When families are gathered around the living room spending time with an elderly loved one, the topic of estate planning may sometimes arise. However, it is most often discussed involving the distribution of assets and family heirlooms. Many families fail to consider estate planning when it pertains to matters such as retirement, Social Security, and Medicare. These issues matter greatly, often having much more impact than expected on an estate once a loved one passes away.
All of the above mentioned matters should be explained and incorporated into an estate plan by an attorney who thoroughly understands the possible repercussions of a wrong move. A widowed spouse will want to draw Social Security income from a deceased spouse’s benefits, when available. The same goes for retirement. Making sure a proper beneficiary is named on such accounts is of utmost importance to ensure that person is able to collect after the account owner’s death.
Medicare planning is especially important to ensure a deceased loved one’s remaining medical expenses will be covered. Often times, unexpected liability is transferred to a widowed spouse for outstanding debts. If he or she does not have the money to pay, actions such as garnishments and asset seizures may take place to satisfy amounts owed.
Scheduling an estate planning consult with a knowledgeable attorney can offer great peace of mind to loved ones left to pick up the pieces after a death. Making sure that someone will be well taken care of and sustained after your passing is one of the greatest ways to say I love you and I care.