A revocable living trust is a document that also will distribute your assets at death. Unlike a will, there is no court supervision of the distribution of your assets. You can also have the trust delay distribution to heirs that might be a spendthrift or that are collecting governmental assistance.

Probate is the process that the law provides for the distribution of your assets following your death. Assets in a trust, as explained below, assets that are joint with right of survivorship or assets that have a named beneficiary will pass outside of probate and are not part of the probate process.

A will is a basic estate planning document that will distribute your assets at death. Your will is also important for naming guardians of minor children.

3 out of 4 people age 65+ will need some form of long term care (ltc) in their lifetime. LTC includes a nursing home, at-home care, assisted living, rehabilitation facilities and memory care facilities.

If you do not have this simple document, and you become incompetent, then your family will have to hire an attorney to bring a petition in court to have a guardian and conservator named for you.

Medicaid will pay for all of the costs of a nursing home for you, if you are eligible. It is possible to protect significant amounts of assets and income for a stay at home spouse, while the other spouse is in the nursing home collecting Medicaid.

This document goes by many names. It is sometimes called a Living Will or a Medical Directive. If you are not competent or conscious, then you will need to pick someone to make healthcare decisions for you.

Some veterans or their surviving spouses may be eligible for a special pension of up to $2,000 per month, to pay medical expenses and the cost of homecare or assisted living.

Deeds are used to transfer interests in real estate between generations, into trusts or at death. Improperly drafted deeds may result in creditor's liens, loss of homestead exemptions, loss of step-up in tax basis, to name a few.


Guardians and Conservators are appointed by a judge after a court hearing. This may be a necessary step if an individual becomes incompetent and did not sign powers of attorney.