While wills are oriented around preparing for what will happen after you pass away, other elements of estate planning can go into effect during your lifetime. A good estate plan takes into account the possibility you may become disabled due to illness or injury.
This, of course, is a possibility no one enjoys thinking about, but it can happen, and often does. We all have known people who went into a gradual or sudden decline that left them unable to care for themselves or to make important decisions about their futures. It’s important that we are prepared for the possibility this could happen to us.
Many private insurance plans provide long-term disability insurance which can be crucial for helping to pay for care and other expenses for people who are no longer able to work. The Social Security Disability Insurance program similarly provides benefits for people who can no longer earn a wage by working.
These and other types of insurance benefits may count as income for taxes and other purposes. This can be a problem for some types of benefits programs. For example, Medicaid determines a person’s eligibility and benefit amounts by calculating the Modified Adjusted Gross Income of the person’s household.
A lot of estate planning is concerned with preparing for things that we hope will never happen. The point is to be prepared for almost anything. An experienced attorney can create an estate plan that can preserve your assets and leave a legacy, while also including provisions for long-term disability, long-term care, conservatorship/guardianship and related issues.