Berks Barrister Fall 2018 - 9

to resolve yourself to the simple truth that in order to preserve
as much of your dignity and independence as possible, you will
need to let go of a little of both.
Equally critical is talking about how you intend to die.
Although conversations about death seem unpleasant, it is vital
to make your family aware of your thoughts on the subject. Too
often we gloss over thoughts of our own death. "My family
knows what I want" is a common refrain. I can assure you, they
do not. It is not enough to hope for a good death. You have to
work at it.
So as it turns out estate planning in retirement is less about
documents and more about ideas. Ideas most find unpleasant.
However, if we really think about these ideas, we go a long way
toward making sure we lead the lives we want, and we pass on
the legacy we hope will help our loved ones.
William R. Blumer, Esquire, a shareholder at Leisawitz
Heller, is a certified elder law attorney and chair of the
Berks County Bar Association's Estate Planning/Elder Law
Section.

Your Retirement

Challenge

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Paul L. Marrella, J.D., CFP®, RICP
Paul A. Marrella, CFP®
Daneen M. Weaver
Samuel A. Marrella, CFP®, RICP

1250 Broadcasting Road
Suite 102
Wyomissing, PA 19610

(610) 655-9700
Toll-Free (866) 215-9278
Fax (610) 655-9700

Marrella Financial Group, LLC is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services.
Securities are offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
Member FINRA/SIPC Investment Advisory Services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.

Fall 2018 | 9

Retirement

to shift the cost of your care to the government. You may end up
depriving yourself of care options.
For some, it makes sense to transfer assets away to preserve
them against the cost of long-term care. For others, it is better to
retain assets and pass little to beneficiaries at death. For married
couples, the planning is more complex because one spouse's need
for care may not simply erode the children's inheritance, it may
jeopardize the other spouse's financial security in retirement.
Sometimes it is best to direct a spouse's inheritance into
a testamentary supplemental needs trust or to the couple's
children outright as part of an asset protection strategy. This may
implicate elective share rights for the surviving spouse, so it's
important to consider that as part of the planning.
At this point in the article Don Smith is no doubt getting
irritated because I am being rather vague. Too bad, Don; you get
what you pay for. Estate planning in retirement is tricky and it
depends on the health and wealth of the people involved. Plans
for couples in their late sixties who are in good health will likely
change dramatically as they age, their health declines and their
wealth dissipates. The solutions we seek are tied to our unique
health, financial and family circumstances.
For example, your daughter may be a spendthrift. She may
covet your sizeable retirement savings to rectify her lifetime of
poor financial decisions. Alternatively, you may lose your ability
to see through the ploys of Nigerian scammers. Your planning
should seek to protect yourself not only from others, but from
yourself. Yet few of us really stop to consider that we may be the
weak link in our own estate planning armor.
Estate planning in retirement means thinking carefully about
our future incapacity. It is not enough to say you will not go to
a nursing home. You have to work very hard to avoid nursing
homes. People do not go to nursing homes by choice. They go
because they are made to go without any regard to what they
want. If you want to stay home, for example, you need to create
a home where you can live safely after your health fails. You
need to empower people around you with access to your assets
and insight into your goals and preferences so they can create the
home environment necessary to provide you with quality care.
Presently, the law favors institutional care, not home care. If you
want home care, you will need to amass the wealth to pay for it
yourself without relying on the
government. You
also have

Planning

w w w.BERKSBAR.org


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Berks Barrister Fall 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks Barrister Fall 2018

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