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The coronavirus pandemic is causing devastation around the world, both medically and financially. The stock market is consistently experiencing single-day drops that mirror the worst in U.S. financial history. With such volatility in the markets, depressed asset values, and historically low interest rates, it is the perfect time to review your estate plan, especially if you are trying to plan around special needs and needs-based eligibility. Here are a few things to consider in these troubled times. Speak with a special needs estate planning attorney today for advice on how you can avoid the worst effects of the current financial situation.
First and foremost, now is the perfect time to review your special needs estate plan and Medicaid planning strategies. The financial instruments currently housing your assets or that you have planned for the near and far future may be impacted by the current economic climate. The crisis may have triggered ideas from your financial planner or your estate planning attorney on how to protect your wealth best while also protecting the future for your disabled relatives and other dependents with special needs. Check your health care directives, your wills, revocable trusts, your life insurance plan, and your powers of attorney.
Additionally, it is an excellent time to check in with the investment advisor for any special needs trusts you have established. Make sure that they are utilizing an investment strategy that avoids the worst of the market drops. Further, if anyone in your family is affected by the coronavirus or other medical issues for which they are unable to receive treatment due to the lack of hospital and other medical care eligibility, speak with your special needs planning attorney on the best course of action.
Now may also be an excellent time to take advantage of the financial situation and transfer assets in a tax-efficient manner. Consider whether to transfer assets to junior family members or trusts established for their benefit now, given the impact of current interest rates. Moreover, the fair market value of many of your assets may be artificially depressed by the current financial climate, making it an ideal time to effectuate certain transfers. Your junior family member may be able to receive these assets without ruining their future eligibility for needs-based assistance, given the depressed market value. Discuss your assets and your special needs plan with your special needs planning attorney to see if you can take advantage of the current climate in any meaningful way.
A special needs planning attorney can help protect your family, creating an estate and special needs plan tailored to your needs and circumstances. We will evaluate your circumstances and those of your family to determine the best type of will, trust, and other legal mechanisms to utilize in order to benefit your family the most and reduce the risk of disqualification for needs-based governmental programs. Reach out to the knowledgeable, dedicated, and level-headed West Palm Beach trust and estates attorneys Shalloway & Shalloway at 561-686-6200.