If I have a crisis or illness that forces me or my spouse into a long term care facility, will I lose my home to pay for it?
The short answer: You may not have to!
The more robust answer: it all depends on how you’ve done your planning. Many people have a will or estate plan that may be out of date. Even if it’s not, a will only dictates what happens with your stuff after you die… it doesn’t do a thing to protect your assets while you’re alive!
In addition, we see more and more people relying on information and forms they find on the internet. Online forms that promise to give you an estate plan are dangerous and downright useless almost all of the time. Sure, plugging your name into a form may make you feel like you’ve done the right thing but when it comes down to it, these forms simply don’t have the protections in place to safeguard your family.
Every family and every situation is different… that’s why plugging your name into a generic form will almost certainly not protect you when the time comes.
And, all too often I talk to people who think they’ve done the right thing – gotten a will, given money to kids or charity, and done what they thought was okay. But the fact is, there are little-known rules that can make even the most innocent actions create devastating consequences. If you are out of money and can’t pay for care and the state comes asking for money that you gave away years ago when you were healthy, you’re out of options and out of luck. It’s a tough truth, but a truth nonetheless.
A qualified attorney who knows the ins and outs of Elder Law may be able to help you make the right decisions and help you keep what you’ve spent a lifetime earning, saving, and building. It’s true that an inadequate plan or lack of planning altogether could have potentially devastating results if a crisis strikes. However, with an appropriate and comprehensive estate plan in place, many people find they can stay at home longer and save some of their assets – including their homes. This is a crucial point for most seniors.
If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Or, if there’s nothing you need to do, we’ll tell you that, too. Call now.
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees
Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Appointments available in Chicago, Aurora, Oak Brook, Schaumburg, and Joliet. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!