Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette : 2019-02-11

Voices : 22 : 8B


8B MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2019 ● ∂∂ PH TO REPRINTS available for purchase at “Justin, I recently worked with an attorney to create an estate plan centered on a trust. Can I relax? Am I protected now?” Tim Ask Answer sponsored by: Certified Elder Law attorneys 479.750.1101 Fayetteville, Bentonville, Fort Smith Justin S. Elrod an advertising feature of Answer: Tim, I’m glad to hear that you’ve done some planning. I can’t answer your question, though, without asking you a question of my own. Protected from what? Different kinds of trusts can be used in different ways to protect you from several different things. I would have to know your goal in creating the trust—what you were seeking protection from—to answer your question. Protection from probate court is one of the most common reasons to create a trust, and most types of trusts will do that. I don’t have to know a ton of details about your trust to know whether it will keep your estate out of probate. Instead, I would need to know whether you fully funded your trust after you created it. A trust will not keep you out of probate court unless you do your homework after you signed it. Protection against the high costs of long-term care is another reason people create trusts. You can use a trust to ensure you don’t lose everything if you have to go to a nursing home or need some other type of expensive care late in life. But to know whether your particular trust accomplishes that goal, I’d have to know more about it. A revocable trust, which is most common, does nothing to protect you from long-term care costs. Some irrevocable trusts can. You might also have sought certain tax advantages in setting up your trust, or you might have had reasons to want to protect your heirs from themselves or others. Your question is more complicated than you may have thought. My book, You Need A Plan, gets into these issues in a lot more detail. Order a copy at Better yet, give us a call to set up a no-charge strategy session. LOOKING FOR ADVICE? If you have questions for our professionals, please address them to: ASK A PRO, Representative Casey Cotton, Advertising Dept, (479) 571-6486 [email protected] you visit various communities is the key to finding the best option for your family. First, ask your parents questions about what is most important to them. Finding the “right fit” for their personal preferences is just as important as knowing what type of medical care is required. Here are 4 questions I suggest: Can you describe the accommodations and what is included in the cost? When you walk into a community, be in tune with your senses. What does it look like? Were you greeted appropriately? Most importantly, does it feel like home? You will discover insight into options for floor plans, the common areas, amenities, what utilities are included and what extras are offered. What level of care do you provide in your community? There are several different options and care levels of Senior Living. From Independent, Assisted Living Levels, and Memory Care. This is when prior research about senior living options is necessary. Can you describe your daily activities? Simply, this is the heartbeat of the community. Socialization is key, especially when acclimating to a new state, town, and community. Variety is value, especially in senior living communities. What is provided on your daily menu? Does the menu reflect options your parents would appreciate? Are there healthy alternatives and menu choices? I would also suggest when scheduling a tour that you ask to join them for lunch! This is a great way to gain insight into staff service and experience the food quality. DON’T be afraid to ask tough questions about cost structure, additional fees, and emergency services. By stating your desired needs, it will assist you in narrowing the search and ease that overwhelmed feeling you have expressed. Please, do not hesitate to call us for a tour or join us for lunch! right information is critical to making the best decision. For advice on all things related to life after 60, please tune in every Wednesday at 9am to our radio program, “Medicare, Medicaid, and Long Term Care.” Listen live on KURM-AM 790 or online at Also, the first Wednesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. I present, “Welcome to Medicare”, an informative hour of information at the Schmieding Center, 2422 N. Thompson St. in Springdale. There is no cost and you don’t have to pre-register. “Is it possible to just have someone come to my home and help me with bathing and preparing some meals for me?” Answer sponsored by: “My husband has a terminal illness. Can we use any of his life insurance while he is still living?” Byretta H. Fish Superior Senior Care Superior 2208 Main Drive Fayetteville, AR 72704 479-587-9551 SENIOR CARE Answer sponsored by: Will Corporon Answer: Yes. Assistance in personal care such as bathing, shampooing, etc. is a common request. You will want to have someone certified in personal care assistance or a certified nurse’s aide. The aide would then be able to shop for groceries (if needed) and prepare your meals. You could set up menus for the week and have some of your meals frozen for later. You can schedule as many personal care visits for the week as you feel are needed. If you are a Medicaid recipient, you may qualify for Medicaid personal care assistance. Call us for a free, no obligation consultation with detailed information on caregiving assistance, contact our Fayetteville office at 2208 Main Dr. – 479-587-9551; or our Rogers office at 104 N. 37th St. – 479-636-7700. President and CEO Corporon Insurance & Financial Services 1801 Forest Hills Blvd. #124 Bella Vista 479-855-6334 AR/NPN License# 7463967 Answer: “I ‘ve heard if I replace my thermostat with a programmable one, I could save 25% on my utility bill. Is this true?” As an insurance agent and advisor I get many questions. I am so proud to be able to help so many people with whatever needs or questions they may have. Recently I had one that really hit hard. A client called and asked about getting an “advance” on her husband’s life insurance. He had just been given a terminal diagnosis. These clients, in their mid 60s, I have known for quite a few years. Shortly after helping him with his Medicare he was diagnosed with cancer. They were both so relieved they had Medicare and a supplement in place so the immediate medical costs were virtually zero. They began cancer treatments very soon after that and shared a profound confidence that he would be cured. Fast forward about 5 years and now they are watching his life come to an end. Although he still tries to go into the office as often as he can, he is physically and mentally limited. Like many of our friends and family over the age of 65 he is choosing to continue to work. Relying on a little savings and social security wasn’t what he planned. But now here he is. They need his income. He is receiving care from Hospice instead of chemo-therapy. The hope they embraced for a cure to his cancer is replaced by a hope for a peaceful and pain-free end of life. And she is scared not only of a life without her husband but also the financial impact of his death. Their’s is not an unusual story. These are scenes that are played out in homes across our neighborhoods and cities every day. There is one piece to their story I would like to share, however. They have a life insurance policy. Their policy has an “Accelerated Death Benefit” provision so they are able to begin taking some of the death benefit while he is living since he is terminal.. That Living Benefit will help cover day-to-day costs, replace his dwindling income, and giving her some stress relief in an awful time. Life insurance sounds like such a boring thing. No one wants to talk about it. But I am seeing more and more examples of how it changes lives. Please review the coverage you have with your agent. Make sure you have enough and understand how it works. It not only protects families when someone dies, life insurance can also provide the dignity we all deserve in life. For more information about Life Insurance, make sure you talk to an agent who specializes in it and understands how these different policies work. It is imperative that you pick a plan that fits your needs and not just the needs of your agent. If you have questions about Medicare, or health insurance in general, please give our office a call at 479-855-6334. Getting the Answer sponsored by: “My parents are looking into relocating to Northwest Arkansas in the next six months and they have both agreed that a Senior Living option is the preferred choice. I felt completely overwhelmed after my last tour and left the community with an overload of information. Do you have suggestions for questions I should ask when visiting these communities?” Larry Pruitt Bella Vista Heating & Air #3 Pruitt Lane, Bentonville, AR 72712 Phone: (479) 273-9640 • Fax: (479) 273-9702 Owner of Bella Vista Heating & Air, Inc., Since 1979 Bachelor of Science degree from Arkansas Tech Masters of Education degree from University of Arkansas Answer: I have seen and read that if I do this or that to my car, I can save 25% on my gas bill. Well, I haven’t been able to do that either. The truth is - if you and your spouse work, leave the house about the same time, come home at the same time, and go to bed at the same time - then a programmable thermostat dropped ten degrees when you are asleep or when you are at work could save maybe 25% on your gas furnace heating system. If you are retired and go to bed when you want and leave the house when you want, then it doesn’t work and may be a nuisance that might not be worth it. If you have a Heat Pump, the heat strips will come on and warm your house back to the thermostat setting and you will lose everything you saved during the night. Last, but not least, set back programmable thermostats are rather complicated. If you want to set it differently, lots of people forget how they did it and then can’t find the instruction book. If it loses its program for one reason or another, then you really have a problem. That sometimes, becomes my problem and I’m really computer illiterate. But, just as computers have come a long way, so have thermostats. There are really nice touch screen thermostats on the market. To sum it up, a programmable thermostat is no magic bullet to lower your gas bill. As for lowering your air conditioning, it is even less of a savings. You could raise your temperature in the house, come home in the heat of the day, and be uncomfortable for several hours before your air conditioning can catch up. Please call Bella Vista Heating and Air at 479-273-9640 to schedule your appointment and avoid these costly repairs! Answer sponsored by: Erin Hagar Village on the Park (formerly Mt. Carmel) 3800 SW Mt. Carmel Drive 479-254-3650 2200 W Laurel Ave 479-631-0455 Answer: “This is a huge decision for your parents and I completely understand the “overload” of info—especially if you are unfamiliar with senior living options available in your area. Planning and preparing when

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