Having an estate plan in place is important for every adult without regard to age, wealth, or family status. To ensure that you get the most out of estate planning, you want to create a comprehensive estate plan. To help you do that, the Vero Beach estate planning attorneys at Kulas & Crawford help you determine if you missed any important areas in your estate plan.
People frequently overlook the need for incapacity planning when they go the DIY estate planning route. They create and execute a Last Will and Testament and mistakenly believe that their loved ones are protected. A Will can protect loved ones in the event of your death; however, a Will does nothing to protect you or your loved ones if you become incapacitated because the terms of a Will are only relevant after your death. To protect against incapacity, your estate plan should include an incapacity planning component.
Business Succession Planning
If you have invested time and money to start a business or to keep a family business operating, you (hopefully) understand the need to protect your investment. You probably purchased insurance to protect against losses due to natural disasters, theft, or fire. What happens to your investment if something happens to you though? To ensure that the business is successfully passed down to the next generation or sold for fair market value if you die or become incapacitated, you need a business succession planning component in your estate plan.
Funeral and Burial Planning
You may not be particularly keen about planning your own funeral and burial; however, if you fail to make those plans your loved ones will be forced to do so after your death. Not only will they need to make important decisions just days after losing you, but they may also have to come up with the financial resources needed to pay for a funeral and burial. Not surprisingly, grieving family members are often taken advantage of when they are forced to make decisions while grieving. Equally important is the likelihood that your wishes regarding your funeral and burial may not be remembered, and therefore not honored, because your loved ones cannot think clearly. Creating a funeral and burial plan now ensures that your wishes will be honored and relieves your loved ones of the need to make financial and personal decisions right after losing you.
Medicaid/Long-Term Care Planning
Americans have a considerably longer average life expectancy today than they did a century ago. Living longer is certainly a blessing; however, it also increases the likelihood that you will need long-term care (LTC) at some point. If you (or a spouse) do end up needing LTC, the cost of that care will be expensive with an average yearly cost of around $100,000 for 2022. Although you may depend on Medicare to cover most healthcare expenses as a senior, it will not pay for LTC. Medicaid will cover LTC costs if you qualify for benefits. To ensure that you do qualify for Medicaid without putting assets at risk you need to incorporate Medicaid planning tools and strategies into your estate plan long before you need those benefits.
Clients are routinely surprised when I ask them about their pets. Although they consider the family cat or dog to be part of the family, they typically have not included their pets in their estate plan. That may lead to uncertainty or even abandonment if something happens to the animal’s human owner. To make sure that your pet continues to be treated well if you are unable to care for the animal because of your death or incapacity, you should include a pet planning component in your estate plan.
Contact Vero Beach Estate Planning Attorneys
To learn more, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about estate planning, please contact an experienced Vero Beach estate planning attorney at Kulas & Crawford by calling (772) 398-0720 to schedule a consultation.