Recently, a good man passed away. Unfortunately, his unexpectedly quick passing leaves serious, unresolved issues affecting his family and his estate. For privacy reasons, the non-relevant details will be modified or left vague. But the lesson is too important to ignore.
By definition, the need for long term care can last for years. This is true even for residents of nursing homes, perhaps the most expensive level of care. According to one study, the majority of nursing home patients will be there for at least a year. In fact, almost 25% will remain patients for more than three years.
Last column I explained how a son’s drug addiction was a serious threat to his mother’s estate plan. Even though he had no desire or intention to interfere with his mother’s wishes, his choices required that she take extra precautions to ensure any inheritance helped – rather than harmed – her son. A trust allowed her to accomplish this even after she passed away.
Even though this son’s flawed choices created the hurdle his mother had to overcome, there are other complications of life in which no one is at fault. These circumstances should also be addressed. Perhaps the most common example is the blended family.
So do you need a trust? In my last column, I stated that a trust can be used to protect your estate. A trust can do this by allowing you to maintain control, even after your passing, to decide who benefits from your estate and when.
In my last column, I addressed some reasons you don’t need a trust.
There are many situations in which a trust is very effective.
Before addressing reasons people may want a trust, I want to address some reasons that most people do not need a trust.
Even if you don’t have or need a trust, virtually every adult should have a Will, especially upon becoming a parent.