• The Benefits of an Irrevocable Living Trust
    Irrevocable Living Trusts, when properly designed and implemented, can provide an almost unsurpassed level of asset protection from the high cost of long-term care. And, like Revocable Living Trusts, they spare your family the delays, frustration and expenses of the probate process. Other reasons to utilize an Irrevocable Living Trust include: Tax minimization Avoiding the risks of placing assets in the name of your children Protecting assets against predators, creditors and lawsuits While many different types of Irrevocable Living Trusts are available, in essence all of them re-title your assets. Assets placed in an Irrevocable Living Trust can include a business, cash, investments, life insurance policies, and more. Why is an Irrevocable Living Trust better than a Revocable Living Trust at protecting assets against the cost of long-term care? Under current Medicaid laws, assets in a Revocable Living Trust are not fully protected. Why? Assets in a Revocable Living Trust...
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  • Now is a Good Time to Make Sure Your Plan is Up-To-Date
    Has your financial or medical situation changed since your plan was created? Have any of your children or grandchildren gotten divorced and remarried, or started families of their own? Do your beneficiary designations continue to reflect your wishes? What about the people you have chosen to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf—are they still willing and able to do so? Are all of your trusts properly funded? Your plan must take all of these issues, and more, into account for it to accomplish your goals. The fact is, an outdated or improperly designed plan is often worse than having no plan at all. We hope you’ll also take time to review your plan and update it to take into account any changes in your financial, medical and family situation. If you have any questions about your plan, don’t hesitate to reach out to us....
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  • How to Inspect A Nursing Home to Make Sure It’s Right for you or Your Loved One
    An article by AARP discusses several factors to consider when choosing a nursing home. Here is a brief synopsis.  Inspect the grounds Are there outdoor sitting areas available and do the residents use them? Are dumpsters well concealed and relatively clean? Is it quiet or can you hear a lot of noise coming from traffic or some other source? Does it seem like you or your loved one would find the area relaxing and a nice place to sit? Talk to residents Ask residents if they like living at the facility. You can ask about the food, what a typical day is like, if there are activities and outings for residents, and whether the facility sponsors events for family members. The facility might be beautiful, but make sure the residents seem well cared for and content. Talk to the staff Ask people working at the facility about their jobs and...
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  • The Importance of Choosing the Right Business Entity
    If you want to start a business of your own, or are in the early stages of doing so, you are no doubt feeling a certain amount of stress about how to set it up. Your formation strategy must take into account the possibility of rapid growth while at the same time provide protection against potential short and long-term losses. It must also shield personal and family assets from any losses associated with the business itself. Finally, your plan must protect your business from a wide range of potential threats, including lawsuits, the inability of loved ones to access assets if you become incapacitated, the manner and timing of your exit from the business, tax minimization, and problematic partners and employees. All of this makes choosing the right business entity extremely important. What is the ideal entity for you? Here is a short introduction to some of the most common...
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  • Now is a Good Time to Make Sure Your Plan is Up-To-Date
    Has your financial or medical situation changed since your plan was created? Have any of your children or grandchildren gotten divorced and remarried, or started families of their own? Do your beneficiary designations continue to reflect your wishes? What about the people you have chosen to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf—are they still willing and able to do so? Are all of your trusts properly funded? Your plan must take all of these issues, and more, into account for it to accomplish your goals. The fact is, an outdated or improperly designed plan is often worse than having no plan at all. As 2020 begins, you’ll likely reflect upon what kind of year 2019 was for you and your family. In doing so, we hope you’ll also take time to review your plan and update it to take into account any changes in your financial, medical and...
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  • Estate Planning and Digital Assets
    What happens to a person’s Facebook account when he or she passes away? What about the photos you share on social media, the documents you’ve stored in the cloud, your texts to family and friends? While the law is clear about how to handle physical property when a person dies, it is only now beginning to address the management of digital assets. An article in The Conversation discusses this issue. Here are some of the highlights. Privacy concerns. While many legal issues surrounding digital assets remain undecided, people should still consider including them in their estate planning. Access to a decedent’s email is an important consideration. Such messages can be highly personal in nature. What is more, bank accounts, utilities and other accounts may be linked to certain email addresses and messages. Access to this information can help administer a decedent’s estate. Meanwhile, limiting who can access it can protect...
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  • Managing a Medicaid Crisis
    In the United States, the median monthly cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is currently more than $7,500. The cost of a private room exceeds $8,500 per month. Depending on where you live, costs can be considerably higher. In addition, costs rise according to the level of care needed and they are expected to increase dramatically in the future.  (Please click to see the current costs for home care, adult day care, assisted living, and nursing home care in your area.) To make matters worse, nearly 70 percent of us over the age of 65 will require long-term care at some point in our lives and 20 percent of us will need long-term care for five years or more. All of this helps explain why so many families exhaust their life savings within a few years of a family member entering a nursing home. And why more...
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  • Involve Your Children in Your Parents’ Care
    The last thing anyone wants in an emergency is to run around hysterically searching for important medical and financial information. You should have all of the following information readily available: Copies of the front and back of insurance cards, prescription cards, and, if applicable, military IDs Names and contact information of primary care physicians and specialists Basic medical history, such as medications, previous surgeries, and allergies A current list of medications and dosage Contact information for banks, financial advisors, insurance agents, attorneys, and other key advisors A list of financial accounts and safe deposit boxes, as well as the institutions where they are held The location of all estate planning documents, including Power of Attorney, Living Will/Healthcare Proxy, Will, HIPAA Medical Release, and, if applicable, trusts Involve Your Children in Your Parents’ Care One advantage of being in the sandwich generation is that you have help at hand—your kids. Maybe...
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  • The Spectrum of Care, continued
    In our last post, we discussed some of the options available for long-term care. Now let’s explore additional options, including assisted living and nursing home care. Medical Foster Home/Adult Foster Care A medical foster home is a private home operated by a trained caregiver. Residents may be elderly adults with chronic physical or cognitive health needs who require assistance in daily living, or younger adults with disabilities who want to reside in a non-institutional setting. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs oversees a program that encompasses about 700 U.S. medical foster homes and serves approximately 1,000 military veterans. Medical foster homes are not restricted to veterans, however. Many people in the United States live in non-VA adult foster home arrangements. Post-Acute Care Post-acute care is palliative or rehabilitative care for people who have recently been discharged from a hospital. Rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and other facilities may offer post-acute...
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  • Planning Tips for the Sandwich Generation, continued
    For adult children raising kids of their own, assuming the role of caregiver for one’s parents can be extraordinarily difficult without the help of proper legal documents. We have discussed the importance of The Talk. The information gleaned from this discussion provides a foundation for the creation of effective legal documents that express and protect your parents’ wishes. These documents include a Will, a Power of Attorney, a Living Will/Healthcare Proxy, and a HIPAA Medical Release. Let’s take a quick look at these documents. A Will directs how a person’s estate is to be administered and how his or her assets will be distributed after death. The person who creates the Will is called the Testator while the individual who settles the estate is known as the Executor. Naming the Executor and specifying “who gets what” in advance can help eliminate family infighting. A Power of Attorney allows an individual...
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