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    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. 

    How to Create an Estate Plan That Includes Your Pet

    Pets are members of the family, so it is important to consider how to provide for them in your estate plan just as you would the human family members. 

    Couple Makes Basic Planning Error and Loses Life Savings

    A Pennsylvania couple may have lost their life savings by making a fundamental estate planning mistake.

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    How to Deal With Student Loan Debt as You Age

    The number of older Americans with student loan debt – either theirs or someone else’s — is growing. Sadly, learning how to deal with this debt is now a fact of life for many seniors heading into retirement.

    Be Careful Not to Name Minors as Your Beneficiaries

    Most people want to pass their assets to their children or grandchildren, but naming a minor as a beneficiary can have unintended consequences. It is important to make a plan that doesn’t involve leaving assets directly to a minor.  

    May Someone With Dementia Sign a Will?

    Millions of people are affected by dementia, and unfortunately many of them do not have all their estate planning affairs in order before the symptoms start. 

    Will Giving Estate to Mick Jagger Is Reminder of Risks of Disinheriting Relatives

    When fashion designer L’Wren Scott committed suicide, she left her entire estate to her boyfriend, Mick Jagger, instead of to her sister or brother.

    Estate Planning Is All About Love

    Estate planning truly is all about LOVE. When you make a plan for your future and your family’s future, you are showing how much you love them by ensuring that issues with incapacity or death are already planned for. You are showing your love by easing fears surrounding how to care for you when you age. You are showing love by providing guidance on your wishes surrounding end-of-life care and how you want your estate to be distributed. You are showing love by removing the burden that is often felt when someone becomes incapacitated or dies without leaving a clear estate plan. 

    Four Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Digital Estate

    While the internet makes our lives more convenient, it also adds new complications.  For example, what happens to all our online data and assets if we become disabled or die?

    Medicaid’s Coverage of Nursing Home Care

    For better and for worse, Medicaid is the primary method of paying for nursing home care in the United States. But navigating the Medicaid system is complicated and confusing. Here are the basics. 

    Married Couples Need an Estate Plan

    Don’t assume your estate will automatically go to your spouse when you die. If you don’t have an estate plan, your spouse may have to share your estate with other family members. 

    Make Sure Your Beneficiary Designations Match Your Estate Plan

    Many types of property and investments pass outside of probate and allow you to designate who will receive them after your death. It is important that these designations are kept up to date and are consistent with the rest of your estate plan. 

    Don’t Forget to Fund Your Revocable Trust

    Revocable trusts are a very popular and useful estate planning tool. But the trust will be ineffective if you do not actually place your assets in the trust.

    8 Tips for Having ‘The Talk’ with Elderly Parents

    Talking about estate planning is a difficult, emotional topic but it’s essential for every family.  These eight tips can help you discuss the hard topics thoroughly and respectfully and prepare you for the road ahead.

    Bank Pays Price for Refusing to Honor Request Made Under a Power of Attorney

    Bank of America refused to honor a Florida man’s power of attorney and paid a stiff price, but the case also raises the issue of the proper use of joint bank accounts in estate planning.

    Understanding Revocable Trusts

    Revocable trusts are an effective way to avoid probate and provide for asset management in the event of incapacity as well as achieve many other goals, including tax, long-term care, and asset-protection planning. 

    Estate Planning Is Essential for Unmarried Couples

    While estate planning is important for married couples, it is arguably even more necessary for couples that live together without getting married. 

    When Planning Your Estate, Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good

    There are many unknowns when planning an estate, but you can’t let the uncertainties get in the way of creating any kind of plan. Having an imperfect plan is usually better than having no plan at all. 

    5 Ways Your Will Can Become Useless, Or Close to It

    Is having an out-of-date will better than having no will at all?  While wills do not have expiration dates, certain changes can render them useless.

    How to Divide Up Personal Possessions Without Dividing the Family

    Allocating your personal possessions can be one of the most difficult tasks when creating an estate plan. To avoid family feuds after you are gone, it is important to have a plan and make your wishes clear.  

    What to Do If You Are Appointed Guardian of an Older Adult

    Being appointed guardian of a loved one is a serious responsibility. As guardian, you are in charge of your loved one’s well-being and you have a duty to act in his or her best interest.  

    Understanding the Differences Between a Living Trust and an Irrevocable Trust

    Before you commit to adding a trust to your estate plan, make sure you understand the differences between revocable (also called “living”) and irrevocable trusts because each offers advantages and disadvantages, depending on their purpose. 

    Online Survey Helps Older Adults Assess Their Vulnerability for Financial Exploitation

    All older Americans are vulnerable to financial abuse, but there are circumstances that make someone more likely to be scammed. An online survey can help older adults assess their risk of being exploited based on how they make financial decisions. 

    Non-Borrowing Spouses of Reverse Mortgage Holders Receive Expanded Protections

    The government has expanded access to protections for spouses of reverse mortgage holders who are not named in the loan document, allowing more such spouses the ability to stay in their home if the borrowing spouse dies or moves to a care facility. 

    Preserving the Family Vacation Home for Generations to Come

    Summer is winding down and if you are one of the lucky ones, you got to spend some time at a family vacation home. How do you make sure your children and grandchildren can enjoy that second home as much as you did?

    Britney Spears Case Puts Renewed Focus on Guardianships and Less Restrictive Alternatives

    Britney Spears’s struggle to regain control over her business and personal life shines a spotlight on legal guardianship and alternatives that involve less loss of control over one’s life.

    Medicaid’s Home Care Waivers Can Help You Avoid a Nursing Home, But the Line May Be Long

    The federal government can grant “waivers” to states allowing them to expand Medicaid to include home and community-based services. The downside is that states can limit home care and the wait can be long.  

    Make Sure Your Estate Plan and Other Essential Documents Are Safe from Disasters

    In the event you lose your house in a natural disaster or through another calamity, it is important that your estate planning and other important documents are beyond reach and easily retrievable. 

    How You Can End Up in Medicare’s Donut Hole, and How You Get Out

    Medicare prescription drug plans can have a coverage gap—called the “donut hole”–which limits how much Medicare will pay for your drugs until you pay a certain amount out of pocket.

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