Instead of leaving your IRA directly to your children, you can leave it to a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) while still benefiting your children. With the SECURE Act making changes to rules about inherited IRAs, this may be an attractive estate planning option.
While wills do not have expiration dates, certain changes can render them useless. When this happens, having an out-of-date will can be the same as having no will at all. It is important to review your will periodically to ensure it still does what you want. The following are five ways your will can become out-of-date:
Many types of property and investments pass outside of probate and allow you to designate who will receive them after your death. It is important that these designations are kept up to date and are consistent with the rest of your estate plan.
Medigap policies that supplement Medicare’s basic coverage can cost vastly different amounts, depending on the company selling the policy, according to a new study. The findings highlight the importance of shopping around before purchasing a policy.
Transferring assets to qualify for Medicaid can make you ineligible for benefits for a period of time. Before making any transfers, you need to be aware of the consequences.
With a push by the Democratic party to return federal estate taxes to their historic norms, taxpayers need to act now before Congress passes legislation that could adversely impact their estates.
Being a trustee is a big responsibility and if you don't perform your duties properly, you could be personally liable.
As more and more people marry more than once, prenuptial agreements have become an important estate planning tool.
The coronavirus pandemic is having a profound effect on the current U.S. economy, and it may have a detrimental effect on Social Security’s long-term financial situation. High unemployment rates mean Social Security shortfalls could begin earlier than projected.
A general durable power of attorney (GDPOA) and a medical power of attorney (MedPOA) are two of the most important estate planning documents you can have, but in some instances they may be useless if they don't comply with the federal privacy law.
A letter of instruction is a legally non-binding document that gives your heirs information crucial to helping them tie up your affairs. Without such a letter, it can be easy for heirs to miss important items or become overwhelmed trying to sort through all the documents you left behind. The following are some items that can be included in a letter:
My advice is to leave the will in the safekeeping of whomever stands to lose the most if the will is "disappeared".
Many movies and television shows have a scene where a family gathers around a big table after a relative has died to listen to the reading of the will. While this makes for a dramatic scene, one that may have been more common when literacy rates were lower, it doesn't usually happen this way in the modern world. There is no requirement that a will be read out loud to anyone. So what does happen with the will?
While you should not need a separate will or trust for a second state, your power of attorney and health care proxy may be a different story. Financial and health care institutions are used to the documents used in their states and may refuse to honor out-of-state documents. In the case of health care proxies, other states may use different terms for the document, such as “durable power of attorney for health care” or “advance directive.” (And the people reviewing your power of attorney or health care proxy may not be well versed in constitutional law.)
Litigation over James Brown’s estate has been dragging on for 14 years, but the case took a big step towards resolution when the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the woman claiming a spousal share in Mr. Brown’s estate was never legally married to him.
The way to disinherit a surviving spouse in Tennessee is to avoid creating a probate estate. If there is no probate estate, then there is no elective share. The important thing to understand is that simply making a will that disinherits a surviving spouse will NOT work to disinherit the surviving spouse.
Occasionally we are asked whether assisted suicide is allowed in Tennessee. It is a fair question, because "helping" someone to take his or her own life IS considered murder in every state, absent a statute to the contrary. There are only a handful of states that have statutes that allow assisted suicide. As of this writing (July 30, 2020) those states are Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Maine, Vermont, and New Jersey.
For years people have been worried about Social Security’s future, but what is the actual outlook? According to the federal government, unless Congress acts to intervene, Social Security shortfalls are expected beginning in 2035
The basic Medicaid rule for nursing home residents is that they must pay all of their income, minus certain deductions, to the nursing home.
Under the new rules of the SECURE Act, one category of individuals who are still entitled to the financial benefit of stretching distributions from the account over their life expectancy include beneficiaries of the retirement account who are disabled or chronically ill. This is a huge benefit and advantage for those disabled or chronically ill beneficiaries, possibly over other beneficiaries you may have.
As an elder law attorney, I often meet senior clients as a result of them coming into our offices with their adult children. When this situation happens, it is the lawyer's job to recognize the differing needs and rights of both parties. The lawyer must be clear on who is being represented and then do his or her part to focus on that client.
DIY Estate Planning Mistake #16: How to Help an Elderly Parent Manage Credit Card Account the Right Way
Just like it is a bad idea to add yourself (you being the adult child, friend or other helper) to the elder's bank accounts as a co-owner, it is a bad idea to add yourself to the elder's credit card accounts as an "authorized user". That method "works", but there's a downside, which is the elder's credit card account will now appear on YOUR credit report. If they have a high balance compared to the available credit, or just a high balance in general, or a poor payment history, these things could negatively affect YOUR credit score.
Who pays for hospice care?
I always tell clients to plan for today but be prepared to make changes as circumstances change. If Joe Biden is elected as our next President (2020 election), clients of estate planning attorneys across the country will have a lot of unfavorable changes to accommodate. The changes will almost certainly have a detrimental impact on capital investment in the US.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the elderly, particularly those in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. This has raised questions about how the virus has influenced the costs and provision of long-term care insurance, which covers care in facilities and sometimes at home as well.