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Using a Pocatello Trust to Help an Elderly Person

Depending on their circumstances there are several options available to person when it comes to their Pocatello estate planning. A single person will likely not have the same concerns or needs as an individual who married or has children. Similarly, a young single or married person will likely not have the same needs as an older married person. For our Pocatello estate planning team of attorneys, our goal is to help each individual client understand their own unique circumstances. By doing this we are able to create a plan that will make sure that their wishes and instructions are carried out. For over 70 years our Pocatello estate planning team in the Racine law office has helped each of our numerous clients create and customize an estate plan uniquely for them based on their specific circumstances. In doing this we have helped numerous older individuals and married couples use a trust as a part of their estate plan to help them avoid probate.

Our Pocatello estate planning team at the Racine Law Office is made up of partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each of our attorneys works hard and helps each client. By doing this each attorney has received exceptional client and peer reviews during the last several decades. Our team of Pocatello estate planning lawyers has experience in assisting each of our clients with their written estate plan in order to prepare and protect each client through their unique circumstances and needs.

The needs of older single individuals and married couples will be quite different from those who are younger. If you are older there are three specific things you should know about how a trust can help you with your customized estate plan.

1. Take Advantage of Multi-Generational Gift Giving

The first thing to understand when considering whether to use a trust as a part of your estate plan is how an older individual or an older married couple can take advantage of multi-generational gift-giving. What this means in essence is that even after you have passed away if you choose, you can control who your assets are distributed to or used by for several generations. Not everyone wants to do this. However, some people have a very good reason for wanting to do this. Take for example, older individual or married couples who are grandparents. They may have a grandchild with special needs who simply cannot receive a gift of property or money because they are not capable of taking care of it. Additionally, even when there are no special needs, grandparents often use a trust as a way of protecting monies so that it can be used for their grandchildren to assist them with their education. Using a trust gives a grandparent the option of helping their grandchildren even if the grandparents are no longer alive when the grandchildren need the help.

2. Complete Your Medicaid Planning

An additional way way that a trust can help an older individual or married couple is with Medicaid planning. Medicaid is a government sponsored benefit that is available to individuals who have nor finances of their own and need financial help with assisted living. This could include in home healthcare, or, more than likely, it would include being moved into an assisted living center. The purpose of Medicaid is to pay the expenses assisted living for a person who does not have the financial ability to pay for these expenses themselves.

Keep in mind that Medicaid specifically requires that an individual who is seeking Medicaid benefits to use all their own assets first to pay for the assisted living care. Usually this means that there are really no assets left that can be given away to that person’s family or loved ones after they die. However, by using a trust, an older individual or married couple may be able to receive Medicaid assistance and at the same time protect some of their assets so that they can be transferred to their family and loved ones after they die.

Medicaid planning is not simple and the laws are ever changing. Because Medicaid is detailed to take advantage of using a trust requires specific actions to be taken at a specific time. If an older individual or married couple is considering using a trust a part of Medicaid planning they should discuss it with a qualified attorney who can review all the details of how it can properly be done.

3. Avoid the Expenses of Multiple Probates

The final and perhaps most important way that a trust can an older individual or married couple is that it will assist in avoiding the cost of a single or multiple probates. Particularly when elderly spouses each reach their 70s or 80s they will likely recognize that one or both of them will pass away in the near future. Under current Idaho law, a probate is required any time an individual passes away when their estate is valued above $100,000 or when they own any type or kind of real property, regardless of whether it is a home or other land. The costs of every probate vary, however, a typical Pocatello probate will cost in the range of between $1,500 to about $2,500. Because this is the cost for each probate it will cost twice as much for an older married couple if the probates are completed separately.

Through a trust, both an older individual and a married couple can transfer their ownership interest in their real estate to the trust so they no longer own it individually. Additionally, they can also lower the value of their estate below $100,000 by transferring into the trust their ownership interests in other assets as well. When this is done a probate can be legally avoided which could save money on the probate costs. Further, using a trust allows an older individual and a married couple to be specific about who will receive the property after they pass away. In this way, a trust works similarly to a last will and testament. A trust avoids the need for a probate to occur before those assets can be distributed.

The cost of completing a trust typically ranges between $1,250 to about $2,000. As a result, if an older individual or a married couple creates a trust and properly funds it with the assets that they own, and by doing this reduces their own personal estates, they can reduce many of the expenses associated with probate. This saves both time and money for remaining family and loved ones.

Enlist a Pocatello Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Pocatello lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning needs if your spouse has passed away. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems.

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