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    Avoid Disagreements Between Your Power of Attorney and Health Care Surrogate

    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. 

    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.

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