Estate Planning Thoughts and Tips for Singles

1. A revocable trust can allow a single person to assure that there are funds available to care for their mother and father without impairing the parent’s right to receive the Medicaid assistance that they would otherwise be entitled to receive.  A trust provision that meets this need must not give a gift outright to the surviving parent(s).  If your parent is receiving Medicaid assistance and receives an inheritance outright, it is almost certain that his or her Medicaid assistance will be terminated until the money is spent. You will have effectively given your gift to the Oklahoma taxpayers.  I can help you care for your parents and assure that your parent receives the maximum benefit of your gift.

2. Your revocable trust, when correctly drafted, can reduce the chance that your child’s inheritance will be wasted by his or her caregiver (or that surviving parent who is not wise with money).  Your irrevocable trust can drastically reduce your chance of being impoverished and at the mercy of creditors and predators.

3. Your Power of Attorney should be very carefully considered and may need to allow the person who receives your power to execute a Trust or transfer property into your trust.

4. You should consider the wisdom of appointing two different people to hold the authority to invest your money and the authority to provide the day to day care for your child.  Sometimes the person who is most loving and supportive to your child is not the person who will study and invest with the best financial outcome.  Appoint that supportive person as the daily caregiver, and appoint that market-watching uncle to invest the money for the best return.

5. Financially secure singles may benefit from the use of two trusts, one revocable and one irrevocable.  The careful use of two trusts can maximize your entitlements and maximize the benefits you leave to your loved ones and beneficiaries.

6. Remember to execute an Advance Directive for Healthcare.  Your friends and family may disagree as to whether you would have chosen to receive life-extending treatment when faced with a terminal illness. If you will complete this directive (or a similar one such as 5 Wishes) it will drastically reduce the risk of their having to guess or argue over what you would have chosen.

7. Give your physician a copy of your healthcare power of attorney and your Advance Directive for Healthcare. Medical records are likely to be available to your future caregivers, and those medical professionals may need to know whom you trusted with your most important decisions.  This is even more important where your closest family does not share your priorities and beliefs, as these are the people who are most likely to be given guardianship when you cannot care for yourself.

8. When or if you find that you are procrastinating or avoiding the task of planning your estate, remember that money and property is power.  It is the power to help another person, a charitable organization, as well as yourself.  You have a right, and maybe even a moral obligation, to manage and apply your power thoughtfully.

Need a Cheap Web Design?