In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson explains that seeking help through a trusted attorney such as DCEL can help you in more ways than you may realize if you have younger beneficiaries.
Greetings! I’m Wes Coulson from Dent Coulson Elder Law, and this will be your Elder Law minute. We’re happy to present these because we think we can help inform you, as to the ways in which we can help you, and the things that you need to think about, relative to the elder care and estate planning journey. Hope you enjoy!
Planning for Younger Beneficiaries:
If we help you with Estate Planning, which by the way we’re very happy to do, one of the questions that I’m going to ask you is, If you have any younger beneficiaries? Grandchildren that you want to provide for directly, or maybe provide for provisionally, if God forbid, one of your children dies before you. At what age or ages would you want control of their money handed over to them?
A lot of people misinterpret that question and mean, “at what age would they have access to the money?”, and so common answer its, “well, let’s make it 18 so that they have it available to pay for college.” Having access to the money and having control over are two different things. If you say for instance, until age 25, that doesn’t mean that the money can’t be used to pay for college, it means that the decision as to whether the money is going to be spent on college on the one hand, or maybe a new car on the other, is going to be made by the older, wiser trustee and not the 18 year old beneficiary.
Another aspect of that, that gets, I think, very commonly overlooked, is that in fact, it helps the beneficiary if the money is still in trust rather than in their hands outright. Why is that the case? Well, on the FAFSA, the college financial aid application, the applicant has to list assets so that if they’ve gotten distributions out of the trust. All that money counts as theirs. It’s going to make it less likely that they qualify for financial aid, if it’s in a trust and it’s not guaranteed thing, its just up to the trustee, rather to spend that money. It doesn’t count and so that helps their chances of getting financial aid.
I always say that the little things like this, that people wouldn’t have realized, sort of to me, illustrate why it’s always a wise thing to have an experienced attorney, who has been around the block a few times with estate planning like my partner K. Dent and I have been, help you with your estate planning. You’ll get a better result. You’ll be happier with the outcome.
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“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”
Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.