October 22, 2018
Estate Planning vs. Elder Law | Berry’s Bites
Estate planning versus Elder Law from Michigan estate planning lawyer Christopher J. Berry of The Elder Care Firm and The CJ Berry Group. In this short video Chris Berry explains the differences between estate planning and elder law in a very simple, easy to understand method.
To learn more visit www.MichiganEstatePlanning.com or www.CJBerryGroup.com. He hosts weekly workshops that discuss wealth, estate and tax planning for a safe and secure retirement, to register visit www.estateworkshop.com
Estate Planning Versus Elder Law |Berry’s Bites | Transcript
Today, on Berry’s Bites, we’re going to talk about the difference between estate planning and elder law.
Estate planning is planning for what happens if you pass away, and that’s going to happen to everyone. We can’t avoid that. Elder law, on the other hand is planning for what happens if you don’t pass away, you continue to age and you face all the issues that go along with aging. Too often, people, when they’re sitting down and thinking about planning their affairs, they sit down with an estate planning attorney, and an estate planning attorney, that’s great for planning for avoiding probate and where your stuff’s going to go upon passing, but most people are concerned about that, but they also need to be concerned about what happens if they don’t pass away, they continue to age, and they face all the issues that go along in aging.
That’s where elder law comes into play. As an elder law attorney, more specifically, a certified elder law attorney, I’m not just concerned about what happens when you die, but also I’m concerned about what happens if you don’t, and you face all the issues that go along with aging.
Another way to think of elder law, it’s almost like code word for asset protection. As an elder law attorney, one of the things that we can do is we can protect against lawsuits, we can protect your beneficiaries against divorces, but, most importantly, we can protect against the devastating cost of long-term care, especially with nursing homes costing anywhere between $8,000 to $12,000 a month. That’s something that an estate planning attorney just is not going to focus on when they’re putting together your plan. We use a lot of the same tools. We still use things like wills and trusts and financial powers of attorney and medical powers of attorney, but as a certified elder law attorney, again, we’re not just avoiding probate and controlling the distribution upon death. We’re doing that, but also we’re building in a lifetime of asset protection for you. We’re protecting you from pulling out in front of a motorcycle. We’re protecting you from getting diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and seeing all of your hard-earned life savings consumed by long-term care costs.
We utilize different types of trusts, more sophisticated trusts than just your basic revocable living trust. For example, one of the things that I use in my practice to help protect against that nursing home or Medicaid spend-down is a type of a trust called a castle trust, which is a form of asset protection trust, and that’s something that a certified elder law attorney is going to focus on is not just what happens to your stuff when you die, making sure it avoids probate, but, more importantly, what happens if you don’t die, you continue to live and you face all the issues that go along with living, and so as an elder law attorney, that is our focus. We want to make sure that you have the best quality of life possible.
This isn’t to make sure that the kids get any big inheritance or anything like that. It’s just to make sure that as you age, you have as many choices as possible as it comes to planning for what we call the second half of life.
Thanks. I’m at work now. Made it safe. Hopefully you enjoyed this first edition of Berry’s Bites, where we drop strategic wisdom as it relates to wealth, estate, and tax planning for the second half of life.