Recognizing that a parent or spouse is showing early signs of dementia is a heart wrenching experience and one that will take its toll on you emotionally as well as financially down the road. At the present time, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. While it may be possible to slow the progression of the disease, at some point down the road your parent or spouse will need long-term care. For about half of all long-term care residents this means depending on Medicaid to … [Read more...] about My Parent/Spouse Shows Early Signs of Dementia. Can We Still Do Medicaid Planning?
A well thought out estate plan will typically include a wide variety of strategies and tools designed to accomplish all of your estate planning goals and objectives. Among those tools and strategies is often a living trust. After a Last Will and Testament a trust agreement is by far one of the most common additions to an estate plan. If you and your spouse have created a living trust and incorporated it into your estate plans you may be wondering what happens to a living trust when one spouse … [Read more...] about What Happens to a Living Trust When One Spouse Dies?
As you age you may think more and more about the likelihood that you will need long-term care one day in the future. You may also be contemplating the cost of that care which runs, on average, over $75,000 a year in the United States. Not surprisingly, about half of all seniors end up relying on Medicaid to help cover the high cost of long-term care. Medicaid eligibility, however, depends on your income and assets. If the value of your countable resources exceeds the program limit ($2,000 for … [Read more...] about Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Rules
A power of attorney is one of the most commonly used legal documents, primarily because of its many uses. The concept behind a power of attorney, or POA, is simple. A Principal grants an Agent the authority to act on behalf of the Principal in legal matters and transactions. The extent of the authority granted to the Agent depends on the type of POA created by the Principal. If you are the Agent under a POA you may wonder if there are limits to the authority you have as an Agent. For example, … [Read more...] about Can I Use a Power of Attorney for Social Security?
Probate is the legal process that typically follows the death of an individual. If the decedent left behind a valid Last Will and Testament the individual named as the Executor in the Will is who will oversee the probate of the estate. For a number of reasons it is always wise to discuss your plans with your intended Executor before making a final decision. Sometimes, however, people fail to heed this advice. Imagine finding out that you were named as the Executor of your Grandmother’s estate … [Read more...] about My Grandmother Just Died and Appointed Me the Executor of Her Estate? What Do I Do Now?
You may have heard friends, relatives, or co-workers discussing the need to include Medicaid planning in a comprehensive estate plan yet wondered why you would need Medicaid planning if you and your spouse are healthy. When you are still healthy is precisely when you need to create a Medicaid plan because doing so after you become ill will likely result in putting your hard earned assets at risk. A better understanding of the Medicaid program and long-term care costs will help you understand why … [Read more...] about My Spouse and I Are Healthy. Do We Still Need Medicaid Planning?
For most people, a comprehensive estate plan begins with a Last Will and Testament but does not end there. Additional documents, strategies, and legal tools are typically used when creating a thorough estate plan. A trust agreement, for example, is a common addition to an estate plan. If you are considering the addition of a trust agreement into your estate plan you may be wondering “ How is out of state property funded into my trust? ” Trust agreements are a popular addition to an estate … [Read more...] about How Is Out of State Property Funded into a Trust?
Understandably, most people prefer not to talk about their own death or the possibility of becoming incapacitated someday. Likewise, the idea of sitting down and discussing the eventual death of a parent, grandparent, or other loved one probably doesn’t sound like much fun either. These discussions, however, should occur. If you have recently created, or updated, your own estate plan it is wise to share at least the basics of that plan with close loved ones as well as with individuals who play … [Read more...] about Discussing Death over Dinner – How to Have a Conversation about Your Estate Plan
Do you have a dog, cat, or other non-human member of your family? Do you want to make sure that your non-human family member is protected and provided for should something happen to you that prohibits your from being able to provide for your pet? If you answered yes to these questions you need to include pet planning in your estate plan. As the name implies, “pet planning” simply refers to including your pet in your overall estate plan. Just as you plan to provide for your spouse, children, or … [Read more...] about Do You Need to Include Pet Planning in Your Estate Plan?
Estate planning often encompasses more than simply deciding who will receive which assets when you die. Among the various components that you may decide to include in your comprehensive estate plan is funeral planning. Although you may not wish to think about planning for your own funeral and burial, there are a number of important reasons why you may decide to include funeral planning in your estate plan anyway. If you so, you may choose to establish an irrevocable burial account, also known as … [Read more...] about Do I Need to Name a Particular Funeral Home When I Make an Irrevocable Burial Account ?