During a long-term care crisis, you are unable to manage your financial affairs or even make medical decisions for yourself. If you do not take advanced steps to prepare for this, your family is left to petition the court for authority to act on your behalf. But these actions are limited. Courts do not, typically, give anyone authority to do asset protection planning on your behalf.
The best move is to plan ahead and put basic estate planning documents in place that give the people you want they authority they need to make decisions for you – when you need it most.
Any good estate plan would include a power of attorney for finances that would allow someone you trust to help manage your affairs and protect your assets from the long-term care spenddown. Additionally, you will want to designate someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them on your own.
As part of the process you made need a last will and testament, a living trust, or some type of advanced trust, such as an asset protection trust, that will also allow you to maintain greater control over your assets and give you protections against the Medicaid spenddown and inheritance taxes.
Additionally many of these documents need to be updated once a spouse goes into a nursing home to avoid an unintentional spenddown of martial assets if the healthy spouse should die first or to name someone other than the institutional spouse if they are the only person named in as an agent or medical surrogate in an existing power of attorney.
To determine which documents will be needed to best help you, contact us today for a free consultation.