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Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Assets in a Trust

Assets in a Trust

Q:   Why would I need to put my house into an irrevocable trust? A:   There are many different types of irrevocable trusts.  One of the common types of trusts an individual can create is an irrevocable trust for Medicaid asset protection purposes.  As with any trust document, this type of trust can be written in many different ways.  Most often, the creator of the trust is allowed to receive all income generated from assets that are placed into the trust, but...more »

Do I Need to Redo My Will?

Do I Need to Redo My Will?

Question:  Its been fifteen years since we signed our will.  Although our children are now grown, we still want them to get everything.  Is there any reason to re do it? Answer: Great question and one that we are asked often.  While it may be the case that the will is sufficient, there are a number of reasons that at a minimum you should consult with an attorney, have it reviewed and see whether there is any additional estate planning that you should consider.  While a...more »

Estate Planning for the Blended Family

Estate Planning for the Blended Family

We live in a modern world where blended families are becoming more and more common.  A blended family is one made up of two spouses where at least one spouse has children from a previous marriage or relationship.  Blended families can also include two spouses, their children, and grandchildren from multiple relationships.  Because of the complexity involved in a blended family, proper estate planning is essential to ensure a client’s goals are met. Spouses used to create...more »

Executor Commissions

Executor Commissions

Question: I am the nominated executor of my friend’s estate.  If I am appointed as executor, would I get paid for the work I do? Answer:  Yes, you would be entitled to be paid for the work you perform as executor.  The payment received by an executor is referred to as a commission.  In order to determine the amount of an executor’s commission, you would first look to your friend’s last will and testament to see if there is language stating what the executor...more »

Medicaid and Prepaid Funeral

Medicaid and Prepaid Funeral

Question: My father is about to enter a nursing facility.  He may have to spenddown some of his money in order to qualify for Medicaid.  I was told that he could pre-pay his own funeral and he may be able to pay for his children’s funeral as well.  Is this true? Answer:  Yes, a pre-need funeral trust allows an applicant for Medicaid to set aside money to fully fund the funeral services of their choice before their funds are exhausted down to necessary...more »

Guardianship

Guardianship

Q: I have an elderly aunt.  I’m embarrassed to say that I only visit once every few months.  I recently learned that she has a caretaker that has moved into her house and I suspect she is taking money from my aunt. When I asked my aunt about it she got angry.  What can I do to protect her? A:  Your aunt may very well be the victim of elder abuse.  It sounds as if she has become vulnerable because of her inability to take care of all of her own needs and the...more »

Creditors

Creditors

Question: I loaned my friend money and, before he could repay me, he died.  Will I still be able to collect the debt owed to me? Answer: Yes, there are procedures to collect debts from someone who died.  However, the collection of the debt is dependent on whether the deceased person has money in his/her estate to pay the debt and whether the creditor has followed the proper legal requirements to collect the debt from the deceased person’s estate. A creditor’s first step...more »

Creating an Estate Plan

Creating an Estate Plan

The best way to manage your own affairs while you are alive and to provide properly for your beneficiaries at your death is to have an estate plan.  There is a distinction between having a “plan” and having documents.  The close attention to detail, knowledge of the law, and past experiences of the attorney you are dealing with should help you create the plan that fits your own circumstances.  The first step of the process is to gather a comprehensive list of your...more »

Revocable Trusts

Revocable Trusts

Question:    My mom has a revocable trust and she transferred the ownership of her house to the trust.  She wants to make sure that I inherit the house.  Is the revocable trust the proper vehicle to accomplish this?   Answer:       Revocable Trusts have become increasingly popular planning tools for individuals who are interested in avoiding probate, and who are concerned with the orderly and private administration of their assets at the...more »

Estate Planning for the Millennial

Estate Planning for the Millennial

Q: As a “millennial”, when is it a good time to start thinking about estate planning?  Do I need to accumulate assets before considering planning for my future?      A: Estate planning is not just for the elderly or the wealthy. Estate planning at a young age can provide some of the most basic means of security that you may not realize you need. Two documents that all adults should consider having are the power of attorney and health care proxy.  A...more »

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