A large part of estate planning involves thinking about what happens when you eventually die.
The other main purpose is to put precautions in place in case you fall into ill health. There are two parts to this kind of planning: financial and medical.
If you are considering using Medicaid in the case of ill health, you may need to transfer some of your assets to others early. Otherwise, Medicaid could require you to use those assets to pay for your healthcare. Beware, they also operate a lookback period of five years. This means they could seize any assets you gave away within the previous 60 months.
If you do not plan for this or have an alternative means of funding medical care in place, it could make much of the rest of your estate plan invalid. After all, if Medicaid takes your assets, they are no longer yours to pass on.
You can put in writing the sort of medical attention and procedures you don’t want. This is particularly important if you have strong preferences for religious or cultural reasons.
You can also give someone healthcare power of attorney. The doctors can consult them when they need further guidance as to your preferences. If you don’t, various family members may try to get their opinion taken into account, and it might not align with yours.
An estate plan can do so much, but only if it’s well made. Consider legal help to tailor one to your needs and desires.