As we get older, we face a variety of concerns, challenges, and questions in planning for what lay ahead for us and our families. How do I navigate costs for medical and nursing or long-term care? Who will make decisions for me when I am unable? What kind of estate planning makes sense? What are powers of attorney useful for and why are they needed? How can I help my family avoid probate? These are a few elder law questions we will discuss in this month’s Legal Brief.
How do I navigate costs for care as I get older and need more support?
We work hard to build financial assets over a lifetime and may not want those assets drained by long-term care costs or medical bills. Proper planning (including trusts and other estate planning documents) allows you to maximize available benefits. These could include Medicare and Veterans benefits, among others. The right planning can ensure your family home and other assets are not subject to recovery by the government.
What happens when I can no longer make medical and financial decisions?
While we hope to always be involved in medical and financial decision-making, sometimes that is not possible. If the power to make decisions is ever not your own, ensure you have nominated the right people for these roles through medical and financial powers of attorney. When someone does not have these documents in place court proceedings determine who will step in to make decisions for you as conservator or guardian. Understanding how the process works and what your rights and responsibilities are is critical.
Do I really need an Estate Plan?
Everyone needs proper documentation in place that shares your wishes. How do you want your assets distributed? Are there special considerations like disabilities or beneficiaries who need more support? Can I protect assets and beneficiaries so nothing is wasted, stolen, or used unwisely? What determines who makes medical and financial decisions for you while you are alive and after you pass away? Maybe you have other questions and concerns about your situation or how this all works. Speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys who understands more complex estate planning. This way you make sure everything is taken care of and provides you peace of mind.
Why should I have Powers of Attorney?
Powers of attorney allow you to nominate someone to make decisions for you while you are still alive. There are Powers of Attorney for both medical and financial situations. These legal documents make the person you choose legally responsible for acting on your behalf. With the proper documentation in place, you can make the decision that is in your best interests, not leaving the choice to a court proceeding.
Can I really avoid Probate?
Probate is the court process by which your assets are transferred after you die to those named in your will. If you do not have a will assets transfer to the people listed in the inheritance statutes of Colorado. Probate is public and it can take 8 to 12 months or more to resolve everything, even in the simplest of cases. A revocable living trust can help avoid probate, simplifying the process for your loved ones.
Many of these questions can lead to worry and stress but don’t have to. Allow the team at Stone Law to come alongside you and put together a comprehensive plan that makes your wishes known. Reach out to us today at 877-897-6591 and get started on your path toward peace of mind.