What to Do if a Family Member Dies Without a Will

Estate planning is an important process that includes setting up trusts, wills, and POAs. No matter your age or asset level, having a will is beneficial. According to a recent survey, nearly 33 percent of Americans have no estate plan at all, and that includes a basic will. With over 1/3rd of the country unprepared, it is likely that you have a parent or family member who will die without

Signs of Elder Financial Fraud and Elder Abuse

Elder financial fraud and elder abuse and two important topics that are important to discuss and be aware of as we age.  We like to think that these issues won’t hit us or our loved ones, but elder abuse is much more common than many people realize. According to the World Health Organization, around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older have experienced some form of abuse in the

Estate Planning and Couples with an Age Gap

For couples who get together and are of similar ages, planning for the future is usually a joint effort. Couples who have a significant age gap may have different plans for the future, however. If you are married to someone who is significantly older or younger than you, the future may look different and require different types of planning. To protect yourself, your spouse, and other loved ones in your

Revocable Trusts versus Irrevocable Trusts: What’s Right For You

There are many different types of trusts for estate planning purposes. The most common trust types are revocable and irrevocable trusts, and many people wonder if they need one or both to be protected. While there are some similar features, these two major categories of trusts carry different purposes in your estate plan. Both can substitute for a last will and testament as an alternative way to distribute property, though

Reduce Your Risk of Probate Litigation

There are many family circumstances that can increase the risk of probate litigation when someone passes. They all come down to basically the same fight: families disagreeing on how to handle the estate of a loved one who dies. High-risk factors that often bring about probate litigation can include sibling rivalry, a large estate, second marriages with no prenuptial agreement, a dysfunctional family, and a non-standard (or non-existent) estate plan.

Safely Store Important Financial and Legacy Information

It is crucial to get important estate and financial planning documents done, but it is just as important to store those documents in a safe place that your survivors can easily access. Estate planning documents like your will, living wills, powers of attorney, trusts, medical directives, and financial information are needed during the biggest emergencies, and they also need to be kept safe in the meantime. Additionally, you need to

When to Talk About Your Parent’s Financial Future

Finances is one of those topics that many families avoid talking about. The stigma around talking about money can leave many wondering what to do as our parents get older. But financial experts agree that waiting to talk about finances with your aging parent is a mistake, especially if they are already experiencing cognitive decline or signs of dementia. It takes time to gather all the information you need to

Estate and Long-Term Care Planning for Veterans

People often come into our office wondering if military veterans are permitted to use their Department of Veterans Affairs benefits to help cover the cost of long-term care? The answer is, unfortunately, complicated. For example, a much-underused pension benefit known as Aid and Attendance can provide some money to cover costs for daily living assistance. Aid and Attendance benefits may even be available to veterans with incomes above the eligibility

Estate Planning and the Special Needs Trust

Trusts are a common aspect of estate planning, and Special Needs Trusts are just one of the different types of trusts available. When you have a child with special needs, it is crucial to plan their future with the utmost care while they are still young. Children with a wide variety of special needs (disabilities) can live productive lives with today’s medicine and health care advancements, it is just a

Medicaid, Long Term Healthcare, and Your Home

It’s no secret the baby boomers are getting older, which means there has been a dramatic increase in the need for affordable long-term support services in America. Costs for long-term senior care are getting increasingly expensive, and many families are wondering what to do and how to pay for a long-term care insurance policy or monthly bills from a nursing home. According to the US Department of Health & Human

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