Since the federal estate tax exemption is in the millions of dollars, most Washington, DC, residents no longer need trusts as a way to avoid their heirs having to pay estate taxes. However, taxes are not the only reason that living trusts are beneficial. These documents provide numerous benefits that can help individuals with their estate-planning goals.
District of Columbia residents who have minor children require an estate plan that includes the appointment of a guardian and most likely a way for their assets to benefit those children while they are still young. However, once a child becomes an adult, such a plan no longer applies. This means that further estate planning needs to be done to account for that fact.
Long-term care provided by nursing homes, assisted living centers and home healthcare has received a lot of attention lately. People are living longer, and the average age of Americans is on the rise. Since the likelihood of need for some kind of long-term care is increasing, many Washington, DC metro area residents are exploring elder care planning options. Payment alternatives are long-term care insurance, private pay and Medicaid.
As many District of Columbia residents age, they are afflicted with conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia, which can diminish their mental capacity. At some point, it may become necessary to seek guardianship of a loved one in order to ensure that the person and his or her finances are protected. Guardianship of an incapacitated individual is sought through the Superior Court of DC Probate Division Court.