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Even-Steven: Another Reason Why Your Estate Plan Should be Reviewed Regularly

I recently worked with a  trustee (I’ll call her Jane), in administering her Father’s Trust.  Jane has two brothers.  Dad spent his life trying to make sure all three kids were treated equally - that everything was “even-steven.”   Like many parents, Dad desired to divide his assets equally between his children.  In this case, Dad left several specific bequests to each child with the intent that each child receive an equal share. Under the terms of the trust, Jane was to receive two life insurance policies, Brother 1 was to receive a valuable piece of land, and Brother 2 was to receive Dad’s home.

Nobody saw the Alzheimer’s coming.  Dad quickly became ill, and within a year, he needed care around the clock.  Assets needed to be sold. Dad’s valuable piece of land was the first to go; the home was the second, but not before a mortgage was taken out to pay for care.

When Dad eventually passed, the estate was significantly depleted. Jane’s specific bequest was still intact -  she received the proceeds of both life insurance policies.  Brother 1 and Brother 2, however, did not receive the gifts contemplated in the trust; the property had to be sold to pay for Dad’s care.  Dad’s estate was utterly depleted and the resulting distribution was far from “even-steven.”  Had Dad reviewed his estate plan as assets were sold off, he could have amended it to ensure the equitable distribution of his estate..

Further, the family could have preserved a large portion of Dad’s estate had they sought help at the first sign of illness.  At Morris Hall, we are experienced in ALTCS Medicaid planning and the surrounding issues.  We can help preserve your estate and guide you through choices that will help ensure your estate will be divided as you wish.

Phoenix, AZ Estate Planning Attorney Andrea ClausContributed by MH Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney, Andrea Claus.

Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.



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