Writing a Living Trust
Regardless of whether your estate is small or large, it is crucial to create a plan for what happens to your assets after you have passed on. Creating a living trust is a useful tool can that provide people with a peace of mind for the future.
An elder law lawyer at Bott & Associates, Ltd. may help you get started writing this important document if you have never completed one before. We are also happy to assist in editing this document to confirm it reflects your true wishes. We have helped countless individuals and families in Rolling Meadows, IL with various elder law issues, including estate planning, Medicaid services, asset protection, legacy planning, and extended financial planning. We know that these issues can be very overwhelming and it’s our job to simplify the legal aspects as much as possible.
5 Tasks to Tackle When Writing a Living Trust
Here are some of the most important tasks to tackle when you are creating your living trust.
- Listing Your Assets
Create a list that includes everything you currently own. Assets can be your house, real estate property, bank accounts, vehicles, jewelry, art collection, stocks, bonds, life insurance policies, and sentimental treasures. By creating this list, it can be easier to designate which of your beneficiaries should receive specific assets.
- Gathering Important Paperwork
After making a list of belongings, collect important paperwork related to these assets. Examples of documents to gather include titles, stock certificates, deeds, and life insurance policies. An elder law lawyer can meet with you to check that all key documents have been collected in preparation of your living trust.
- Choosing Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries are those who you want to receive a portion of your assets after passing away. Beneficiaries can be your relatives, close friends, or even charities. If there are certain individuals who may fight over assets, and especially if you want to ensure that these individuals do not receive anything, talk with your Rolling Meadows, IL lawyer about this. You may want to include an exclusion statement in your living trust regarding this person.
- Appointing Successor Trustee
When creating a living trust, you are to name yourself as the trustee in order to continue having control over your belongings while still alive. The successor trustee is the person you want to handle your things after you have passed on. This person shall pay your debts, distribute assets to beneficiaries based on how you so wish, and perform any other duties you have instructed. This person should be someone you trust, that only has your best of interest at heart. You can also name a secondary successor trustee, in case the first cannot uphold their role.
- Naming Guardian for Pets or Minor Children
If you have pets and underage children, you may want to appoint a guardian for these family members. If you think one person would be better suited to care for your fur children and another for your human children, you can appoint two different people. You may want to talk with these people before finalizing your living trust, to confirm they are okay with taking on this role in the event of your passing.
Medicaid Planning is Equally Important!
For many people, thinking about estate planning may involve a will or a trust. Their own long term care and wellbeing might be put off for as long as possible. However, as an elder law lawyer Rolling Meadows, IL recommends might explain, doing so could result in potential legal and financial problems. These issues could be so significant that they hinder their ability to receive the care they need. Due to the seriousness of long term care planning, it is important to begin this as soon as possible, and well before it may be needed. In order to plan properly it is very important to have an elder law lawyer in Rolling Meadows, IL who understands Medicaid and long term care planning.
Understanding Medicaid Planning
There are a broad number of rules, regulations, and procedures regarding Medicaid; therefore, it is important to work with an elder law lawyer Rolling Meadows, IL offers who understands the complexities that tend to be relevant to this government assistance program. In general, when you meet with a lawyer about long term care planning, they might explain to you that Medicaid is a type of health assistance given to certain applicants, and provided by the government. Not all people are eligible for Medicaid; thus, having an elder law lawyer Rolling Meadows, IL trusts can ensure you receive the assistance and prevent potential problems from arising.
The Importance of Medicaid Planning
In all states, long term care is very expensive. Often it will cost a person between $4000 and $8000 per month for an assisted care or nursing facility. If you have not carried out sufficient planning, your life savings could easily be wiped out for these services. If you work with an elder law lawyer Rolling Meadows, IL has to offer for Medicaid planning, you can utilize various strategies that can preserve your assets and income. This can result in ensuring you can maintain a reasonable standard of living, and still pass on your assets to your beneficiaries.
Sheltering Your Assets
When you think of the word sheltering, you might think about hiding, and when it comes to sheltering your assets, you may even wonder if this is legal. It is perfectly legal and when carried out by an experienced Rolling Meadows elder law lawyer it is ethical and smart. Although unknown to many, this is a practical option to include in your long term care plan.
One of the most popular strategies in long term care and Medicaid planning, is to make use of an irrevocable trust. When used, any property placed into the trust will be excluded from the person’s assets. As a result anything contained in the trust is protected from the state and preserved for the heirs. There are special rules for irrevocable trusts. For example, they must be created and funded for a specific period of time before they can be a viable Medicaid planning tool.
Don’t Wait to Plan Your Long Term Care
In general, you should begin to consider your long term care planning, including Medicaid planning, as early as possible. The longer you wait, the more problems you might encounter. On average, those who start to plan in their 60s will have to wait longer than they have to before receiving their Medicaid.
Contact Bott & Associates, Ltd.
The idea of creating a trust can be daunting, but it becomes more and more important as you get older. At Bott & Associates, Ltd., we want to support you throughout this time in your life. Please call our firm today to schedule a consultation with an elder law lawyer Rolling Meadows, IL families know and trust. We would love to hear how we can be of assistance to you during the creation of your living trust.