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Posts Tagged ‘Elder Law’

ANSWER:  One simple action that EVERYONE should take regarding Estate Planning is to Check Their Beneficiary Designations. Many people fail to change the beneficiaries named in their IRA or retirement plans. If you have been divorced and especially if you’ve remarried, don’t give your ex your hard-earned retirement savings. Make sure the beneficiaries on your […]

ANSWER: No! There are times when titling a particular item of property in joint tenancy makes sense.  However, putting all your assets in joint tenancy, especially without proper planning, can be disastrous. Your joint tenant isn’t just a signer, he or she owns an undivided one-half (½) of your assets. Nothing prevents a joint tenant […]

ANSWER:  In and of themselves, trusts do not avoid taxes, but they help to carry out good tax planning. As far as income taxes go, revocable living trusts are “tax neutral.” During your lifetime, your trust will not need to file its own income tax returns. The taxpayer identification number for your trust is your […]

My father is entering a nursing home and I signed the legal documents for him.  Does signing for him make me financially responsible for the nursing home costs? If possible, the resident should sign the agreement him- or herself. If the resident is incapacitated, someone else may sign the agreement.  Whether this person is financially […]

A staggering number of people will need to be assigned guardians in the next 10 to 20 years.  The sad fact is many people assigned to guardians have no other choice.  At least some of them could have avoided that eventuality by setting up a power of attorney (POA) while they were still deemed capacitated. […]

A power of attorney may seem like a simple document, but there are several important decisions that need to be made when creating one. The decisions include whom to appoint and what powers to grant, care and consideration should be put into each choice. A power of attorney is one of the most important estate […]

Step 1. Ask yourself this question: “What are your most important values and priorities in connection with decisions about serious life-limiting health conditions?” Priorities, values, and goals of care change at different life stages. A healthy 18 year old may not have strong preferences, but every decade of life brings experiences such as the deaths […]

You have worked hard to accumulate assets throughout your life, but without a valid will or trust at your death, those assets will be distributed according to state law. Wouldn’t you rather determine that yourself? Including a bequest in your will or trust to individual beneficiaries may be the best way to make a meaningful […]

The image of the traditional American family—a mom, a dad and two children—has undergone an evolution in recent decades. Many modern families now include a mom, a dad, stepparents, stepbrothers and stepsisters, and half-brothers and half-sisters. The family structures and legal relationships within blended families introduce a layer of complexity that makes planning for  your […]

Who will speak for you when you cannot speak for yourself?  A Health Care Directive is a document which allows you to provide healthcare instructions to health care providers, family members, and your healthcare agent(s).  The document allows you to appoint a healthcare agent to make health care decisions for you if you lack decision-making […]