“Spousal Protection Planning”: Creating A Plan For Each Other
Senior couples often ask how they might protect each other from the devastating financial cost of long term nursing home care. This is a real concern, as nursing home expenses average $7,500 per month in our community, and are likely only to increase over time. This concern is all the more real for those who have experienced the financial and emotional devastation that such expense can cause, perhaps by having to help a parent or other loved one meet those costs.
The good news is that our firm has developed a very special plan that we believe addresses those concerns, as well as the more traditional question of, “Who gets our stuff when we both pass on”. We call this design the “Spousal Protection Plan”, or the “SPP”.
The SPP incorporates very special powers into the estate plan. These powers authorize the “Well Spouse” to take appropriate steps if necessary in the future to both seek a government subsidy for the Ill Spouse’s nursing care under the Medi-Cal program, and to protect the couple’s estate from “payback” after the demise of both spouses. By taking these steps, the plan is designed to minimize or avoid the financial devastation to the couple’s savings, investment, home and other estate assets, and thus avoid impoverishing the Well Spouse at home and then to protect their children’s inheritance.
We do this in a very special way. We include in the planning documents appropriate powers to qualify for a government subsidy if needed in the future, and we integrate the various estate planning documents so that they work together. The Living Trust, the Durable Powers of Attorney, and the companion Wills are all specially designed and integrated toward this end. Of course, they also contain the more customary provisions providing for what we call “death planning”, i.e the disposition of assets upon both spouse’s demise.
We are pleased to offer the SPP to our clients, as we feel it addresses an ongoing critical need. NOTE: where one spouse is already incapacitated and cannot participate in planning decisions, we offer Planning For An Incapacitated Spouse as an alternative.
OSOFSKY & OSOFSKY, the “LawyerForSeniors”