Estate planning is a complex process. You must carefully consider a lot of things and plan accordingly. An experienced estate planning attorney in hawaii can guide you as navigate through your options and ensure you consider different factors that can guide you as you create an estate plan. The following are important things to keep in mind when creating an estate plan:
Choosing the Right Kind of Legal Tools
When it comes to estate planning, your legal tools are not limited to just a will. You can also establish a trust to secure your assets in your lifetime for the benefit of your heirs. Think about using special types of trusts for certain assets or loved ones. Estate planning is not just about declaring that your spouse and children inherit what you own.
Consider Family Members with Special Needs
Estate planning is about ensuring your family is well taken care of after you die. Sometimes, it can be as simple as making a decision on who should get certain assets. But, often, some members of a family require more care than other members. Thus, if you have a family member who has special needs, you must ensure your estate plan accounts for such needs. Make sure this family member has regular income or insurance coverage for expenses such as medical care, physical therapy, and nursing care. A special needs trust can make sure all members of your family are accounted for, regardless of their needs.
Ensuring Your Estate Plan is Up-to-Date
Your estate plan can change based on your circumstances. Over time, you may acquire complex assets and the makeup of your family may change. There may be more family members than before or choose a charitable organization. You must update your estate plan every few years to make sure your current wishes are defined and documented. This way, no heirs are left out.
Planning to Long-Term Care
When you create an estate plan, you must consider your future while you are alive. You must ensure you get enough protection in your senior years or when you become disabled. If you depend on programs such as Medicaid or Medicare, you must determine how to handle your assets and income to preserve your eligibility. A lot of people give away their assets to dilute their net worth before they retire. Unfortunately, this can have negative legal consequences. Speak with your attorney to know your options for making sure you keep your income while maintaining your eligibility for these needs-based programs.