Article 105-Estate Planning Series: Why You Need A Trust

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Trusts, Will

There are many situations in which a trust is very effective.   For example, property in a trust need not go through the cost and process of probate when you pass.

Probate is the process which permits property (such as land) owned by a deceased person to be passed on to a beneficiary.  But probate in Idaho can’t address a condo or cabin located in another state.  Those who own a home here, and a second home in Arizona, may want to put both properties into a trust and avoid paying two attorneys in two different states for probate.

Article 103-Estate Planning Series: What is Wrong with Using a Form for my Will or Trust?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Trusts, Will

An effective estate plan should be as simple as possible, so long as it carries out your wishes.  However, some want you to believe that you need only purchase their “form” to have an effective estate plan.  Using this form, you are told, can save money and -- best of all -- the form is valid in all 50 states. 

If the cost of an estate plan is measured only by the cost of the document, that form will likely be cheaper.  After all, it does not attempt to account for your individual circumstances.  However, if cost includes the confidence that your estate will be carried out the way you intend, using a form may be the most expensive method of all.

Article 101-Estate Planning Series: The Winter Risk to Seniors

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning

The last few columns I have discussed some of the ways adult children can be of assistance to aging parents.  Legal documents that can be used to help parents include a “power of attorney” which authorizes a trusted child to act in the name of a parent when handling financial or other similar matters. If the parent’s health has diminished to the point that he or she is incapacitated, and cannot handle his or her own affairs, it may be necessary for a child to be appointed as a “guardian.”

Recently, The Post Register published an article about the risks winter can bring for seniors.  I appreciate the paper raising awareness about these issues.  The article emphasized the importance of prevention, not only by being aware of the risks, but by taking steps to minimize those risks.  Children can help their parents be mindful of these issues.

Article 100-Estate Planning Series: What is the Best Way to Help Your Aging Parent?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Will

Last column I discussed the challenge for both parent and child as an aging parent loses the ability to care for him or herself. In some cases, the parent may have only nominal limitations.  In others, a parent may be fully incapacitated.      

A parent may be mentally capable of handling any situation; and physically capable of handling most.  However, due to limited mobility -- for example – assistance is still necessary.  A trip to the bank now requires coordination of the parents and child’s schedule.  Even when a child is willing to transport an otherwise immobile parent, it is not always convenient . . . for either party. 

Article 99-Estate Planning Series: How Should You Help Your Aging Parent?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning, Long Term Care, Will

It is not uncommon for me to receive a call from an adult child concerned about a parent’s decreasing ability to care for him or herself.  Circumstances often require assistance the child does not have the ability to provide.

Without sufficient assistance, bad things can happen.   It only takes an instant for an aging parent to fall.  One third of seniors will fall each year (longtermcare.gov).  Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for seniors, and often lead to a new series of health issues.  By age 75, a fall is four times more likely to result in admittance to a skilled nursing facility.

Article 98-Estate Planning Series: Does Your Estate Plan Enhance or Undermine Family Harmony?

Written by Wright Law on . Posted in Estate Planning

You may have read recently about a couple, married over 50 years, who passed away the same night.  Although no one is certain, it appears that she fell, and in attempting to help her, he fell as well.  They were found next to each other. 

I had the privilege to work with this wonderful couple.  They were great people with a great sense of humor.  Somewhere in the shock of their passing is the silver lining that they did not have to be without each other.

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