Estate & Trusts

Is It Better to Remarry or Just Live Together?

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts | 0 comments

Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting, but should it lead to marriage? The considerations are much different for an older couple with adult children and retirement plans than for a young couple just starting out. Before deciding whether to get married or just live together, you need to look at your estate plan, your Social Security benefits, and your potential long-term care needs, among other things. Whatever you decide to do, you may want to consult with your lawyer to make sure your wishes will be carried out. Here are...

read more

Nursing Home Discrimination Against Medicaid Recipients

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning | 0 comments

While it is illegal for a nursing home to discriminate against a Medicaid recipient, it still happens. To prevent such discrimination, nursing home residents and their families need to know their rights. The potential for discrimination arises because Medicaid pays nursing homes less than the facilities receive from residents who pay privately with their own funds and less than Medicare pays. Nursing homes are not required to accept any Medicaid patients, but Medicaid payments are a steady guaranteed payment, so many nursing homes agree to...

read more

Medicaid’s Benefits for Assisted Living Facility Residents

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016 in Elder Law | 0 comments

Assisted living facilities are a housing option for people who can still live independently but who need some assistance.  Costs can range from $2,000 to more than $6,000 a month, depending on location. Medicare won’t pay for this type of care, but Medicaid might.  Almost all state Medicaid programs will cover at least some assisted living costs for eligible residents. Unlike with nursing home stays, there is no requirement that Medicaid pay for assisted living, and no state Medicaid program can pay directly for a Medicaid recipient’s room...

read more

Four Social Security Myths Debunked

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning | 0 comments

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the Social Security system. Here are four common myths and the truth about how Social Security works and its future prospects. Myth 1: You Should Collect Benefits Early This is one of the biggest Social Security myths. In 2015, more than half of Social Security recipients began collecting benefits before their full retirement age (66 for those born between 1943 and 1954), potentially costing themselves thousands of dollars in additional benefits. If you take Social Security between age 62 and your...

read more

Last Chance to Use File and Suspend Strategy for Claiming Social Security Benefits

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning | 0 comments

Time is running out to use a potentially very lucrative Social Security benefits-claiming strategy. Spouses will no longer be able to use the “file and suspend” strategy after April 29, 2016. Beware, however, that the new rules are causing confusion at some Social Security offices. The federal budget agreement that was signed in fall 2015 ended two Social Security strategies that some spouses have used to maximize benefits.  The “File and Suspend” strategy allowed a worker to file for benefits and then suspend them....

read more

10 Ways the Elderly Can Avoid Financial Abuse

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning | 0 comments

Increased dependency due to illness, disability or cognitive impairments can make seniors susceptible to financial abuse.  Nest eggs accumulated over decades also often make seniors attractive targets for predators, whether an offshore bogus sweepstakes or a care provider who sees an opportunity to be paid more than an hourly wage. Just as sunlight makes the best disinfectant, transparency provides the strongest abuse protection. If others are aware of the senior’s finances, either possible predators will see that no opportunity exists...

read more

How Your IRA Can Benefit Both Your Heirs and Charity

Posted by on Jan 16, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts | 0 comments

Do you want to use your IRA to help a charity, but also benefit your heirs? Instead of leaving your IRA directly to your children, you can leave it to a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) while still benefiting your children. With rules about inherited IRAs potentially in flux, this may be an attractive estate planning option. Currently, when a non-spouse inherits an IRA, the beneficiary can choose to “stretch” out the IRA by taking distributions over his or her lifetime and passing what is left onto future generations.  This...

read more

Estate Planning for a Vacation Home

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts | 0 comments

If you are lucky enough to own a vacation home, then you need to figure out what will happen to it after you are gone. Many parents hope to keep vacation homes in the family, but guaranteeing that can be tricky. While meant to be fun and relaxing places to get away from everyday life, vacation houses can cause problems between siblings after their parents pass away. Some siblings may want to use the house, while others may need cash and want to sell. There may be disputes over who pays maintenance costs or when different families can use the...

read more

Six Things to Consider Before Making Gifts to Grandchildren

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014 in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts | 0 comments

Grandparents often are particularly generous to grandchildren as they see their family’s legacy continuing on to a new generation. In many cases, grandparents feel they have ample resources and their children or grandchildren may be struggling financially. Assistance with summer camp fees, college tuition, wedding costs or the downpayment on a first home, can relieve pressure on the next generation and permit grandchildren to take advantage of opportunities that otherwise would be out of reach. Some grandparents also don’t feel...

read more

Three Reasons Why Joint Accounts May Be a Poor Estate Plan

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014 in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts | 0 comments

Many people, especially seniors, see joint ownership of investment and bank accounts as a cheap and easy way to avoid probate since joint property passes automatically to the joint owner at death. Joint ownership can also be an easy way to plan for incapacity since the joint owner of accounts can pay bills and manage investments if the primary owner falls ill or suffers from dementia. These are all true benefits of joint ownership, but three potential drawbacks exist as well: Risk. Joint owners of accounts have complete access and the ability...

read more