Alice’s 5 Steps to Estate Planning Peace of Mind in 2017

I hope this new year brings you health, happiness and peace.

A new year is always a time for us to reevaluate our current state of affairs.  I hope one of your New Year’s resolutions is to make sure that all of your affairs and your family’s affairs are in order.


1. HAVE YOU REVIEWED/UPDATED YOUR ESTATE PLAN? Do not be caught unprotected or ill planned. Changes that we don’t plan on happen everyday. If we are prepared, we get through them a bit easier. If we have not properly planned for them, we add a lot of stress to what is already stressful. Laws and regulations  change; we recently saw major changes in Medicaid laws.  DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING!!  CHECK IT OUT!

2. HAVE YOU PLANNED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF INCAPACITY?  Two out of five older people will have some period of incapacity during their life. The Durable Power of Attorney (done after October 1, 2011)  and a Health Care Surrogate are the MOST IMPORTANT documents for you to consider.  They are the best way to avoid the stress and cost of a guardianship in court.

3. HAVE YOU PLANNED FOR THE COST OF INCAPACITY? Many of my clients facing the financial ruin of a nursing home seek my advice and counsel on qualifying for Medicaid.  How can you self insure if you need long term care?  And if you can’t then pre-planning for Medicaid and/or Veteran’s benefits are essential

4. DO YOU KNOW WHERE ALL THE ” STUFF ” IS? ALL important documents should be kept in one convenient place with the family knowing where that is. Times of high stress and crisis are not the right time to begin a search for these documents.

5. HAVE YOU NAMED THE RIGHT PERSON IN CHARGE? Picking an individual to implement your final wishes and affairs is a very important decision. While most people will choose a family member, some people do consider a bank or trust company because of their neutrality, expertise and professionalism.

A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS… My office has compiled a list of 67 things  that MUST be done upon the death of a family member….and a  few not to do! If you would like a FREE COPY of this list, please contact our office. With the help and guidance of an Elder Law professional, many of your last minute needs can be arranged in advance, giving you and your family peace of mind and saving them great emotional burden and expense.

Author: Alice Reiter Feld
<p>Ms. Reiter Feld has been in private practice for over 30 years. During that time, she’s proven to be a determined fighter for the rights of senior citizens and family members when it comes to elder care options, and on the importance of engaging an elder law attorney to plan and execute a personalized strategy. Her primary areas of practice under the “Elder Law Umbrella” include long-term care needs planning, asset protection planning, estate planning, probate, Veteran’s Benefits, and Medicaid planning and assistance.</p>

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