Most people assume they will remain in their home until the very end of life (or close to it). They create an estate plan for two reasons: to ensure that all of their financial resources are available for a comfortable retirement, and to maintain the financial future of their family after they are gone.
Being comfortable for most people includes staying in their existing home.
Health insurance makes no guarantees about maintaining your residence at home. You assume that you will have final decision making ability, until you are too sick, or incompetent, or it is too unsafe for you to stay to remain at your home.
If you have saved even just a modest amount, your main financial ability or reserves may be the home you have paid for and has the majority of equity. You can borrow against it, or do a refinance, or a reverse mortgage. Most family members will give some assistance to keep the status quo during your final years.
Maintaining Health, Care, and Safety
The problem may arise that you live l-o-n-g-e-r than the family members expected. This could become a burden to them to monitor your care, medications, medical appointments, and safety. They may be pressured to relocate you for your own good. There may be some underlying motives too, because they may not like the hassle of getting you to the doctor appointments, timely monitoring of your care, and their longer wait to inherit the house equity.
Decisions and Competency
To assist the family in proceeding to your final destination, they may discuss a power transfer to them with a Power Of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Doctor Opinions, and signatures on financial accounts. If there is resistance, they may attempt to have you declared incompetent, with almost certain court approval.
No more access to your retirement funds, no ability to buy some fast food, a decent dinner, or send a birthday gift. They will say you are better off, and will make same-age friends with the others at the assisted living, convalescent home, or the hospice. A declaration means you've lost all control, and you're broke.
The fact is, you may actually be incompetent. But, if so, would you be happier at home or forced into a foreign caretaking residence?
A Home Occupancy Trust gives you the best residence to provide the best lifestyle.
No one can sell the home while you are still alive. The only occupants allowed are you, and potentially your caretaker.
If it becomes too unsafe or too unhealthy for this to happen, then they can move you out of the residence, but cannot sell or rent the home while you are still alive. Effectively, the equity cannot be withdrawn early of the inheritance.
Inheritances and Family Decisions
Standard family trusts and some asset protection trusts do not protect you from competency problems. A Private Asset Trust protects you against financial disaster, medical debt emergencies, does not restrict you from qualifying with health care agencies, and can act as your Home Occupancy Trust.