Consulting with an estate planning attorney is essential if you want to ensure you have control over your future in case of incapacity or illness and want to ensure you protect your heirs. Far too many people fail to take the rights steps to plan for illness or their death, which can make life difficult for family members and result in significant financial loss.
Working with a professional allows you to avoid common mistakes and ensures your plan will take care of you and those you love no matter what the future brings. The estate planning attorneys at Parman & Easterday have extensive experience helping clients create comprehensive plans for asset protection, incapacity, and death.
No matter how old you are, or how many assets you own, we will provide the assistance you need. Give us a call now so you can get started on a plan and avoid the top mistakes that people make.
Mistakes to Avoid With Help from an Estate Planning Attorney
Some of the most common errors involving estate planning include:
- Thinking a will is enough: A will is part of an estate plan but it should not be the whole estate plan. When you create a will, you can use the will to leave assets to loved ones, to name an executor, designate a guardian, and provide instructions on your funeral. You cannot avoid probate or maintain continued control over assets with a will alone. You also cannot protect yourself in case of incapacity or institutionalization for long term care, or keep your assets safe in most situations when your entire estate plan is a will.
- Not considering the special needs of those who will inherit: If you have relatives to whom you want to leave money but are concerned they will spend it unwisely or lose it to bankruptcy or divorce, you may want to structure the gift as a trust. If you plan to leave money to someone under 18, you’ll need to make sure the money is managed for the minor. If you have a relative with special needs, you want to ensure the gift you give doesn’t cause loss of access to government benefits or become subject to payment for care that would otherwise be provided by a government program. These are just a few of many examples in which you need to consider the special needs of your loved ones when making decisions on structuring an inheritance.
- Not creating a plan for long-term care: If you don’t plan ahead and end up needing to go into a nursing home, you may spend all of your money on nursing home bills and have nothing left. You don’t want this to happen to you. With proper planning you can qualify for Medicaid to cover nursing home care and avoid this fate. In Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, the Medicaid eligibility rules state that seniors over 65 can qualify for coverage if they have little income and limited assets. If you have accumulated a retirement nest egg, it could disqualify you until it is spent down — unless you have a plan in place that addresses this issue.
- Failing to plan for incapacity: Should you become incapacitated, you will want someone to manage your financial affairs, make healthcare decisions for you, and identify what types of care you want to receive. Using tools like advanced directives or living wills and powers of attorney will help ensure you and your assets are protected should you become seriously ill or injured.
You do not want to make these or other errors that your family will regret. Get the professional help you need to create your estate plan now while you still can.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today
Parman & Easterday is committed to assisting clients of all ages and all asset levels to make plans to secure their dignity, financial security, autonomy, and legacy. Life is uncertain and it is impossible to know what the future holds. Make sure you have created a plan to protect yourself and those you love even if the worst should happen. To learn more and get the help you need from an experienced estate planning attorney, give us a call today at (405) 294-6860, (913) 385-9400 or contact us online to learn more. You can also join us for a free seminar to find out more about estate planning.