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Estate Planning

Believe it or not, you have an estate. Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture... more
Believe it or not, you have an estate. Your estate is comprised of everything you own— your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture, personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and something in common—you can’t take it with you when you die. When that happens, you probably want to control how those things are given to the people or organizations you care most about. To ensure your wishes are carried out, you need to provide instructions stating whom you want to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and when they are to receive it. You will, of course, want this to happen with the least amount paid in taxes, legal fees, and court costs. That is estate planning—making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own after you die. However, good estate planning is much more than that. It should also: * Include instructions for passing your values (religion, education, hard work, etc.) in addition to your valuables * Include instructions for your care if you become disabled before you die. * Name a guardian and an inheritance manager for minor children. * Provide for family members with special needs without disrupting government benefits. * Provide for loved ones who might be irresponsible with money or who may need future protection from creditors or divorce. * Include life insurance to provide for your family at your death, disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury, and long-term care insurance to help pay for your care in case of an extended illness or injury. * Provide for the transfer of your business at your retirement, disability, or death. * Minimize taxes, court costs, and unnecessary legal fees. * Be an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Your plan should be reviewed and updated as your family and financial situations (and laws) change over your lifetime.
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Questions and Answers

Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper
Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

Yes, in some states you must list your home for sale and use the proceeds to pay for nursing home care. In other states, you can keep your home, but no income to maintain it and the State will place a lein on it when you die to pay back Medicaid. You are well served to contact an elderlaw... more

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.
Vanessa Terzian
Vanessa Terzian
Estate Planning Attorney

In California, you do not have to sell your home to qualify for Medicaid as long as you have an intent to return to the house. However, Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid program) can recover against your estate after you pass, including outing an estate claim against the equity in your home. You will... more

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.
Scot Cheben
Scot Cheben
Senior Advisor

I know that most people want to live in their home for as long as one can... Here are some things to remember about cost, housing, legal and home care. It sounds like you are leaving your home to your guardian that is taking care of you. Questions to consider is: Do you have the proper... more

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.
Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper
Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

No, contents of his home do not count as assets that must be spent in order to qualify for nursing home vendor payments by Medicaid in ANY state in the USA. Collectibles, coins, art, and other contents do not count. But in some states the house counts as an asset, and has to sold and proceeds... more

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.
Vanessa Terzian
Vanessa Terzian
Estate Planning Attorney

This is a very interesting question. You always want to review the contract you/your dad signs with the nursing home regarding collections and their policies to make sure you are clear on what they can or cannot do to collect outstanding bills. In my experience, the nursing home does not use peronal... more

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.
Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper
Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

Unfortunately, no, you don't.  Only senior citizens who own the home get a senior tax exemption.

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.
Scot Cheben
Scot Cheben
Senior Advisor

According to the Colorado State Requirements it is understood that... "A property tax exemption is available to qualifying senior citizens and the surviving spouses of those who previously qualified. There are three basic requirements to qualify: 1) The qualifying senior must be at least 6... more

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.
Vanessa Terzian
Vanessa Terzian
Estate Planning Attorney

You'd want to consult with a CPA regarding this question, but generally speaking if the house is no longer in your name, you cannot deduct the expenses for tax purposes. There are certain exceptions, like gifting the house but maintaining an irrevocable life estate. 

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.
Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper
Private Fiduciary, Trustee,Conservator, Financial Advisor

As I always ask "have you done your planning?" If you haven't done yours, then you can't expect your parents to do theirs. Lead by example. Show your mom and dad you Will, Trust and Powers of Attorney for financial and health care matters. Show them you have and are saving for your retirement... more

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.
Scot Cheben
Scot Cheben
Senior Advisor

I applaud you for being proactive! You are touching on multiple topics with this question. I reached out to a very special person, Chris Cooper to help answer this. Chris is the owner and founder of Chris Cooper & Company, a financial planning firm working with people who own small businesses... more

We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and...  (more)We at Care Giving Answers strive to provide helpful and relevant information to senior citizens and their families and loved ones. The material provided through our site is made available for informational purposes only. In no way should users of our site rely or act upon any information provided herein without seeking appropriate professional advice (medical, legal or financial). Users should independently verify the accuracy, completeness and relevance for their specific purposes. The information provided through our site is not intended to constitute professional advice and in no way forms or constitutes a professional-client relationship of any kind.