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    14 Essential Questions to Ask Aging Parents This Holiday

    With multiple generations getting together for holiday meals, gift exchanges and quality time, these annual gatherings present an opportunity to broach sensitive but important topics with your aging loved ones.

    2024 Annual Gift and Estate Tax Exemption Adjustments

    With the arrival of the new year, revisions to the annual gift tax and estate tax exclusions will be going into effect, as recently announced by the Internal Revenue Service.

    How Do Gifts Affect Medicaid Eligibility?

    We’ve all heard that it’s better to give than to receive, but if you think you might someday want to apply for Medicaid long-term care benefits, you need to be careful because giving away money or property can interfere with your eligibility. 

    Giving Gifts to Your Grandchildren in Trust

    There are some serious drawbacks to many options for giving gifts to grandchildren. Either there are no tax or estate planning advantages, or you have no control of the funds (or lose control after a certain point), or the money could affect a grandchild’s eligibility for financial aid. 

    Understanding the Differences Between a Will and a Trust

    Everyone has heard the terms “will” and “trust,” but not everyone knows the differences between the two. 

    Ashes to Soil? Is Human Composting Real?

    As more people look to adopt environmentally sustainable practices not only in life, but now also in death, ‘green’ alternatives may become more of a norm in the future.

    Step-Up in Basis and Why It Matters in Estate Planning

    If you are considering engaging in estate planning or you may be inheriting assets, it is important to understand what the step-up in basis is and how it may affect you.

    Do You Pay Capital Gains Taxes on Property You Inherit?

    When you inherit property, such as a house or stocks, the property is usually worth more than it was when the original owner purchased it.

    Student Loan Payments Begin Again – Are You Prepared?

    According to AARP, people aged 60 and older owe upwards of $290 billion in student loan debt. 

    Do You Need a Trust?: Estate Planning Q&A

    Trusts are legal arrangements used in estate planning, alongside wills and advance directives.

    The Attorney’s Role in Peace of Mind Medicaid Planning

    Do you need an attorney for even “simple” Medicaid planning? This depends on your situation, but in most cases, the prudent answer would be “yes.” 

    3 Common Probate Questions: Estate Planning Basics

    Some assets transfer directly to heirs after a person’s death. Other assets must go through a process known as probate.

    Does Power of Attorney End at Death?

    Although every state’s laws and forms vary, most power of attorney forms specify that the agency relationship created by a power of attorney ends upon a person’s death.

    Health Care Surrogate and Power of Attorney Disagree?

    A durable power of attorney and a health care proxy are two very important estate planning documents. Because the individuals chosen will have to coordinate your care, it is important to pick two people who will get along.

    Watch Out for These Potential Problems with Life Estates

    Life estates can be an excellent tool for Medicaid planning, probate avoidance and tax efficiency, but there are potential problems to look out for. 

    Should You Prepare a Medicaid Application Yourself?

    Whether you should prepare and file a Medicaid application by yourself or should hire help depends on answers to the following questions:

    Accounting for Gifts and Loans to Children in Your Estate Plan

    No parents want their children to fight among themselves after they are gone. Sadly, conflicts often arise, especially when a parent has gifted or loaned money to one child and not others.

    Who Are Parties to an Estate?

    When people pass away, their assets go through probate. The parties to an estate are the people involved in the probate process.

    Depressive Symptoms in Alzheimer’s Disease Family Caregivers

    A new study reveals that 60 percent of family members who were taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease exhibited symptoms of depression that worsened over time

    How to Know If Your Aging Parents Need Home Care

    Consider the following as you decide whether your aging parents need home care.

    Six Things to Consider Before Making Gifts to Grandchildren

    Here are some issues grandparents should consider before making gifts to grandchildren or other family members.

    Activities of Daily Living Measure the Need for Long-Term Care Assistance

    Most long-term care involves assisting with basic personal needs rather than providing medical care.

    Beware of Non-Lawyers Offering Medicaid Planning Advice

    In recent years a number of non-lawyers have started businesses offering Medicaid planning services to seniors. While using one of these services may be cheaper than hiring a lawyer, the overall costs may be far greater.

    A Brief Overview of a Trustee’s Duties

    If you have been appointed the trustee of a trust, this is a strong vote of confidence in your judgment and trusthworthiness. It is also a major responsibility. 

    10 Facts Funeral Directors Don’t Want You to Know

    Funerals are among the most expensive purchases many consumers will ever make. Don’t let funeral directors pressure you into buying more than you need. 

    The Basics of Estate Administration

    Estate administration is the process of managing and distributing a person’s property (the “estate”) after death.

    Resources for Caregivers of Older Adults with Dementia

    Although caring for people with dementia can be challenging, a variety of resources can help caregivers assist their loved ones.

    Medicare’s Limited Nursing Home Coverage

    Many people believe that Medicare covers nursing home stays. In fact Medicare’s coverage of nursing home care is quite limited.

    PACT Act for Veterans Exposed to Toxins Passes!

    PACT Act for Veterans Exposed to Toxins Passes

    What It Means to Need ‘Nursing Home Level of Care’ for Medicaid Eligibility

    When applying for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage, in addition to the strict income and asset limits, you must demonstrate that you need a level care typically provided in a nursing home.  

    You Can ‘Cure’ a Medicaid Penalty Period by Returning a Gift

    Anyone who gifted assets within five years of applying for Medicaid may be subject to a penalty period, but that penalty can be reduced or eliminated if the assets are returned. 

    What Are the House Ownership Options When Parents and Adult Children Live Together?

    Increasingly, several generations of American families are living together. These multi-generational living arrangements present legal and financial challenges around home ownership.

    Why Everyone Should Have an Estate Plan

    Do you have a will? A durable power of attorney? A health care proxy? If not, why not? Failure to create an estate plan risks causing discord in your family for generations to come.

    Five Estate Planning Myths

    There are lots of misconceptions about estate planning, and any one of them can result in costly mistakes. Understanding who needs an estate plan and what it should cover is key to creating a plan that is right for you. 

    Make Sure Your Life Insurance Is Not Taxed at Your Death

    Although your life insurance policy may pass to your heirs income tax-free, it can affect your estate’s tax liability. 

    Moving to a New State? Be Sure to Update Your Estate Plan

    While legally you may not need all-new estate planning documents if you move to a different state, you should have your documents reviewed by a local attorney in your new home. 

    A Letter of Instruction Can Spare Your Heirs Great Stress

    While it is important to have an updated estate plan, there is a lot of information that your heirs should know that…

    What You Can’t Do With a Will

    While a will is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have, there are things that it won’t cover. A will is just one part of a comprehensive estate plan. 

    The Hazards of Do-it-Yourself Estate Planning

    Many websites offer customized, do-it-yourself wills and other estate planning documents.  Although these products are convenient, using them could create serious and expensive legal problems for heirs.