A living trust attorney at Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle can provide you with help planning for incapacity if you live in Michigan’s shoreline communities or surrounding areas. Many people don’t like to consider what would happen if they got sick or got hurt and they couldn’t make decisions on their own or act on their own behalf any more. Unfortunately, a bad situation can become a truly horrendous situation if you have not thought ahead to make an incapacity plan.
There are many different components of an incapacity plan and different legal tools that you can use to plan ahead in case of incapacity. You need to select the tools that are right for your situation. A living trust attorney at Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle will help you to decide if a living trust is the right tool for you to use. You should give us a call as soon as possible, since you never know when incapacity could happen so you want to get the right plans in place now in case of a tragedy happening later.
Will a Living Trust Protect You In Case of Incapacity?
A living trust can provide protection against one particular source of loss that can occur due to incapacity: loss of wealth caused by mismanagement of assets. When something happens to you, you may have investments that need to be carefully managed and assets that need to be cared for in a specific and appropriate way. If you have not made the right plans for assets to be managed, there could be a period of uncertainty when no one is in charge of your investments and property until someone initiates guardianship proceedings in court and someone is appointed as a guardian.
While you could plan for someone to immediately take over control of your decision-making by using a power of attorney, you may prefer to use a living trust to protect at least some of your assets in case of incapacity. When you create a living trust, you can transfer assets into it that you wish to protect. You can name yourself as the primary trustee and you will have continued flexibility to manage and completely control your trust assets. You’ll also name a backup or successor trustee.
This successor trustee will get immediate authority to manage your trust assets when you pass away or when you have become incapacitated. The assets in the trust are thus protected because the successor trustee can take control over caring for your wealth right away. Since you will get to choose the person who serves as your successor trustee, you also don’t need to worry about the court appointing someone who you do not trust to take care of your wealth if something happens to you.
A living trust also has other benefits, including allowing you to transfer your wealth to heirs or beneficiaries outside of the probate process (although the use of a living trust does not protect against estate tax).
However, while a living trust is a powerful estate planning and asset protection tool, it does not provide complete protection in case of incapacity. You will still need to make sure you have made plans for someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf and that you have expressed your wishes on kinds of care you do and do not wish to receive, as a living trust does not address these types of issues at all.
A living trust will also not protect your assets in case you end up requiring costly long term care. If you must go into a nursing home and you want Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care, you want to ensure that you don’t have too many countable resources to qualify. A living trust will not prevent assets that are held within the trust from counting for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility, while other types of legal tools can provide this type of protection.
Getting Help from A Living Trust Attorney Serving Michigan’s Shoreline Communities
A living trust attorney at Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle can offer comprehensive advice on trusts that you can use, not only to protect you and your wealth in case of incapacity but also to plan ahead for many different kinds of legal situations. Trusts are a powerful legal tool and you want to ensure that you have made effective use of trusts to accomplish your incapacity plan, asset protection, and legacy planning goals.
To find out more about the assistance that a living trust attorney in Bad Axe can provide to clients in Michigan’s Lake Huron shoreline communities, give us a call at (989) 872-5601 or contact us online today.