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Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Pet Trusts

Pet Trusts

Question:  My spouse and I do not have any children of our own, but we have two dogs who we care for and treat as our children.  We want to make sure they are taken care of should a time come when we no longer are able to and when we pass away. Is there any kind of estate planning we can do to make sure our dogs are cared for?   Answer: Yes, you are not alone in wanting to have your affairs in order for who will take care of pets upon your incapacity or demise. Pets are dependen more »

Estate Planning for Parents of Minor Children

Estate Planning for Parents of Minor Children

Question: My husband and I are in our thirties and have two young children.  We don’t have a will and are not sure what we need to do at this point.  Any suggestions? Answer:  Now would be a good time for you to consult with an Estate Planning attorney and see about getting some documents in place.   Regardless of your financial situation, whether or not you are married or have children all persons over the age of eighteen should get certain documents in place to more »

The Case for Naming a Trust as Beneficiary of Retirement Funds

The Case for Naming a Trust as Beneficiary of Retirement Funds

One of the most misunderstood planning strategies is that Retirement funds, such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Roth IRAs should not name a trust as designated beneficiary.  My clients are often advised to name individuals and not trusts, even minor or disabled beneficiaries.  That could be the most expensive mistake made by a retirement account holder and one I often see.  The IRA Retirement Trust is the answer. First, clients are conc more »

Estate Closure and Fiduciary Liability

Estate Closure and Fiduciary Liability

Q: I am the Executor of my father’s estate. I have collected the assets and paid the expenses and am ready to close the estate. How should I proceed? A: Once you have collected the assets of the estate, paid the expenses, debts and taxes you are ready to close the estate. In order to close the estate you should prepare what is known as an accounting. This accounting shows the beneficiaries what you collected, what you paid and what is left to be distributed. The accounting should be detai more »

Community Medicaid Update

Community Medicaid Update

One of the issues that we see facing many of our clients is an inability to implement and access services once an application for Community Medicaid has been filed and approved.  Oftentimes the reason for this is that they are unaware that there is a secondary process which much be followed to access the services, moreover for those clients who have been receiving services they often face a reduction of hours and are unaware that they can appeal that decision.  After an individual is f more »

Medicaid Recertification

Medicaid Recertification

Question:         My mom is currently approved for Community Medicaid.  I received a notification that her benefits need to be recertified.  Is this something I should go back to my attorney to handle or can I fill it out myself?   Answer:           Once someone has been approved for Community Medicaid (home care benefits) or Chronic Medicaid (nursing home benefits) they will need to recert more »

First Party Supplemental Needs Trusts

First Party Supplemental Needs Trusts

Q: I am 50 years old and a recent injury has left me in a wheel chair permanently.  I need help with certain daily tasks such as bathing and getting dressed.  I am not working but I am receiving payments from my disability insurance.  I know community Medicaid will pay for my care if I qualify but I am afraid I have too much income, will they take my disability payments?   A: Since you are under 65 years old, you can create a first party supplemental needs trust to hold the more »

Executor Commissions

Executor Commissions

Q:         I was named as the Executor in my mother’s Will.  Do I receive a fee for serving as Executor of the Estate?    A:        To begin, it is important to understand the functions of an Executor.  The Executor will be required to perform duties which will depend upon, and be specific to, the respective estate.  Some of these duties may include: probating the Decedent’s Will, marshalling the De more »

Estate Planning for Young Adults

Estate Planning for Young Adults

Young adults may have the misconceived notion that estate planning is only necessary for certain people, such as individuals of a high net worth or those who are aging. However, there are certain documents that everyone should consider, including the youngest generation of millennials. Having such a plan in place can avoid costly court proceedings as well as plan for your family should you become incapacitated or upon your death.  An estate plan for a millennial would likely include a Healt more »

Why Do I Need an Estate Plan If I Don't Have Any Assets?

Why Do I Need an Estate Plan If I Don't Have Any Assets?

Q: Do I need an estate plan if I have no assets?   A: Creating an estate plan involves more than simply determining how your assets will be distributed upon your death.  An estate plan allows you to plan for the future in case of incapacity and can provide for care instructions for yourself and loved ones after you die. At the bare minimum, you should have advance directives and a power of attorney in place.  Advance directives include a health care proxy, living will, and HIPA more »

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