An intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT) is a common estate planning tool that is used by wealthy families to transfer assets from one generation to the next while achieving significant tax savings. IDGTs are especially useful if you have assets that will appreciate significantly over time.
Every year, 16 million people in the United States care for family and friends with dementia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Caregivers of people with dementia provide care for longer durations than those who assist individuals with other conditions. They also have comparably higher risks for anxiety, depression, and reduced quality of life. One-third of caregivers of elders with dementia are older adults themselves.
If your spouse dies, you may have to decide whether or when to sell your house. There are some tax considerations that go into that decision.
Many people delay the conversation or thoughts of having to prepare a will. Confronting the possibility of one’s death is not easy. However, as the recent death of Anne Heche shows us, not having a will can place a significant burden on your children and cause undesirable complications. Even if difficult, planning ahead may be a better solution than the alternative.
Parents usually want to leave their children equal shares of their estate, but equal isn’t always fair. If you plan to provide more (or less) for one child in your estate plan, preparation is important.
A power of attorney is a document that grants various powers and responsibilities to a trusted third party or “agent” who can act on your behalf. This document usually only allows an agent to make non-medical decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney can be a valuable planning tool that lets you decide in advance who will manage your affairs should you become unable to do so. It can also be a way to avoid expensive guardianship or conservatorship proceedings if you become disabled or incapacitated.
For the first time in more than 10 years, Medicare Part B enrollees will see some of their costs decline. In an announcement issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency outlined changes to the premium, deductible, and co-payment amounts for numerous Medicare costs taking effect in 2023.
Did you know you could be responsible for your parents' unpaid bills? More than half of all states currently have laws making adult children financially responsible for their parents, including their long-term care costs.
The phrase “life estate” often comes up in discussions of estate and Medicaid planning, but what exactly does it mean? A life estate is a form of joint ownership that allows one person to remain in a house until his or her death, when it passes to the other owner. Life estates can be used to avoid probate and to give a house to children without giving up the ability to live in it. They also can play an important role in Medicaid planning.
As a trust beneficiary, you may feel that you are at the mercy of the trustee, but depending on the type of trust, beneficiaries may have rights to ensure the trust is properly managed.
Accumulated frequent flier miles can be valuable assets, but what happens to those miles after someone dies? Can a spouse or other heirs inherit them, or do the miles simply evaporate like a contrail?
Running a small business can keep you busy, but it should not keep you from creating an estate plan. Not having a plan in place can cause problems for your business and your family after you are gone.
Medicaid imposes strict rules on how much money and assets an applicant can have. To qualify for Medicaid, you must fall under the asset limit, which is $2,000 in most states. Even with greater than $2,000 in assets, however, you may be able to get on Medicaid by establishing a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). When you put your assets in a MAPT, Medicaid will not count the money in the trust toward its resource limit.
Sports fans with season tickets may want their families to enjoy the tickets after they are gone, but passing on these tickets may not be simple.
A recent survey by the American Advisors Group (AAG) finds that 55 percent of adult children say they are not financially prepared to help their Baby Boomer parents cope with rising inflation and living expenses.
Trusts are great tools for leaving assets to your heirs while maintaining control over their access to those assets. In many cases, you would tell your beneficiaries that you have made a trust for them. However, this is not always desirable — and this is where a “quiet” trust may be helpful.
A Roth IRA does not have to be used as just a retirement plan; it can also be a way to transfer assets tax-free to the next generation.
If your loved one is entering a nursing home, you may worry whether you could be liable for their care. Under federal law, a facility cannot require a family member or friend to co-sign an admission agreement and take on personal liability. However, nursing homes around the country still try to do so, and often these matters end up in court.
It is hard to know what documents to trash and when. Before you know it, your spare room, office, basement, or garage is overflowing with boxes of papers that all seem important.
Leaving a nursing home to return home is a goal for many residents and their families, but it requires careful consideration. While returning home is a good move for some, it won't work for everyone.
When an individual passes away without a funeral plan, responsibility for arranging the funeral often falls on the deceased’s close family members, such as surviving spouses and children. Planning your own funeral arrangements can assist your loved ones in an emotionally challenging time, while also protecting them from incurring extraneous costs.
If you apply for long-term care assistance through Medicaid and your application is denied, the situation may seem hopeless. The good news is that you can appeal the decision.
Even if you've created an estate plan, are you sure you included everything you need to? There are certain provisions that people often forget to put in a will or estate plan that can have a big impact on a family.
Navigating the Medicaid application process can be complicated, especially if you are applying for long-term care benefits. Hiring an attorney to help you through the process can be extremely helpful.
Naming a revocable trust as a beneficiary of your retirement plan can be a good idea in some circumstances, but it can be dangerous if you are worried about creditors coming after your estate.