Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Do only high net worth individuals need a will?

Traditionally, the answer to that question has been “Yes” — particularly if you have a spouse and child. Lately, though, some financial advisers have been saying that many Americans might not need a will. “Certainly the simpler you are, the less of a complex estate plan you need,” says attorney Jeffrey Greener. “But very few people are simple. If you have minor children, only a will names a guardian for those children. A will or a trust will allow you to name someone to watch over assets for a disabled or elderly family member or someone who may not have the financial sophistication to manage those assets.”

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Early planning pays off for Medicaid & Insurance

Long-term care can be expensive and is often an out-of-pocket expense. Medicare, a federal program for people older than 65 and those who have certain disabilities, doesn't generally pay for long-term care. Medicaid, a joint state-federal program designed for people who meet certain income requirements, might be an option for adults who have limited assets. Who's eligible for Medicaid and which services are covered varies by state. If you don't expect your savings to cover the cost of long-term care, you might be able to finance care through long-term care insurance. In exchange for monthly premiums, long-term care insurance covers nursing home care or other services. Premiums increase with the person's age, and coverage benefits vary. If you're considering long-term care insurance, make sure the policy covers any pre-existing conditions as well as conditions that could develop later, such as dementia.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Medicaid and Seniors

It’s often confusing to seniors what state and federal programs they may be eligible for and how the government programs differ. For instance, I recently met with a client who had been living at home until about three years ago. At that time, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and, anticipating the need for greater care down the road, he made gifts to his children totaling about $200,000. This left him with about $40,000 in assets. He moved into a HUD Housing Community and he qualified for assistance and lived there for about a year.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What constitutes elder abuse?

Exploitation, painful or harmful mistreatment, and neglect of anyone 65 or older may be classified as elder abuse. While many associate elder abuse with caregivers, it can be carried out by a scam home repair outfit, a phony lottery, or a telemarketing rip-off. Elder abuse also can involve the wrongful taking of a senior’s money. 

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Estate Plan Need Updating?

Should estate plan be re-written every few years to keep up to date? There’s not really any one thing that tells a person that their estate plan needs to be updated, a person has to keep track of their estate plan all on their own. Fortunately, that’s not as tough as it sounds as long as you look for the signs. One of the easiest signs to watch for is simply when a person has changed their mind. If your will says John is to receive the home after your death and now you want it to go to Jane, it’s time to make a change.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Finding an estate planning attorney to develop estate plan

Most of you put tremendous effort into saving and investing for the future but neglect estate plans. It can be uncomfortable and awkward to work on your estate plan, but the failure to plan for the thoughtful distribution of your assets can be disastrous. Your estate plan is a significant part of your financial plan and needs to be accurate and thorough to cover most contingencies. I encourage most individuals to work with an estate planning attorney to develop or maintain a plan. To select an attorney ask friends, colleagues and professionals for a referral. Speak with at least three attorneys to find one you feel comfortable with, who provides the services you need. If you have a complicated situation, select an attorney who is proficient with complex estate planning.

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