Your estate is everything you own. Your money, your home, your business, and your possessions. All of this is your estate, your stuff. You know this. So why am I talking about your estate? Because it’s important to protect what you leave behind when you leave this world. And everyone knows you cannot take it with you. I’ve heard of individuals buried with their stuff. They buried one person inside her beloved red Cadillac convertible. Her stuff stayed behind.
Have you ever heard this; “If you Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail?”
Planning is especially true for us senior citizens. You might think this: I have all the time in the world now that I am retired, but that isn’t true. The day’s progress, one after the other in your new unstructured life. Think about this for a moment: Put your affairs in order and you don’t have the worry about what happens to your stuff.
Pay Down Your Bills
Why? In the very least, have funeral expenses. A sibling burdened me with their funeral expense, dying penniless. I was about to go on vacation, the first in many years. A phone call from a funeral home in my home town shattered the vacation plans. It left me to arrange the funeral and pay for it. My hard earned vacation money disappeared in an instant. I settled for cremation, the best I could afford. My thought is this: Out of kindness for the living, save enough for funeral expenses. Although, why stop there? Consider earning what you need even if they retire you.
You Must Have a Will
Estate planning is important. There are some hard truths that we need to face.
Get a will. Your will designates what happens to your belonging after you pass. It’s a fact that many of us have debt when we pass. Maybe you’ve seen the bumper sticker that proclaims “I’m spending my children’s inheritance” or “Screw Them all and die in debt.” The good news is that there is the help in understanding how things work if you pass with unsettled debt. You can read about it on https://www.debt.org/advice/inheriting/
How It Works
In simple terms, here’s what happens: a Probate Court Judge liquidate all assets including your house, stocks, and valuables and the proceeds eliminate or diminish your debts. A will names those individuals, usually family members or charities, who receive your stuff after you die. The decision is up to you if you have a will.
Medicaid pays for medical bills when your money runs out. However, there is something you need to know, it is the Medicaid Estate Recovery – A Medicaid Death Tax. You can read about it here:
Did you read it? Good! Now you know that under certain conditions the State can take what’s left of everything after you pass. What do you do? While rules change from state to state, it’s a good idea to check in with an elder care attorney. Get referrals and find one that is trustworthy.
Elder care attorneys will help you protect your stuff from the state. Sometimes, you need an irrevocable trust to protect your assets. I live in Ohio, one of six states that have “Preservation Trusts.” These trusts protect your assets from the state after 5 years. So, if you want to leave your home or stocks or your business to someone you choose, a trust is a wise choice.
The definitions may be slightly different depending on where you live. I live in Ohio, one of 6 states that have Preservation Trusts.
I encourage you to look within your state for the specific documents that apply to you. I’ve included a link to help you find resources.
NEVER sign your DRN form while i good health. My reason is this: Once signed, you relinquish all rights to your care if admitted to a hospital in an unconscious state.
The Good News
A newfound sense of freedom and well-being is yours when you complete your planning. Pursue your bucket list and enjoy the worry-free time you have. Consider this: Worry even less about money when you start an online business. There are many to choose from. I’ve listed reasons on why to start a business here: 5 reasons retirees should start an online business
Learn about the possibilities of my online business and see for yourself. Don’t wait, look now.