Why Estate Planning Is So Critical With David Scranton Victor Medina – August 28, 2016
Guest: Victor Medina
This is so important, now I’m going to talk more about this in the news and views section of the show. I’ll also talk about some of the other reasons other than avoiding probate that someone might want to have a living trust rather than a will, in short the main reason for having any kind of trust is typically that you want to have the ability to control your assets from the grave. As I’ll explained in a moment but right now, I want to cover that third major financial threat that you need to protect against in your estate planning. And that is, the medically related threat and the possibility that your deteriorating health or cognitive function and the associate of socio-health care costs can deplete assets that you want to leave behind. Now, this is exactly why a good estate plan needs to include clear instructions for whom you want to make financial and health care decisions on your behalf. If you’re no longer healthy enough to make them yourself, these instructions generally come in the form of a durable power of attorney and designation of health care agent. The first designates whom you want to make financial decisions and the second of course, designates whom you want to make health care decisions. Closely tied to that is something called your living will, which specifies your own wishes for end of life medical care. I tell a story often in my estate planning workshops about a client of mine whose father was on life support and he realized they were at the point where his father would have wanted to pull the plug. So he went to the doctor, initially, the doctor said I’m sorry we can’t do it fortunately the son was able to go and get his father’s living will from a safety deposit box. Come back and show it to the doctor and with that they were able to fulfill his father’s final wishes, the objective behind all these provisions is to help protect your money from costly mistakes that you might make if you’re decision making abilities deteriorate. And from the potential of financial drain of extreme ongoing, prolonged health care costs because again, estate planning is not just about how your assets are distributed after you die. It’s about how you manage to protect and preserve them long term. And, while the prospect of confronting and thinking about some of these issues may not be pleasant for most people in the end, you risk a lot more of potential pain and discomfort by procrastinating or trying to avoid this all together.
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