With the fate of the estate tax exemption uncertain, you may want to use the current large exemption to transfer assets to a trust to benefit your spouse. A spousal lifetime access trust (SLAT) can help transfer assets outside of your estate.
Is your family of the “Leave It to Beaver” variety -- opposite-gender parents, the first marriage for each, one or more kids, all healthy and thriving? If so, your estate plan will probably be pretty straightforward. But if not, it's not as simple and you have a lot of company.
Being able to make health care decisions for ourselves is so important to us, but what happens if you become incapacitated and are unable to voice your opinion? If you don’t have a health care agent or guardian in place, state law chooses who can make those decisions.
When applying for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage, in addition to the strict income and asset limits, you must demonstrate that you need a level care typically provided in a nursing home.
The decision of how long to wait to claim Social Security benefits depends on a number of factors, including other income sources in retirement and projected longevity. But Social Security experts advise waiting as long as possible to start collecting benefits, up to age 70.
A power of attorney may seem like a simple document, but there are several important decisions that need to be made when creating one. From whom to appoint to what powers to grant, care and consideration should be put into each choice.
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are important tools for small business owners, but they can also be useful in estate planning. An LLC can help you pass assets to your children while avoiding gift and estate taxes.
If you’re like most people, you have the best of intentions regarding how you want your estate distributed when you die or your affairs handled should you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, without proper planning, your best intentions may not be enough. Here are six of the most common estate planning mistakes people make:
Tax day, which is Tuesday, April 19 in 2022, is approaching and it is time to begin crossing T's and dotting I's in preparation for paying taxes. As tax time draws near, you want to make sure you file all the proper forms and take all deductions you're entitled to.
One of the many factors to consider when setting up a trust is whether to make it a grantor trust or a non-grantor trust. While a grantor trust is more common, a non-grantor trust can be useful in certain circumstances.
Most seniors prefer to stay at home as long as possible rather than move into a nursing home. For many families, this means eventually hiring a caregiver to look after an aging relative. There are two main ways to hire someone: directly or through a home health agency.
People create an estate plan including, at least, a will, and then move to another state. They want to know if their existing wills are still valid the new state. The answer is a qualified "yes, sort of."
While it is preferable to conduct long-term care planning well in advance of needing care, if you haven’t planned ahead, there are some strategies available to avoid spending all your assets. Three so-called "half a loaf" approaches allow a Medicaid applicant to give away some assets while still qualifying for Medicaid.
For a variety of reasons, people sometimes want some or all of their assets to pass directly to specific individuals upon their deaths, outside of probate. One way to accomplish this is to set up a “payable on death” (POD) account for money in a bank account or a “transfer on death” (TOD) account if funds are in a brokerage account.
While you aren't technically required to hire a lawyer to draft a will, failing to do so can lead to costly problems for your family and other heirs.
It’s an unfortunate reality that with the increasing number of natural disasters across the country, including fires, floods, and hurricanes, the chance that you could lose your house and possessions has become more likely. In the event of such a calamity, it is important that your estate planning and other important documents are beyond reach and easily retrievable.
All older Americans are vulnerable to financial abuse, but there are certain circumstances that make someone more likely to be scammed. An online survey can help older adults (or their caregivers) assess their risk of being exploited based on how they make financial decisions.
The Social Security trustees are projecting that due to the economic downturn caused by the "pandemic" the Social Security trust fund will be depleted in 2033 -- one year earlier than the previous estimates. Once the fund is depleted, Social Security benefits will be reduced unless Congress acts in the interim.
When most of a couple's income is in the name of the spouse who is receiving Medicaid, the spouse remaining in the community may wonder what he or she will live on. Medicaid has created some protections for the community spouse.
Studies have found that workers overestimate how much they will receive in Social Security benefits when they retire. Having a good understanding of the realities can help you plan for retirement.
While everyone should have a durable power of attorney that appoints someone to act for them if they become incapacitated, in some circumstances it is not enough. In these cases, a revocable trust can help.
The amount you can gift to any one person without filing a gift tax form is increasing to $16,000 in 2022, the first increase since 2018. The federal estate tax exclusion is also climbing to more than $12 million per individual.
The Biden administration is moving forward with a pilot program that would hand over the care of millions of Medicare beneficiaries to private, mostly for-profit, groups.
Disagreements with a nursing home can arise regarding any number of topics, including the quality of food, troublesome roommates, lack of privacy, or services not meeting what was promised. Many disputes can be resolved by speaking with a nursing home staff member, supervisor, or moving up the chain of command. But if you can't resolve things within the nursing home, your next step should be to contact the local ombudsman assigned to the nursing home.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the amounts taxpayers of different ages can deduct from their 2022 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance, and the figures are almost the same as in 2021.