When it comes to making plans for the future, there is often a lack of urgency. Whether it seems like the need for them is many years ahead or you feel that your family will make the choices you would want, creating the critical documents necessary is not seen as a priority. At Elder Law Guidance: The Elder Law Practice of Scott E. Collins, PLLC, we help Kentucky families understand why these estate planning resources are invaluable.
By planning in advance, you will reduce the stress on your children and loved ones when they are already going through one of the most difficult times of their lives: your death. The truth is, when a loved one passes away, family should draw together for a time of love and support. Often this time of support is destroyed by fighting and tension within the family instead. Relationships can be ruined during a time when all you would want is for your family to be together and stay strong. In fact, many parents would do well to ask themselves, will my funeral be the last time my children speak to each other?
As sad as it is, without a well-thought-out plan and good communication, the answer may be “Yes.” There are many things that create major tensions in families when the matriarch or patriarch passes away.
Did you know: if there is not a Will in place, a spouse is 4th in line to receive the distribution from your estate? While spouses do have some protections under Kentucky law so that they are not left destitute, our children, our parents and our siblings all take priority over our spouses.
Kentucky law follows lines of distribution that favor retaining assets within the bloodline instead of allowing the bloodline of the in-laws to take possession of land or wealth that our family of origin may have held for generations.
This older notion of distribution is still preserved in many ways in the Commonwealth, and without a Will this is how the courts will distribute your property after your death.
THEREFORE, it is essential that you create a Will.
There are many ways we can protect your family and make for a smoother process, including:
- Creating a Will that names a guardian for minor children and outlines the distribution of your assets to each child
- Transferring assets into a trust so that the Will may not be set aside to keep a spouse from being impoverished
- Ensure that your personal property, real estate and assets go to precisely those that you choose through your Will, Trust or Will Substitutes
- Minimize tax impact and financial costs of have all of your estate go through Probate
- Preventing heirs from spending away inheritance prematurely
- Establishing a Trust: including irrevocable and revocable
- Develop an Advance Directive (also known as a Living Will): make choices regarding medical decisions
- Create a Miller Trust (Qualified Income Trust): an emergency planning tool that can help you receive nursing home benefits immediately if you are otherwise making too much money
- Establish a Power of Attorney: determine who will make decisions for you when you are unable to do so
Good estate planning goes well beyond creating a Will. It includes ensuring all of your assets are protected, that the costs, an incorrect timing of a transfer, and tax burdens are minimized, and tax benefits maximized.
One of the primary concerns of our law firm is to preserve your assets so that the healthcare cost in your later years will not deplete your savings and inheritance for your heirs. to the greatest extent possible. The longer you wait to seek assistance, the less you can save.
Our firm’s goal is to help and serve people in Madison County and the surrounding areas of Southeastern Kentucky to the greatest extent possible.
When you are ready to start planning, call us at (859) 544-6012 to schedule an initial consultation. If you’d prefer to speak with us via email, you can contact us online.
We are in this together. Our attorneys can help ensure that at the end of your life, there is peace and love for the people who mean the most to you.