As loved ones and parents age, they become more vulnerable to fraudulent schemes. This article explores how a solid estate plan can help protect the elderly from becoming victims. Read on to learn more. … [Read more...] about How Estate Planning Documents Help Prevent Elder Abuse
In a general sense, life insurance can enhance your estate plan, and it can satisfy a couple of specific objectives. We will provide an overview here, but first, we will explain the two most commonly used forms of life insurance. Whole Life Whole life insurance is coverage that will pay a death benefit, and it also accumulates a cash value. There is a guaranteed rate of return, so it serves as an investment instrument. This is permanent life insurance that will remain in place until and … [Read more...] about Is Life Insurance Part of Your Estate Plan?
When you are planning your estate, you should understand the tax situation and share the information with your loved ones so they know what to expect. We are going to look at the capital gains tax first, and we will finish with an explanation of the other taxes that can enter the picture. Step-Up in Basis If you inherit appreciated assets, do you pay taxes on the gains that accumulated while the decedent was alive? The answer is no because the assets would get a stepped-up basis. Let’s say … [Read more...] about Does an Estate Beneficiary Pay Capital Gains Taxes?
One of the biggest estate planning mistakes that you can make is to try to plan your estate using a boilerplate document that you download off the internet. This is demonstrated by a Pennsylvania court case that was resolved earlier this year. Unintended Consequences Mercedes Goosley was in her 80s when she decided to give her son, Joseph, the legal right to make decisions on her behalf. She downloaded a durable power of attorney document that she obtained online, and she signed it and she had … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Error Fueled Family Legal Battle
People routinely prepare for their active retirement years, but most of them do not see a holistic picture. Yes, you have to accumulate the resources that you need to live well during your golden years, but an additional transition will probably enter the picture. Living Assistance More than half of senior citizens will need paid living assistance, and many others will receive assistance from unpaid caregivers. You should prepare for this eventuality in advance, and the first step is to … [Read more...] about Life Care Planning and the Medicaid Waiver
When you are planning your estate, you should understand your options so you can make fully informed decisions. With this in mind, a lot of people make assumptions about trusts that are not accurate, and the matter of revocability is sometimes misunderstood. Irrevocable Trusts There are in fact trusts that you cannot revoke under most circumstances. If you establish an irrevocable trust, you cannot act as the trustee, so you would not control the trust. This is called “surrendering … [Read more...] about Can You Revoke Your Trust?
Estate planning is not a “one and done” endeavor. It should be viewed as an ongoing process, because your initial estate plan will be based on your life at that time. The only constant is change, and life events will invariably trigger the need for estate plan updates. In addition to the provisions that are obviously necessary, you should review your estate plan with your attorney periodically to address events that are out of your control. As a layperson, you may not follow legislative … [Read more...] about Revise Your Estate Plan Before It’s Too Late
A fiduciary is someone that has a legal obligation to serve the best interests of another individual or individuals. There are fiduciaries that play a role estate planning, and we will look at them here. Estate Executor The simple will is the most commonly used estate planning document. If you create a will to direct postmortem asset transfers, you would name an executor to act as the administrator after your passing. An estate executor is a prime example of a fiduciary. They would be … [Read more...] about What Is a Fiduciary Duty?
Many individuals with disabilities rely on Medicaid as a much-needed source of health insurance, and they can also receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These are need-based programs, so you cannot qualify if you have significant assets. Once eligibility has been granted, it is not necessarily going to stay in place for the rest of the beneficiary’s life. An improvement in financial status could cause a loss of benefits, and this presents a challenge if you are going to be leaving an … [Read more...] about How Can I Leave an Inheritance to a Medicaid Beneficiary?
A lot of people think that estate planning is something that you do not have to think about until you are a senior citizen. In fact, according to a survey that was conducted by Caring.com this year, 67 percent of adults do not have estate plans in place. Surprisingly, only 44 percent of individuals that are 55 years of age and older have wills or trusts, but the numbers are far worse for millennials. This is disturbing because estate planning is important for all responsible adults. Young … [Read more...] about Yes, Millennials Need Estate Plans