A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a "trustee," holds legal title to property for another person, called a "beneficiary."
Estate administration is the process of managing and distributing a person’s property (the “estate”) after death. If the person had a will, the will goes through probate, which is the process by which the deceased person's property is passed to his or her heirs and legatees (people named in the will).
The choice to move into assisted living can be a difficult one, but it can also be the best decision. Yet, that can leave seniors wondering whether or not to sell their homes. Thankfully, you have quite a few options at your disposal.
Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is a difficult decision and it can only be made more confusing by the various rating systems. A recent study found that using both Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare site and user reviews can help with the decision making.
As we enter the giving season, there is an additional reason to be charitable. Congress enacted a special provision that allows more people to easily deduct up to $300 in donations to qualifying charities this year.
Most people want to stay at home as long as possible, but few can afford the high cost of home care for very long. One solution is to tap into the equity built up in your home.
Medicare premiums are set to rise a modest amount next year, but still cut into any Social Security gains. The basic monthly premium will increase $3.90, from $144.60 a month to $148.50.
The last thing anyone wants after the death of a family member is calls from debt collectors dunning the loved one's estate. While some family members can be contacted by debt collectors, the family is protected from abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices.
There are many unknowns when planning an estate, but you can’t let the uncertainties get in the way of creating any kind of plan. Having an imperfect plan is usually better than having no plan at all.
A controversial policy that reduces the benefits of military spouses is on the way out. The so-called “widow’s tax” cuts assistance to surviving military spouses who qualify for benefits under two different military benefit programs.
Entering into a caregiver contract (also called personal service or personal care agreement) with a family member can have many benefits. It rewards the family member doing the work. It can help alleviate tension between family members by making sure the work is fairly compensated. In addition, it can be a be a key part of Medicaid planning, helping to spend down savings so that the elder might more easily be able to qualify for Medicaid long-term care coverage, if necessary.
For almost every wrong there is a remedy, but you cannot just sit and wait and hope things work themselves out. If there are bad actors involved, those things will not work themselves out without some kind of intervention. If there is no intervention, the bad actors WILL eventually get away with their wrongdoings with the passage of time. YOU must take the bull by the horn and claim what is yours.
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?