Retirement communities are for men and women over 55 who can live well on their own without much assistance and are still ready to take what life has to offer. Some of these communities offer different levels of services.
There are also different types of retirement communities to choose from congregate housing, assisted living, independent living communities that offer minimal personal care, etc. In California there are over 500 retirement communities.
Do you own a home? Then the answer is, you need a trust. So why do so many people have assets, with a home typically being our largest, and not have a trust?
There are endless reasons why people elect not to have a trust. Whether it be cost, time, procrastination or simply not understanding the process, it can become an extremely challenging situation if one has not properly prepared for a life changing event. And then, who do you trust to handle your estate? Do I have enough assets to warrant the investment of a trust?
Regardless of the value of your estate, don’t you want to have control of its destiny? The fact is, it can get complicated and very messy if you don’t have clear, concise direction of where, how and when you want your assets distributed. A trust allows for one’s assets to go where you want them to go and under the terms and conditions you want to receive it. As with all things, we simply “don’t know what we don’t know”. We can’t be good at everything and we can’t know everything, right? That’s why we hire professionals.
Blended families have particular complexities that may arise if a spouse passes away or becomes incompetent, and a proper plan is not in place. What if something happens to a spouse, does that spouse’s children have a right to equity in a property or properties? What if something happens to both husband and a wife simultaneously? Who will handle the property? Is someone prepared for the financial responsibility of making the mortgage payments, taxes and insurance? Who decides if the property is sold? Then what? There is a plethora of scenarios that may have serious consequences. Generally speaking a well thought out straight forward trust and estate plan will be well worth the investment. Without a plan, a million dollar estate at the mercy of the state will cost a minimum of $25,000 and may be held up in probate court for 12-18 months. Now add conflict amongst family members and those fees and time may increase exponentially.
Lastly, don’t forget to have your trust updated. It’s easy to forget and years go by quickly. Any time you have a life changing event, make a large purchase or have a change of health, be sure to consult with your attorney.
Much thanks to Bill George, Esq. of Burkhlater Kessler Clement and George for assisting with this very sensitive subject. Specializing in protecting client assets.
As a real estate professional, my responsibility is to assist and support on everything real estate related.
Taking care of families as our own,