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Retirement

Retirement or “The Golden Years,” as they are often called, is a stage of your life when income from employment stops flowing, and you must rely on savings and government funds.

The life stage of retirement includes all the legal challenges you might face at this time of your life, from asset protection, to succession planning for your business, to downsizing your home, and more. Please review the list below and watch the videos, then call one of our estate planning attorneys with questions about your particular situation.

Asset preservation


Many people shudder to think of the impact of financing long-term care with the financial resources that they've spent a lifetime building. Long-term care, more commonly known as nursing home care, is very expensive, with an average cost of $8,000 or more per month. There are various means of financing long-term care; however, most Americans believe that the federal government or Medicare will pay for their long-term care costs. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Our legal team can help you plan for the future and protect your assets.



Charitable remainder and annuity trusts


These trusts provide significant tax and non-tax benefits to you, your family, and charities. We can draft the most appropriate type of trust to suit your needs and also prepare tax calculators to determine your tax savings.



Durable power of attorney


A durable power of attorney (POA) is one of the most important and powerful legal documents that everyone should have as part of their estate plan. If you should become mentally incapacitated or physically disabled, it allows you to appoint someone to take control of your financial affairs that you usually take care of yourself, and eliminates the necessity of a guardianship or conservatorship. This document allows your attorney-in-fact to handle your affairs without the necessity of formal probate proceedings, thereby saving expenses and emotional energy, and retaining privacy. You retain the right to modify or revoke the power at any time, and it terminates automatically on your death. The appointed individual or attorney-in-fact typically has the power to buy or sell real estate, manage your property, conduct your banking transactions, invest your money, make legal claims, conduct litigation, attend to tax and retirement matters, and make gifts on your behalf. The POA is an important document to have, and Bacon Wilson can help you draft the most appropriate one for you.



Estate administration questionnaire


Please download and complete the attached form prior to your first meeting with your probate attorney. The information is necessary to complete the estate tax return. Please bring this form with you to the meeting.

Estate administration questionnaire

Estate planning questionnaire


Please download and complete the attached form prior to your first meeting with your estate planning attorney, and please bring it with you to your meeting.

Estate planning questionnaire

Gifting


You may give away up to $14,000 to a person each year (currently in 2013) without having to file a gift tax return, and up to $5,250,000 over your lifetime (as of 2013) without paying any gift tax, in addition to the annual gifts of $14,000. Gifting may be useful to alleviate taxes because children and grandchildren are often in a lower tax bracket than you are and thus will not have to pay such a large tax on the interest as you would. Gifting may also help fund a child's or grandchild's education or provide for their medical expenses. The Bacon Wilson legal team can assist you with gifting.



Medicaid planning


Many people shudder to think of the impact of financing long term care with the financial resources that they spend a lifetime building. Long-term care, more commonly known as nursing home care, is very expensive, with an average cost of $8,000 per month or more. There are various means of financing long-term care; however, most Americans believe that the federal government or Medicare will pay for their long-term care costs. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Our legal team can help you plan for the future and protect your assets.



Parental care agreements


When an aging parent needs assistance to continue to live at home, many children opt to provide the needed care personally. The caretaker child arrangement begins when either the parent begins residing with the child in the child's home, or the child begins residing or continues to reside with the parent in the parent's home and child provides the care similar to that of a board and care facility.

When a child provides care for a parent, it is best to establish a care agreement. This is a contract between the parent and the child, and possibly the child's spouse, in which the parent agrees to pay the child a monetary sum (in either a lump sum or on an ongoing basis) or to finance an improvement to the child's home. In return,the child agrees to care for the parent until either the parent passes away or is no longer able to perform the activities of daily living, which include:

  • Bathing
  • Eating
  • Dressing
  • Transferring
  • Toileting

When establishing a care agreement, there are numerous considerations and potential pitfalls to be addressed. At Bacon Wilson, our experienced legal team can help.



Succession planning


Owners of closely held business must plan well in advance to prepare for and ensure the continued success of the company following a triggering event such as the death, disability, or retirement of one of its shareholders. For family-owned businesses looking to carry the organization along through generations, the typical track record is ominous. According to the Small Business Administration, 90% of the 21 million U.S. businesses are family-owned, and one-third of Fortune 500 businesses are either family-owned or family-controlled. However, only 30% of family-run companies today succeed into the second generation and only 15% are passed on into the third generation. At Bacon Wilson, we can assist with the orderly transition of your business.