When you plan your estate you have the best interests of your loved ones in mind, and giving each of your heirs a lump sum of money and/or property that can be easily liquidated is one course of action. However, it is not uncommon for someone to take pause before doing so when it comes to younger people and those who have a history of being poor money managers. It is often wise to be creative and teach important life lessons while you are in the process of giving, and educational gifts can be a … [Read more...] about Gift Giving For Education
When you decide that it is time to sit down with an estate planning attorney and make some decisions about the future there is a lot to consider. You must evaluate where you are financially, assess the needs of your family, consider the tax ramifications of your actions, and address the matter of medical preferences. This is all part of wise and prudent long term planning, and when all of your intentions coalesce into a solid plan you feel a particular sense of closure and the peace of mind that … [Read more...] about Estate Plan Reviews
It is important to take steps to preserve your assets as you pass them along because there is a powerful force that will be standing at the ready waiting to pounce when it is time for the distribution to take place. We had a brief respite from it in 2010 because it was temporarily repealed, but the force will be back in 2011 and it is called the federal estate tax. The maximum estate tax rate is going to be 55% unless there is some change enacted, and paying such a draconian levy is clearly … [Read more...] about The Benefits Of A Generation-Skipping Trust
When you are only going to be doing something once you are not going to be able to call on the benefit of experience to help you along, so you generally have to engage the services of a specialist. Estate planning falls into this category, and though everyone is aware of the fact that assets are traditionally transferred after death through a will, there are other legal instruments that are worth considering as well. One of these is the revocable living trust, and more and more people are … [Read more...] about Estate Planning & Revocable Living Trusts
Estate planning is just a portion of the practice of elder law, and as we live longer it is important to make comprehensive plans to address any eventuality. The realities of after-death planning are evident, involving the recording of wishes that will hold sway after you are no longer around to make individual, ongoing decisions. However, there may come a time when you are still alive but unable to make medical decisions and conduct your financial affairs, and preparing for this possibility is … [Read more...] about Incapacity Planning
The term "probate" is something that you will be barraged with when you begin to look into the topic of estate planning, and by definition probate is the legal process that an estate generally passes through before it is formally closed. So probate lawyers are elder law experts who have an advanced understanding of probate and surrogate court procedures. They represent the interests of their clients as their respective estates go through probate. But this is only a small portion of the overall … [Read more...] about What Can A Probate Lawyer Do For You?
It has been reported that between 2 and 10% of elderly Americans suffer some kind of abuse each year: Financial, emotional, or physical (according to the National Center on Elder Abuse). As the U.S. population continues to age, in part to the large percentage of baby boomers, more focus is being placed on ensuring their rights are protected. While many lifestyle factors are being considered, one primary area of concern is health care. As the aging population continues to grow, so does the number … [Read more...] about Understanding and Recognizing Elder Abuse
If you’ve been named guardian to someone who is mentally incapacitated, there are several things you are now responsible for. Here’s just a few of the tasks that a guardian is expected to oversee: Paying Bills and Tax Returns The guardian is responsible for taking of all personal bills and filing any tax returns that are due. This includes medical bills, credit card bills and of course, basics such as mortgage payments and utilities. "Taxes" includes both federal income tax returns as well as … [Read more...] about Elder Law: What Are the Duties of a Guardian?