What is estate planning and why should we do this now?
Most people think doing estate planning is something that is nice but not necessary or that it is only for rich people. The truth is that ALL seniors who have any assets at all should do some estate planning. If you don’t, you will default to the “system’s” estate plan — that is to pay for everything! Unfortunately, for most people the majority of their expenses come in the last years of their life. That is why people save for their old age. What most people don’t realize is that there are ways to AVOID spending large amounts of money for your care in your Golden Years-by doing some estate planning.
I already have a will, so doesn’t that cover it?
Absolutely not! A will is a first class ticket to Probate Court, a place you want to avoid if you can. You should have a will but you should also take some steps to protect the assets you spent a lifetime accumulating. There are many simple things you can do to avoid Probate.
What else should I be doing to protect my assets?
The answer is — it depends. It depends on what assets you have. For example, let’s assume you are a widow(er) and have worked hard all your life and you have been able to accumulate $200,000 plus a house that is paid for worth $100,000. As far as the state of Ohio is concerned you are worth $300,000 and they expect you spend it all down to less than $1,500 if you go to a nursing home. Once you spend down your $200,000 they will put a lien on your home for the rest. (The rules vary for married and single people.)
But I’m healthy, why should I bother with this now?
Nursing homes are full of people who were healthy but a sudden fall, stroke, accident, or heart attack could change all of that in literally a heartbeat. 40% of people in nursing homes are there because of a fall. These are the same people that used to brag how long their ancestors lived. The point is, it doesn’t matter how good your genes are, if you break a hip you’re going to a nursing home.
O.K., so what should I do?
Everyone’s situation is unique but most people fall into patterns. For example, if your loved one has Alzheimer’s Disease they may be all right now but unfortunately the progressive disease will only get worse. The sooner you talk with a qualified estate planner the more money you will be able to save.
How can you save me money?
If you or your spouse was a veteran, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the Veterans Administration to help pay your medical bills. See our section on Veterans Benefits. You may also be able to get government assistance for nursing home bills. See our section on Medicaid Planning. Whether you were a veteran or not, you definitely can save money on future medical costs, avoid Probate and save money with proper planning.
What do your services cost?
We provide a free telephone consultation to anyone who calls our office. If we are able to analyze your situation over the phone we may be able to offer solutions for you-free of charge. If your situation is more complex we may suggest a face-to-face consultation — free of charge. After determining what may be an appropriate course of action for you we will tell you ahead of time if there would and charge for us to work with you.
How long have you been in business and how many people have you helped?
Mr. McCarthy has been helping seniors his whole career but has concentrated on the needs of older adults, particularly as they relate to long term care issues, for the last 11 years. During that time, he has helped hundreds and hundreds of older adults minimize health care costs and protect assets.
If so many seniors can benefit from estate planning why are not there more estate planners?
There are many, many financial advisors but there are very few people who understand the all the legal and financial issues older adults face. Elder Law attorneys understand the legal issues but are not very familiar with all the financial issues. Mr. McCarthy has spent years becoming proficient in the legal issues, is a Registered Investment Advisor, holds numerous security licenses, has many insurance licenses and has had the experience of many years of helping people. There are very, very few people who understand Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, insurance products, investment products, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, IRS tax rules, and health issues of older adults and have the ability to make sense of all those areas to be able to formulate solutions to problems.
What is the best way to contact McCarthy and Associates for a free consultation?
Call 330-656-5580 or email us at bill@McCarthyandAssociates.com