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What Happens If the Executor Doesn’t Follow the Requirements of the Will?

September 21, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Appointing an executor is an important step to take if you want to protect your interests after you pass away. Choosing the right person to serve in this role is important because you need to place your faith in this individual. For your family members struggling to cope with your loss, the selection of an executor who doesn’t follow the will’s requirements can present problems beyond what they know how to handle, but there are options.

Probate proceedings are judicial, so there is a judge who will oversee the process. A court may appoint a personal representative in your estate if you do not have one, and the court will maintain jurisdiction over the matter in this situation. There are two major types of estate administrations; supervised and unsupervised. The court will be involved in every stage of a supervised administration. Prior to the action taken by the personal representative, that person would need an order from the court. 

Unsupervised visitation, however, requires far less involvement from the court when compared with supervised administration. Once the estate has been completely administered, the personal representative issues a final account in with court.

Parties have a maximum period during which they can object and it is strongly recommended that you have a probate lawyer to assist you with this process because you will need someone who is familiar with the law and who can help you navigate the complexities of estate planning and administration. Consulting with a lawyer immediately is very valuable for anyone who finds themselves in this situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                           

Consider What Happens to Your Digital Estate After You Pass Away

September 20, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Comprehensive estate planning is something that any person can benefit from, regardless of the size of their estate. It is a mistake to assume that you do not have to participate in estate planning because you have a few basic documents such as a will in place. Your will could be outdated or even legally invalid depending on whether or not you have moved to new states or incorporated new things into your life since you last put it together. Consulting with an experienced attorney is the best way to get a holistic approach to your estate planning. plan for your digital estate

One commonly overlooked but increasingly important component of estate planning has to do with your digital estate. What happens when you pass away to your email accounts, bank accounts, and even your social media. Will these disappear? Are they deactivated? Or will they exist in the Cloud forever?

The answers to these questions lie in the domain of digital estate planning and scheduling a consultation directly with an experienced digital estate planning lawyer can help you to accomplish a broad perspective on what you need to include. With so much vital information stored online, you simply cannot afford to neglect your digital estate planning opportunities. The nature of estate planning itself has changed and while you still may benefit from some of the more traditional documents, you can also benefit from considering what plans you’ll put in place to protect the assets you have online or to deactivate them. Appointing another individual to step in in this role is a common way of addressing concerns with your digital estate but you need a plan that is designed for flexibility and fast action. Consulting with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about digital estate planning can help you to craft a plan that is in line with your unique needs.

The nature of estate planning itself has changed and while you still may benefit from some of the more traditional documents, you can also benefit from considering what plans you’ll put in place to protect the assets you have online or to deactivate them. Appointing another individual to step in in this role is a common way of addressing concerns with your digital estate but you need a plan that is designed for flexibility and fast action. Consulting with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about digital estate planning can help you to craft a plan that is in line with your unique needs.

                                                                                                                                     

 

Estate Planning Outside of Taxes is Critical Too

September 19, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

One of the primary purposes that many people engage in the estate planning process is to ensure that taxes are minimized and that their financial matters are handled as they wish. However, you need to consider planning for purposes other than taxes. For example, you will need to think about designating the best executor or trustee because this is a crucial piece of ensuring that the administration of your estate goes smoothly. It might also be important to update materials over time for any special needs provisions if any of the beneficiaries is receiving government assistance. 

If there is a change in your family situation, this could also trigger updates in your estate plan. Failing to incorporate this could lead to confusion or even conflicts after you pass away. If the size of your estate has changed, it’s also a good idea to schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer to discuss your overall financial distribution plans. The current gift tax exclusion may allow you to provide gifts to someone while you are still alive and can help to reduce the size of your estate and give advantages to your beneficiaries in the short term.

Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you accomplish not just your tax planning goals but also the other unique considerations you will want to have including passing things on to philanthropy, how to do your beneficiary designations on things like retirement forms and other materials are relevant for estate planning purposes.

Have You Recently Inherited Money? Estate or Other Taxes May Await You

September 18, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

If you leave assets behind to your loved ones, you should always do so with a clear expectation of what that money or property is attached to. Ignoring the potential tax consequences could leave your loved ones in a difficult bind, whereas planning in advance gives them more opportunities and helps to stretch that money even further.

Many people do not meet the threshold to trigger the federal estate tax, although it is still important to schedule a planning consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney. There are certain states across the country that do tax individuals who receive inheritances. Variation also exists between these states about the size of the estate and the asset types. inheritance tax

Inheritance does not classify this income unless it relates to the federal tax structure and there is no requirement to report the same. But there are several different inheritances that could lead to income. The latter type would be taxable. Capital gains tax, for example, could be imposed on a profit made. Taxes can be minimized on inheritance assets. Since estate taxes can be complicated, it is strongly recommended that you bring your questions and your individual planning concerns directly to an estate planning lawyer who can assist you with further information.

 

Plan Ahead for Potential Catastrophes with Your Estate

September 14, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

No one is able to get out of this world alive but you can make it easier on the loved ones that you leave behind. If you have minor children or accumulated assets, you still need to do some estate planning. The more complicated your life and businesses, the more complicated your planning must be.

 

Sadly, however, many people choose never to conduct their estate planning. A study completed by Caring.com found that just over 40% of adults in the United States have completed basic estate planning documents like a living trust or a will. For those with children younger than age 18, that figure is even lower, with only 36% having put an end of life plan in place.

Many parents work as hard as possible to ensure that their children are safe in all aspects of life but failing to have appropriate estate planning documents like a living trust or a will could compromise their ability to accomplish their goals or put them in a very difficult situation should something happen to you. Without a will in place, you are leaving behind a difficult and potentially expensive situation to be handled by whoever the court appoints.

Many parents will put off estate planning because they are not sure about who to name as the guardian of their children and you assume that it is extremely difficult to talk about your own mortality. Blended families, however, and the complexities of modern life makes it even more important to put together an estate plan that considers your unique needs. Grandparents, for example, may not be a good choice as the guardians of your children simply because of their age but no matter who you choose to serve as guardian of your children, you need to have a conversation about what that entails and whether they are comfortable taking on that role.

How Millennials and Young Adults Can Also Benefit from Estate Planning

August 30, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Say the words estate planning and the typical connotation is someone approaching retirement or thinking about approaching the end of their life. However, estate planning benefits far more age categories than just baby boomers and elderly individuals. Estate planning can benefit millennials and young adults too. In fact, some of the most important estate planning documents are those that are used while you are still alive and not only after you pass away. millennials need estate planning

Having a power of attorney document that enables somebody else to step in and take care of your finances or other responsibilities if you were to become incapacitated due to an accident or disability is equally important as looking into the long range to establish how you’ll pass on assets to your loved ones. Millennials often neglect the process of doing estate planning because they assume they don’t have big enough estate or that something will not happen to them. However, given that a growing number of people need to be concerned about long term care costs and the potential for incapacitation at least once over the course of their lifetime, it makes sense to plan ahead and to think about who will step in to take care of things on your behalf if you were suddenly unable to do so.

Using documents such as a will to name a guardian for your minor child also give you peace of mind that someone will be able to step in quickly if an accident does happen. No one anticipates becoming the victim of an incapacitating event or losing their life early on but millennials and young adults can show that they have a serious consideration of the future and how they intend to protect their loved ones by scheduling a consultation with an estate planning lawyer who has extensive experience in this field.

Do not hesitate to schedule a meeting with a lawyer you can trust. With so much on the line, there are many different things that must be considered and the tools articulated by a lawyer can go a long way in giving you the peace of mind and confidence about your future and the future for your heirs.

 

                                                                          

Is It a Good Idea to Leave a Home to Your Loved Ones While You Are Still Alive?

August 29, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

As more baby boomers are heading into retirement on a daily basis, common questions emerge regarding estate planning. One of the most common concerns for various baby boomers approaching retirement is how to deal with their homes. This is frequently the most valuable asset for people and is fraught with complicated questions that must be addressed. You might be thinking about selling and downsizing to leave a larger amount of cash for your heirs to divide. Perhaps instead you want to leave the deed to the apartment or the house to your adult children to decrease the chances of a conflict after you pass away. leaving a home to your loved ones

Since the value of homes is on the rise in many different locations, it is extremely important that you schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney to talk about how you could protect your most valuable assets. More adults who are reaching their elder years have a desire to age in place in their own home. They may opt to make the gift of their home to someone instead of cashing out and downsizing. There are so many options to consider as you get older that it’s well worth having a candid conversation with your spouse and using the goals you identify in your meeting with your estate planning lawyer.

Whether you intend to pass on assets directly or your home, setting up a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you identify the strategies and the tools most appropriate for protecting these assets, minimizing the tax consequences to heirs and putting you in a position to easily transfer these assets should something happen to you while also maintaining the necessary funds to support your health care costs.

 

 

Legal Documents You Can Use to Empower Someone Else to Make Decisions for You

August 21, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

There are many different legal documents that may become an important component of your estate plan. In the event that you become incapacitated, your investments must still be managed, your bills must still be made and other financial issues must be dealt with. A durable power of attorney is a document that helps to ensure that if you were to become incapacitated, there is someone to manage your finances. This person serves as your agent and he or she will be able to deposit, write checks and withdraw money from the accounts on your behalf as well to speak with your financial advisors. Ensure that you name a financial agent as someone who you can trust who will act in your best financial interests. A power of attorney is different from a durable power of attorney. legal documents for estate planning

A durable power of attorney can be problematic because many real estate title companies or financial institutions are hesitant about using them because they are not sure whether or not it is the most recent version of the power of attorney. Your general power of attorney ceases to become valid legally as soon as you become incapacitated. However, find out the criteria associated with real estate title companies and your financial institutions before putting together a power of attorney. The companies that manage your retirement accounts might have their own power of attorney forms or other requirements that you need to follow in order to comply. If they do have necessary documents, make sure you use theirs and share this information with your estate planning lawyer.

Some people identify the problems with the power of attorney documents and chose to set up a revocable living trust instead. This can act like a super power of attorney because financial institutions such as banks are legally required to comply with their terms. A revocable living trust tends to be most appropriate for estates that are worth more than $1 million. Transferring assets into the trust and designating yourself as the trustee is the typical course of action followed by people using revocable living trust for estate planning purposes. Contact a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to learn more about how this can benefit you.

                                                                                                                

Retirement Being Redefined By Lack of Confidence for Baby Boomers

August 16, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Baby boomers make up a significant portion of the population today, and as many of them are confronting retirement and realizing they do not have appropriate support behind them, this is redefining what it means to retire. There are approximately 76 million Baby Boomers coping with the impacts of the financial crisis as they prepare for or enter retirement. retirement and lack of confidence

The financial crisis decreased the value of their homes, and it cut into their net worth and savings. This means that the confidence carried out by baby boomers in achieving a satisfying retirement decreased significantly. Those are the results of a study commissioned by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. Less than 4 out of every 10 baby boomers are certain that they will be able to have a personally satisfying retirement. The study looks at how lack of confidence has changed the attitudes and behaviors regarding saving and investing, and how many of them are adapting to meet the new challenges.

Approximately 28% of Boomers are making more conservative investments, and 26% report that they no longer invest due to having weathered the most recent crisis. The Boomers who were surveyed also have decreased their expectations for complete financial independence in retirement. This study indicates that

-Only 19% expect to pay off their mortgage.

-34% expect to retire free of debt.

-16% believe they will have an inheritance to pass on to heirs.

-16% expect to have savings.

The percentage of Baby Boomers who expect to work part-time or full-time in retirement has increased from one-third to almost one-half since before the crisis. The new retirement often means working longer and reconsidering the amount of money they will need to support themselves in retirement.

If you have questions about how retirement planning and estate planning can work together, schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer. A lawyer can walk you through how these issues often intersect, and the appropriate strategies and tactics you can use to protect yourself now and well into the future. With a lot on the line for your retirement, as well as your ability to pass on assets to your loved ones, taking action sooner rather than later is strongly recommended.

Five Things You Can Accomplish with Estate Planning for Your Children

August 15, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

Your children are probably some of the most important people in your life. Parents spend a lot of time worrying about and thinking about their children’s future. estate planning for your children's sake

Spending time with your children over the summer holidays can reignite concerns about what will happen to them after you pass away. This is a natural inclination that may even prompt you to schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney. Although estate planning certainly has individual benefits for the person putting together the materials, it also has many advantages associated with your children or your grandchildren. There are five primary ways that properly structuring your estate plan and consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can assist you. These include:

  • Protecting benefits for a disabled child.
  • Protecting the inheritance that you leave behind for children.
  • Ensuring future vacations at the family vacation home.
  • Assisting adult children with health care decisions.
  • Providing for someone to step in and care for your minor children in the event that you pass away.

All of these crucial issues can be addressed typically in one or a series of meetings with the right estate planning lawyer. Many people put off the prospect of estate planning because they assume that they do not need it or that it is too time consuming or expensive. However, scheduling a consultation now will give you an overview of all of the different things that can be accomplished with the right lawyer.

DIY Dangers

August 14, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

You know you need to set up a will and perhaps a trust, too. A Google search reveals a broad range of websites that promise to help you do just that either for free or a minimal cost. Pointing and clicking, though, is a dangerous approach to take with your estate planning. NJ estate planning lawyer

Using an online site to put together estate planning documents like a power of attorney, a trust or will is appealing if you think that you might not be able to afford to shell out a few hundred dollars for an estate planning lawyer, or in situations in which you need the paperwork settled quickly. However, there can be major risks associated with doing this, particularly if you have an issue that requires legal oversight like caring for a special needs child to protect him or her being cut off from government benefits, or if your financial situation is complex.

If you have an uncomplicated estate, it’s still a good idea to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney because you can get further insight about how relevant laws and regulations affect you as well as further strategies that can help to protect you and carry out your wishes. With so many things that must be accomplished and even the most basic of estate planning documents, it can be a mistake to assume that a generic form is capable of capturing all of the information you will need to have your wishes carried out once you pass away.

Far too many people never even realize the negative impacts of failing to take action because their family members will be the ones sorting out conflicts and unresolved issues after the loved one passes away. Do your family a favor and schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney so that you can learn more about the benefits provided by estate planning.

The Dangers of Planning for Your Estate After a Crisis Hits

August 9, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Estate planning is always important, but most people are uncomfortable looking towards a future and considering the possibility of incapacity or death.

Waiting too long to consider asset protection, estate planning or business succession planning could expose you to major risks. Although there are still steps that can be taken to minimize the outcome of these problems after a crisis has struck, it is far better to do the diligence ahead of time to plan for a potential problem. Being caught in the midst of a legal conflict or a complicated issue can generate a great deal of stress and unnecessary confusion. a crisis and estate planning

Handling these issues well in advance by sitting down and talking them over with an experienced lawyer can help you identify where your estate is currently exposed to risk or jeopardy. Waiting too long to put together an estate plan or articulating how you intend for your business to be transferred to another person, for example, could make it difficult if you are suddenly incapacitated.

If you were unable to speak for yourself and these decisions had to be made, this could generate conflict within your family. It is far better to schedule time to consult with a lawyer about your own intentions so that your beneficiaries are empowered should something suddenly happen and so that you minimize the chances of confusion or conflict.

Should You Use a Fiduciary for A Trustee?

August 3, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

A fiduciary is someone with a moral as well as a legal obligation to put their client’s interests first. Not every adviser would consider themselves to be a fiduciary and this could leave that person open to conflicts of interest. A new fiduciary role, however, requires that all advisors who work with retirement plans or provide any type of retirement and planning advice consider themselves fiduciaries, but other financial advisors may or may not act as strictly as fiduciaries. The best way to know for sure is to ask to your advisor.

Make sure that when selecting a trustee, you choose someone with the right kind of knowledge. Your trustee will most likely have to make serious decisions about how to manage the assets within your trust and they will need to have the appropriate background to make educated decisions. Ideally, they will have both an investment and a tax background and other types of experience may be required based on the types of assets within your estate.

If you have a small business as part of your estate, for example, you will want a trustee with business management experience. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss the various benefits of moving forward with choosing a trustee is wise. Make sure that the individual that you select is well aware of his or her responsibilities, is capable of carrying them out and is comfortable doing so.

Does It Make Sense to Move College Savings Out of A UTMA Account and Into A 529 Plan?

August 1, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

Many people who have been saving for their children’s college education over the past couple of decades since the children were born will have set up a Uniform Transfer to Minor Act. Some financial aid documents may illustrate that it could be beneficial for the assets to instead be in a section 529 plan rather than in a custodial UTMA account. Student assets are assessed more heavily in the purposes of determining financial aid from the government perspective. 

Many of the assets owned by the parent are sheltered on the FAFSA. For example, life insurance policies, the net worth on the principle place of residence, small businesses owned and controlled by the family and life insurance policies, all do not have to be reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. An age-based asset protection allowance also allows the parents to shelter up to $50,000 in assets. Student assets, however, do not have an asset protection allowance and can be assessed at the flat rate of 20%. Each $10,000 that has been set aside in the student’s name will increase the expected family contribution by approximately $2000.

On the FAFSA, a student is responsible for reporting the custodial UTMA account. A 529 college savings plan, however, is reported as a parent’s asset on the FAFSA, even if the account has the student’s name on it and it is owned by the student. The favorable treatment of 529 college plans became effective relatively recently in 2009. You may be eligible to transfer money from a UTMA or other custodial account to a 529 savings plan.

You will need to set up a custodial 529 college savings plan account since the money will be transferred from a UTMA account to begin with. When the child reaches the age of trust termination, which is usually 18 or 21 depending on the state, he or she officially becomes the owner of the section 529 plan. Talking to an experienced estate planning lawyer is strongly recommended if you are interested in these plans.

The Benefits of a Revocable Living Trust

July 31, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Many estate planning tools provide numerous benefits for a broad range of individuals. Believing that estate planning is only for the wealthy or only for those approaching retirement and beyond can be a big mistake. One of the most flexible and powerful tools associated with estate planning is known as the revocable living trust. It should always be set up by an experienced attorney.  

The basic purpose of any trust is to allow one responsible individual or a firm to manage the assets of someone else. The settlor may also be referred to as the grantor, donor or trustor. This is the person with the assets. The trustee then becomes responsible for those assets and acts on behalf of those receiving the assets. If you don’t want someone knowing the full details behind your assets and your worth, a trust can help to keep this confidential. When a settlor passes away, you can structure it such that all of your assets will transfer over to the trust.

This is why all assets should be in the name of the trust while the settlor is still alive. However, you might use an additional tool called a pour over will, that means these will eventually end up in the trust. A revocable living trust provides a great deal of flexibility because it can be changed over the course of your life.

This is in direct contrast to an irrevocable living trust, which is established once and cannot be changed over the course of your life. Knowing the different tools available to you and how to use a revocable living trust goes a long way in explaining how your future beneficiary will be able to receive assets. Talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer today to learn more.

Is Estate Planning Only for Your Finances?

July 27, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Many people think that financial benefits are the only ones obtained by planning. Although the most obvious benefits of your estate plan are financial in nature, there are many other nonfinancial benefits as well. Identifying a guardian to serve for pets or for children or even protecting non-traditional assets like a stamp or gun collection can additionally be accomplished through the estate planning process. Talking things through with a lawyer can help you uncover all the advantages of a complete estate planning process. Estate Planning Tools

Another major reason that people schedule a consultation with an estate planning attorney to begin with is because of a concern over privacy. Establishing a trust gives a layer of privacy to someone who wants to accomplish estate planning without it becoming a matter of public record. An estate also has one other major non-financial benefit and that is peace of mind. All of the numerous what-if scenarios that through the mind of a person putting together an estate can be overwhelming, but sitting down and discussing these directly with a knowledgeable attorney can help to clarify your position and articulate your goals clearly in valid legal documents. While you can reap a lot of financial benefits through the estate planning process, there are many others that can be obtained, too.

Are you ready to ensure your existing documents meet your goals? It’s time to schedule a consultation.

The right attorney can make a big difference when contemplating the financial and non-financial benefits of estate planning. Do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with a New Jersey estate planning lawyer today.

Naming More Than One Beneficiary: A Smart Estate Planning Move

June 28, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

When contemplating your estate plan in full, it’s a good idea to ensure that you have more than one person listed on your accounts asked for beneficiary info. Usually these accounts will be your life insurance, your brokerage accounts, and retirement accounts. Outside of your will, these accounts have their own forms regarding beneficiaries and take precedence over what’s listed in your will. beneficiary

This means that when you outline who you want to receive these assets if you pass away, the company is responsible for upholding whatever was last accurately written on these forms. If you haven’t updated them since your divorce, a former spouse would be legally entitled to get those benefits. Furthermore, you should review these designations every single year just in case your life has changed and you need to update this information.

Having a primary and secondary beneficiary helps your family if you do pass away. This articulates what the company in charge of that asset will do with it. If your primary beneficiary has passed away themselves, this ensures that your secondary beneficiary will get access to that asset in full. You can often determine the percentage split for the primary and secondary regardless such that if the first person passes away the second will receive all of the assets.

No matter what you decide, it’s smart planning to review these details every year and to update your primary and secondary beneficiary as needed. You’ll allow for a smooth transition of assets without confusion or mistakes that entitle someone to receive these assets without your full blessing.

What’s the Difference Between Your Legacy Plan and Your Estate Plan?

June 27, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

When it comes to looking towards future, there are many different components you need to consider. If you have a will, a simple trust, and a life insurance policy in which you’ve named beneficiaries, you may assume that you’ve taken care of all of your crucial end of life planning. 7

However, you’ve only managed your estate plan at this point. Protecting and creating a legacy can take some more effort and a sit-down meeting with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney. An estate plan looks at the distribution of your assets as well as the opportunities to minimize taxes but a legacy plan creates a more far-reaching and comprehensive strategy for your assets, your family and the way that you intend to be remembered.

This means it’s about more than just naming who will receive the assets you pass on but also about preserving and sharing your community involvement, your personal history, your beliefs and your morals. There are several things you should consider in the process of generating a legacy plan including:

  • How much control, if any, do you want to have over the continuing distribution of your assets?
  • How do you want your heirlooms to be displayed or passed down?
  • What are some ways that you can contribute to causes you care about?

Consulting with an experienced estate planning lawyer is strongly recommended if you find yourself and are prepared for the process of legacy planning and your estate planning together.

Your legacy plan and your estate plan articulate who you are to your loved ones and even to charities you care about. Talk to an estate planning lawyer today to learn more about the best options for you.

Estate Planning Is About More Than Taxes

June 26, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most people assume that estate planning is only for the extremely wealthy but that is not the case. Do you have elderly parents? Assets like a bank account? A home? Grandchildren or children? If you have any of these, it’s important to have a comprehensive estate planning and it goes beyond more than just planning for taxes. estate planning NJ

An estate plan is crucial for protecting your family when you pass away. However, it can also help you articulate your wishes over the course of your life should you become incapacitated. Naming a power of attorney allows an agent to step in and make decisions on your behalf when you become unable to do so. One of the most important components of your estate plan is your last will and testament. A recent Gallup poll identified that only 44% of Americans had a will in 2016.

This crucial document tells everyone of your final wishes and yet over half of Americans certainly have not made one. This leaves much more up to chance and can lead to confusion and potential legal battles for your loved ones. In addition to having a last will and testament, you should also name beneficiaries on tax deferred accounts so that those pass directly to the individuals specified outside of your will. Retirement accounts and life insurance falls into this category. If you have further questions about the estate planning process and how to draft it in a manner that serves your individual needs, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer today.

Managed Care at Home Becoming a Common Form of Long Term Care

June 22, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

 

The long-term care landscape for Medicaid is changing quickly and this may cause us to consider as a society how to reconsider the way that we get personal assistance as we age or become disabled. Nearly half of all states in the country are currently provided long-term care benefits through Medicaid as managed care, and in fact a further 13 states are requiring that older adults receive care in this same way. Four out of five states in the country are expanding their home care benefits through Medicaid and others are even beginning to provide housing services through the federal program as well.  long-term care at home

Since 1965, when Medicaid was first enacted, nursing homes were considered to be the primary place where long-term care benefits were delivered. However, this has shifted gradually towards the home and community assistance for many reasons including the fact that federal waivers programs gave states the flexibility they needed to make it a reality. A Supreme Court decision at one point required it and consumers demanded it.

More recently, the federal government allowed states to provide this care at some assisted living facilities. The trend towards home based care mostly affects those individuals who are recipients of Medicaid. The accelerated shift to managed care will have bigger consequences for all adults. Being able to get the help necessary in your own home as you age raises important questions. It is critical to have the estate planning documents that you will need to transition to this phase successfully, including your will, any trusts and then any powers of attorney that allow another individual to step in and make decisions on your behalf.

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