a month to budget their expenses. The cost of long-term care– such as in-home care or assisted living –can be between four and eight thousand dollars a month alone. If someone finds themselves in need of nursing home care, that cost can rise to between 10 and 15 thousand dollars every month.

At that rate, someone can find themselves burning through savings and potentially putting the equity in their home on the line if they have not planned for these eventualities.

Who Will Represent You When It Matters Most?

When a client asks me to reorganize or establish an estate plan for them, we first ensure that all proper documentation is completed, including Living Wills, Health Care Proxy and HIPAA Release. First, however, we discuss the importance of Power of Attorney – giving an agent the right to exercise legal authority and make legal decisions on a client’s behalf.

Assigning Power of Attorney is a critical step toward being able to age how you choose and to live the life you envision. That being the case, be aware that all Power of Attorney documents are not created equal. Have yours prepared by an expert in the field, and certainly do not use online services. Seven out of 10 Power of Attorney documents that come across my desk from other preparers have either not been completed properly or lack information that may prove essential over time.

Affordable Peace of Mind

Ironically, many people who do not get the guidance they need say it’s because they didn’t think they could afford it. Believe me, the money you will spend to meet and plan with an elder law attorney will cost far less than the potential financial losses you risk moving ahead without it. That’s not an expense–that’s an investment.

With a sound estate plan tailored to your family and based on asset protection in place, you stand to receive quality care earlier than they may have otherwise, which means they can stay healthier longer and potentially remain in their own homes longer – if not for their entire life.

Take the first step toward protecting your assets and plan ahead for the kind of life you envision for your family. Give us a call today for a complimentary conversation.