Legal-Ease: Asset protection from nursing home costs

Protecting assets from nursing home costs isn’t an easy process.

There is insurance for long-term healthcare, and Ohio law allows a way to almost double the value of long-term care insurance. 

Some life insurance can also be used as a tool to pay for nursing home care.

But most people will need to keep in consideration becoming eligible for “institutional Medicaid.” 

Legal-Ease: Communicate first, then plan

Too little communication can be terrible for personal relationships. Lack of communication when it comes to family businesses can be similarly devastating. Sometimes assumptions are made when it comes to the family business and succession planning, and this can cause trouble. 

Legal-Ease: Extra checklist before heading south for the winter

Many people in northwest Ohio head south for the winter. In addition to the regular packing and planning, here are four more items that Lee suggests adding to your checklist before heading south. 

First, make sure that your general/financial power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney documents have been updated since May 2017. Make sure your living will is updated and that you’ve given copies to family and friends. Be sure that your will is in the hands of someone you really trust before you leave town. Finally, work with your attorney to be sure you’ve identified every bank, investment, savings, retirement and other account in your name. 

Legal-Ease: Find win-win-win: avoid taxes, probate and nursing home expenses

While some people seem to believe otherwise, it is not necessary for there to be a loser for every winner. With cooperation, both sides can often achieve success. 

As people get older, many people want to achieve three goals: avoid taxes, avoid probate administration, avoid nursing home expenses. Various estate planning structures exist to allow a win in all categories.

With the right planning, minimizing heirs’ eventual capital gains tax obligations is achievable. A properly organized trust can also help avoid probate. Nursing home tools can also be organized to avoid probate and help the family avoid capital gains tax later. 

Legal-Ease: When should I act to protect assets from long-term care expenses?

A common concern for Americans is the cost of long-term care. Monthly costs can be more than $7,000, and nursing home expenses over the course of a few years or decades can easily wipe out an individual’s savings. 

Determining what to do to be prepared for long-term care is only one step in the process. It’s also important to determine when to take certain steps in the long-term care planning process. 

Legal-Ease: Proper use of a trust

Trust are like the new exercise wrist watch that Lee recently purchased; while it can perform many tasks, he’s likely to only use the watch for the right tasks, and the same can be said for trusts. 

Many people have trusts that include tools that are being underutilized, and the trusts may also be used for tasks that would be best handled independently of the trust. 

The biggest recognized benefit of a trust is the ability to have assets distributed to heirs without being administered through probate. 

Legal-Ease: Sorting through trust types to create the irrevocable grantor trust

To help try to simplify legal ideas, they’re often generalized into broad categories to help make them easier to navigate. However, trusts shouldn’t be generalized when it comes to nursing home and long-term care planning. 

Trusts are typically categorized as revocable and irrevocable. Revocable trusts can usually be amended, and completely irrevocable trusts cannot be either amended or revoked. As with many parts of the law, the title of the trust is much less important than the substance of the trust rules. 

Legal-Ease: Don’t shoot family over long-term care

The idea of facing being relocated to a nursing home or other long-term care facility can be very daunting. Recently it was reported that a woman shot and killed her son because he was planning to move his mother to an assisted living facility. 

This can be a difficult situation, and it’s important to remember that the reality of facing relocation is not a decision made by family. Rather, circumstances such as age, life experience and medical need are forced upon families. 

Legal-Ease: Analyzing estate planning documents together and separately

Everyone should evaluate their estate plans in two different ways: All documents should be read and analyzed both together and separately. 

It’s important to know that estate planning documents will get the job done both together and separately, which is why it’s important to analyze them through several different lenses. 

Legal-Ease: Why Probate Court takes 6 months after a death

The probate process isn’t necessarily the fastest process of asset distribution, mainly because the focus of probate is to ensure fairness and communication. Family members can become impatient with probate administration. Regardless, estate administration through probate usually takes at least six months.