What You Know Does Matter!

estate planning

Knowledge is power.

Although many of us find it uncomfortable to think about and address issues such as mortality or disability, in the long run it is best to seek answers to these questions and others with your estate planning attorney while you are healthy and competent, and while you can avoid both court involvement and conflict amongst family members.

For example, we met a man named John who was still working at age seventy-five, but not necessarily by choice. His wife, Edna, was suffering with Alzheimer’s disease, and had been living at a long-term care facility for seven years.

During our conversation with John, it became clear that the only reason he continued to work was to pay for Edna’s care. He was exhausted, yet unsure about alternatives…
John felt trapped, he finally said.

Like many people, John was confused about asset protection in a case where only one spouse was in need of long-term care. He had also been told about a five-year “look-back,” didn’t know whether his home and other assets were protected and was worried about the fact that he had not done any planning.

In fact, he confessed he wasn’t quite sure about how the look-back worked or how he could possibly maintain Edna’s care if he were to stop working or, even worse, suddenly be unable to do so.

The Good News
After reviewing John & Edna’s situation, which was similar to that of many couples in their age group, we were very happy to inform him that he could, in fact retire without losing his home or other assets, and without compromising Edna’s care.

The biggest surprise, he explained, was that it was possible to transfer assets between spouses, even though one of them was in a nursing home. Discovering that there was some light at the end of the tunnel provided John with relief.

Knowledge is power.