MESA – GILBERT AZ ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY ANSWERS THE QUESTION: “CAN AN ESTATE BE TOO SMALL FOR PROTECTION?”
Many people think “My estate is too small to get any protection from estate planning.” Let me correct that.
I have lots of people that come to my office and they say “Well, I don’t think I really need an estate plan because I don’t have a huge estate. I don’t have a lot of assets that I need to pass on or to worry about ever having to pass on.” And that may be. But the thing is this. It doesn’t take very much to disqualify somebody from being eligible for Medicaid or for long term care. So sometimes it’s wise to at least consider the impact that an estate plan, properly set up, can have on that. Even if long term care is not currently needed or even in the foreseeable future, it is still something that you need to think about because there are issues there that can be really dramatic.
It costs a lot of money to have long term care. Maybe you only have a small house or a little bit of a savings account or a mutual fund or a retirement account. Those kinds of things can, in some circumstances, disqualify the beneficiary from receiving government benefits that they would otherwise have that would pay for their care. So the children of those people should be paying attention to those things as well.
We help you analyze all of that. There are lots of things to think about and lots of ways to go about it. It’s a pretty complicated process. So that is why people with smaller estates ought to be thinking about getting protection with estate planning.