In addition to a will or revocable living trust, what else is included in a standard estate plan.
Every estate plan will include a will, often with testamentary trust provisions. Depending on the circumstances and client goals, a plan may include revocable and/or irrevocable trusts as well. We will also plan for incapacity by creating a Durable Financial Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, and Living Will. These documents reduce the likelihood of the appointment of a guardian, should one become incapacitated. Agents appointed will be able to respond to changed circumstances to carry out the personal, financial, and healthcare plans as they were intended.
I have heard that a living trust is better than a will – is that true?
Not necessarily. Estate planning is very individualized: what is best for one person or family may not be right for others. Many families are better off with a plan based on testamentary disposition based on wills. Trusts can be established by will that can protect minors and individuals with special needs who receive bequests under the will. For others, a revocable living trust can provide for a smoother transition because assets will pass outside of probate and a successor trustee is in place to help manage assets during the lifetime of the person creating the trust.
How much does a typical nursing home cost per year in Maryland?
According to a 2015 Genworth study, the Maryland average for a semi-private room IS $101,000 per year. A private room was more than $110,000. These rates are expected to increase 5-6% per year. There are ways to protect yourself and your family from bearing the costs of this care, should it become necessary.
Does Medicare pay for nursing home care?
Medicare does not pay for long-term nursing home care. There are basically three options to finance the cost of long-term care: long-term care insurance, self-pay, or Medicaid/Veteran's Administration benefits. Elder law attorneys are prepared to review your situation and develop a cost-efficient planning solution that will preserve your accumulated assets to the greatest degree possible.
What happens if you die without a will?
If one dies without expressing their wishes for the distribution of their assets the distribution is controlled by the law of intestacy. In other words, the law has determined how the assets will be distributed. Very rarely does this result in the same distribution of assets that the person would have chosen had they made a will. More importantly, parents of minor children typically nominate a guardian for their children by will. If there is no will, minor children will be placed according to the judgment of the court.