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When estate planning, consider implications of inheritances

Creating an estate plan can be complex. There are many aspects and factors to consider beyond simply deciding who should receive certain property. Oklahoma residents also need to consider how their estate planning decisions could impact their surviving loved ones, especially those who may need government benefits in the future.

In particular, individuals may need to consider the possibility of needing Medicaid themselves or the need of a family member. Because qualifications for this program revolve heavily around financial ability and assets, parties do not want to jeopardize their chances or the chances of a loved one by failing to plan ahead. Because there is a $2,000 cap on assets when it comes to qualifying for Medicaid, it is important that a sudden windfall does not compromise someone in need of benefits.

In cases of Medicaid planning, trusts can play a major and helpful role. If parties are concerned about damaging a loved one's chances at government benefits, they may want to utilize a special needs trust in order to bequeath assets. This and other trusts allow assets to be removed from the estate without directly landing in the hands of the beneficiary, which could keep these assets out of consideration when hoping to qualify for Medicaid.

It is understandable if Oklahoma residents had not fully considered how their bequests could impact their loved ones. Luckily, individuals going through the estate planning process can learn such information from their legal counsel. By understanding the aspects and implications of their decisions, individuals may be better able to create plans that allow their intentions to come to fruition.

Source: dailyreckoning.com, "For Anyone Who Might End Up Needing Medicaid...", Nilus Mattive, May 29, 2018

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