Estate Planning really is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you have $4,000 or $400,000. You still have to plan for life’s possibilities. Whether it’s to name a trusted individual to manage your finances if you become disabled or to name a guardian for your minor children or to ensure wishes are known and a procedure is in place to honor your wishes.
Trust administration is the process by which the Trustee manages your assets that have been titled in the trust’s name, and then pays all your expenses and distributes your estate according to your wishes on your death. You are the Trustee of your trust, until such time as you can no longer act due to illness or some other reason, or until your death. The Successor Trustee named in your trust takes over the duty of Trustee in those circumstances.
The Trustee acts in a fiduciary capacity to carry out your estate plan. As such, the Trustee must abide by law in treating all beneficiaries fairly and without benefiting himself over other beneficiaries (if your successor Trustee is also a beneficiary).
A Special Needs Trusts can be created by an individual with their own funds or be created by someone other than a disabled individual, typically a parent or relative.
Medicare is a health-care benefit provided by the federal government to individuals over age 65, or under age 65 and disabled. Medicare covers doctor visits, tests and care provided in a hospital and limited benefits in a nursing home (see below).
Medi-Cal is health insurance for people with limited income and assets. To qualify, your income and asset must not exceed certain limits. If your income or assets exceed the qualifying limits, you will not be eligible. There is no age restriction to qualify.
Elder law is the focus of attention on the needs of the elderly and those with disabilities, whether the needs be medical, financial, residential, or familial relationships.
Many people are unaware that the Veterans Administration offers financial benefits to veterans who need assistance paying for home health care costs or assisted living expenses. Neither Medicare nor Medi-Cal covers these costs and they can exceed $7,000 a month. To help defray these costs, veterans and their widows(ers) are entitled to an “improved pension” to offset the cost of necessary health care expenses.