Matthew Zagula, President of First Financial Advisors and Bleier Zagula Investments, recently discussed three things that every American over the age of 65 should be considering about their estate and disability planning:
1. Lawyers can create great legal estate planning documents, but if your assets are not "funded" into the trusts - or if you have documents that are poorly defined in a disability situation, you can end up with a very IN-effective plan. Here are some significant problems to look out for:
· If you have a trust and none of your accounts are tied to it, the trust will not help your estate avoid probate. A well-prepared legal document can help your family avoid the cost of probate, (AARP reports average probate costs annually are 3-5%) but if your bank and investment accounts are not held in the name of your trust, it will not help.
· It is also important to make sure your real estate is tied through newly created deeds to transfer the property into the trust.
2. Long-term care can wipe you out financially. Newly enforced Filial Responsibility laws may end up costing your kids their savings to pay your nursing home bill. This may be hard to believe, but that is the new reality of healthcare. With home health care aides costing $15-30 per hour and Assisted living facilities costing from $4,000 to $8,000 per month in many parts of the country, nursing homes can cost well over $100,000 per year. Developing a long-term care plan is critical. There are a variety of ways to use leverage with specific financial products to help you protect your hard earned retirement savings beyond traditional long term care insurance. Being proactive and planning for these future tragedies can spare your loved ones the stress of trying to "figure it out."
3. Divide and BE CONQUERED. All too often financial advisors rely just on financial solutions to solve a client's long-term care risk. Likewise, lawyers look to their legal documents to solve the problem. The best advice is to seek out a "team approach". A well-prepared financial plan addressing death and disability, designed in tandem with coordinated and well-drafted legal documents, will yield you the very best results. Two professionals working "independently"
For more information on how Matthew Zagula can help, please call 1-800-723-0533.
About Matthew Zagula:
Matthew Zagula has been a coach to the nation’s top lawyers specializing in estate planning and elder law, an accomplished financial advisor to his clients, an author, radio personality and founder of several institutes dedicated to providing sound fiscal advice to veterans and seniors for just about the last 20 years.
Zagula’s experience in insurance and financial planning began with Guardian Life Insurance Company and extends through a position with Northwestern Mutual where he acted as a special agent for advanced cases. Zagula has an extensive background in retirement and estate planning, and executive benefits.
Zagula has been and continues to be at the forefront of many training programs with some of the nations best Elder Law Attorneys and Financial Advisors.