The November 19 workshop was very detailed. Barry Zimmer talked about detailed estate planning. He explained how you can protect what you give to your loved ones from lawsuits, creditors, divorce, and bad decisions. For example, if you leave money to your child and someone subsequently sues your child, the money you gave your child can be protected if you design it that way in your estate plan. There are different types of trusts that can be created so you can have different protections.

Matt Donald talked about VA pension benefits and estate planning. He firstly explained that the pension benefit is not retirement. The pension benefit is something separate and in addition to, retirement income. There are four basic requirements to qualify for the VA pension benefit: service time, limited income, limited assets, and need/disability. Matt also talked about the different benefits of proper estate planning. Planning gives you options, for example, if you have your money in a trust and are receiving Medicaid and/or VA benefits, you can use your trust money for extra things so you do not have to go without. An example of something “extra” is a private room in a nursing home so you do not have to share a room with someone. If you have used up all of your assets already and Medicaid is paying for your care, Medicaid pays for a shared room only. Another benefit of estate planning is avoiding becoming a financial burden on your family. Further, with proper estate planning you can leave what you want to your loved ones.

This workshop provided a lot of details about estate planning. Both Mr. Zimmer and Mr. Donald have extensive knowledge about proper estate planning.