Beyond Wills: Other Crucial Things to Consider in Estate Planning

Available for Interviews: Glenn Matecun.

It’s More than Just Wills …

Available: Glenn R. Metecun, CELA, is certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Interview Glenn to learn more about estate planning for our vulnerable seniors.

Talking Points on Other Crucial
Things to Consider in Estate Planning:

Have a Financial Power of Attorney. A Will alone is not enough, because a Will only deals with things after you are gone. You should also have a Financial Power of Attorney, Medical Directives to allow someone to carry out your medical wishes if you are incapacitated, and a HIPAA Authorization to allow your loved ones to talk to doctors, nurses and other medical professionals about your health needs.

Consider a Trust. If your life or finances are a bit more complicated, you should consider a trust. A trust is like a bucket where you consolidate most of your assets. If you need something, you take it out of the bucket. If you get something new, you put it in the bucket. You make your own rules as far as what happens to the assets in the bucket after you are gone. Trusts are great planning instruments in the following circumstances: 

(1) you have specific objectives for your beneficiaries (for example, hold little Johnny’s inheritance until he turns 40 years hold); 

(2) you want central control of your property and money (your “successor trustee” takes control of the bucket after you’re gone and follows your rules); 

(3) in a second marriage situation, you want to give your surviving spouse access to certain assets, but control where those assets go after your spouse is gone; 

(4) if you have a beneficiary in a bad marriage, or who has creditors, he or she may not be able to deal with an inheritance—a trust allows it to be held back until the beneficiary’s life gets better; and 

(5) if you have a beneficiary with a disability or other special needs, a direct inheritance will disqualify him or her from receiving governmental benefits like SSI or Medicaid. Special trust planning is necessary in this situation to ensure you are not harming the beneficiary more than helping.

Review Your Plan. The law changes. Your family changes, your money changes and your health changes. Your estate planning attorney should keep you up-to-date on the legal side as the law changes. But if you have a change in family (birth or death), finances (new job, inheritance), or health, you should reassess your plan.

Plan Ahead. Planning ahead ensures that you stay in control while you are here, and that your property and money are distributed in the easiest, most efficient, tax-friendly way possible. If you don’t plan, your estate will likely be involved in the time-consuming, expensive and emotionally-draining probate court process, and also place a burden on your loved ones who may or may not know what you wanted.


Available for Interviews: Glenn Matecun.

Jo Allison
PR Managing Editor
Success In Media, Inc.

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