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Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

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 eligibi 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 careta 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 i 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 ass 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 t 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 pow more »

Estate Closure and Fiduciary Liability

Estate Closure and Fiduciary Liability

Q: I am the Executor of my mother’s estate. I have paid all of the bills and filed the final income tax return and am ready to close the estate. How should I proceed? A:  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 detailed to show all transactions in and out of the estate account.       more »

Naming Guardians for Minors in your Last Will & Testament

Naming Guardians for Minors in your Last Will & Testament

Question:  My husband and I have been talking about getting our estate planning documents in order.  We have a modest estate and three children ages 2, 5 and 7.  What questions should we be thinking about when we see an attorney for a Last Will & Testament?   Answer: As parents to young children, there are a few very important considerations you should be discussing with respect to your Last Will & Testament.As you can imagine, as minors, your children will not more »

Irrevocable Trusts and the Grantor Trust Rules

Irrevocable Trusts and the Grantor Trust Rules

For many clients the idea of creating and funding an Irrevocable Trust with an end goal of protecting assets should the need for long term care arise raises questions and concerns about the potential tax implications. Specifically, questions surrounding taxation of the assets that are transferred to the trust and concerns about losing property tax exemptions such as STAR and Enhanced STAR are common in our practice.  Although there is some truth to the idea that there could be negative hig more »

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