Estate Planning or Elder Law: What do You Need?

As you get older and begin to plan for living life in retirement, you may hear the terms “estate planning” and “elder law” brought up regularly. There are some clear differences between estate planning and elder law, but they also have some important similarities. Even though these two types of law are technically utilized for two different stages in life, elder law and estate planning are often handled at the
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Can My Trust Own My Business After Death?

The answer to the title question depends on a few factors, but, in general, yes —your trust can own your business after you die. There are several factors to consider, including the type of business and the type of trust. Is your business a limited liability company (LLC), a partnership, a corporation, or a sole proprietorship? Another consideration is how your business is managed; is your business managed as an
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Multigenerational Wealth: An Estate Checklist

Generational wealth is commonly referred to as the assets and money passed down from one generation to another. These assets might include bonds, stocks, properties, jewelry, family businesses, and other investments. With our aging population, and what is known as “the silver tsunami,” the topic of generational wealth is becoming more and more important. However, studies estimate that 70 percent of family wealth is lost by the end of the
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The Power of the Pet Trust

For so many of us, pets are part of the family. Their wellbeing and happiness are important, and we want to make sure they are taken care of in case something bad should happen. Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, horse, or even more exotic pets such as a snake or lizard, the best way to ensure their needs are met after you are gone is to create a
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The King Legacy

Larry King, the legendary talk-show host, lived a long and successful life. He hosted “Larry King Live” for over 25 years, married seven women, and had five children. Despite many years of health problems, he died at the old age of 87 on January 23, 2021. While the exact cause of his death was still being determined, his $2 million estate had already landed itself in probate court. Larry King’s Estate
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What to Know About Contesting a Will

After the death of a loved one, how they prepared and what estate planning they did becomes apparent quickly. When a loved one dies with a will, the family may or may not be happy with what winds up being on the will. They will typically go through a court-ordered process, called probate, to determine the validity of the will.  For many reasons, beneficiaries can become upset by what they
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Estate Planning Terms to Know

National Estate Planning Awareness Week was first established in 2008 to help the public gain a better understanding of the importance of estate planning. Estate planning is one of those things that everybody needs to do, yet only approximately half of Americans have an up-to-date estate plan in place. Regardless of your age or financial situation, you need estate planning to protect you, your family, and your assets should you
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Estate Planning During a Pandemic

Whether you are young or old, COVID-19 has us all thinking about our mortality and health more these days. This pandemic took us all by surprise, did you have your affairs in order before? According to one study, approximately 1/3 of all Americans did not have an up-to-date estate plan as of 2017. We expect and hope that number will rise in 2020. Now that we are all thinking about
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Aging in Place Tools and Technology for Seniors and Caregivers

Technology is central to 21st century life in America. It’s also becoming surprisingly popular among senior populations as tech companies target this growing market demographic. By 2030, AARP projects that close to 132 million Americans aged 50 or more will spend more than $84 billion annually on technology products. Today, 91 percent of people aged 50 or more are computer competent, and 94 percent speak positively about technology, saying that it
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Should I Add My Kids to My Bank Account?

Many clients walk into the Michaelson & Associates law firm saying that they want to leave their bank accounts to their children after death. The easiest solution might be to just make the children joint owners, but that is not always the best course of action.  The idea of making your kids joint account owners sounds better than it actually is. Yes, you will avoid probate court proceedings for the
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Why You Need a Will

Wills and trusts are an essential part of estate planning, and they should be an essential part of planning your life. Many of us like to focus on planning our careers, where we live, and our family lives. Planning the end of your life by completing a will is one important part you don’t want to skip, no matter how uncomfortable it might be.   What’s a Will? Your last
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Alzheimer’s Disease and What to Know for Your Estate Plan

Did you know that there are over 400 different types of dementia? The number of different types is staggering but the most common cause of dementia is due to Alzheimer’s disease. At least, that’s what the Alzheimer’s Association‘s published 2020 Facts and Figures reports. Other relatively common types of dementia include vascular, Lewy Body disease, frontotemporal dementia, and early-onset dementia. No matter the type, dementia can be traumatizing for both
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When It’s Time To Designate a Power of Attorney

One of the biggest questions we may ask ourselves is who should we trust to manage our financial and healthcare decisions when we no longer have capacity to do so ourselves. This is a tough question for some because designating a power of attorney (POA) is a decision of trust, something not to be taken lightly. Otherwise known as an agent to your principal, a POA has the legal authority
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Michaelson & Associates Talks Estate Planning in Nevada on LV Channel 13 Morning Blend 

Did you catch Michaelson & Associates on Channel 13, Las Vegas Morning Blend? John Michaelson had the opportunity to speak more about estate planning and the importance of estate planning in Nevada. Some key takeaways from John’s interview include the following:  Estate planning is important for people of all ages.  Estate planning consists of saying what you want to happen and the type of care you want if something bad happens, which
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Estate Planning for Blended Families

It is not uncommon for couples to divorce and remarry. People will often bring children into a new marriage from a prior marriage or union, and may choose to have kids in their new marriage as well.  This can be referred to as a blended family. Blended family estate planning is extremely important. Careful estate planning ensures that the needs of each spouse are met, as well as the needs
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COVID 19 Panic Has Americans of All Ages Thinking About Estate Planning

The COVID-19 virus has taken over our lives and many people are thinking about how they and their families are protected. With more people getting sick and/or experiencing the loss of loved ones, there has been an explosion in the numbers of Americans rushing to make their will and living trust. According to Caring.com, the rate of will and estate planning has been on the decline since 2017 but this trend
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Gen Xers Retirement Reality and Factors to Consider

Gen Xers are beginning to enter their 40s and 50s, which means that it’s time to start actively planning for retirement. When thinking about retirement, it’s not as cut and dry as ensuring a steady monthly income. There are many things to consider, including finances, investments, insurance policies, legal documents, living arrangements, and healthcare. Make a checklist for each category and planning to meet with your attorney can help you establish
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Power of Attorney: Misconceptions and Myths Busted

Obtaining a durable power of attorney is one of the most important and powerful estate planning moves you can make. It allows someone who you appoint (referred to as your agent) to make decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. If you have no power of attorney, then your loved ones may not have the authority to make decisions on your behalf in case you become severely
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NEWS FLASH! 2018 VA Pension Rule Changes

As your attorney, I’m sending you this alert so you can be aware of some critical changes in the way the Veterans Administration is handling eligibility for VA pension for wartime veterans or their surviving spouses.  You or someone you know, may be in need of these benefits. Depending on circumstances, action may be needed by October 18, 2018 to ensure eligibility. On September 18, the Veterans Administration (VA) published
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When It’s Okay To Take Your Social Security Benefit Early

Are you thinking about taking your social security benefit earlier rather than later? Contrary to popular myth, receiving your social security benefits earlier will not reduce the overall amount of your benefit over time. Your monthly payment may be smaller than if you had waited, but the amount paid to you overtime will be the same. To see how the numbers work out for yourself, check out the Social Security
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The ABLE Act and Helping Individuals with Special Needs

ABLE Act and Special Needs Estate Planning The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law in December of 2014. The purpose of the Act is to provide individuals and families the ability to finance disability needs tax-free. The savings the ABLE Act can provide is similar to the 529 education savings plan. The ABLE Act allows families to save up to $100,000 in a special account
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Prenups: Not Just For Movie Stars

George and Ginny had a great marriage, with an extended family to whom they wanted to leave everything when they passed. Unfortunately, Ginny was then diagnosed with cancer. She began to worry: What could happen if she died before George did, and George remarried? Or vice versa? What if the second spouse started pushing to get what Ginny and George had intended would be their children’s inheritance? Neither Ginny nor
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What to Include in a Letter of Instruction

A letter of instruction can be a beneficial piece in estate planning. It is an informal document that will give your loved ones important information about personal and financial matters after your death. Letters of instruction are not legally binding and do not replace your need for a will or a living trust, however it can be a nice complement to those documents. The informal nature allows you to create
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States Brace for Baby Boomer Retirement Age Challenges

There are demographic and cultural shifts occurring in the United States. The baby boomer generation continues to “gray” the country and is changing the way individual states set budgets and health care policies. More attention will be paid to the needs of the post age 50 generation(s). Changing attitudes towards working past the age of 65 has taken root in this country and “retirement age” does not necessarily mean a
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Planning For The Financial Future Of A Troubled Adult Child

Your 3-Step Guide to Creating an Informed Estate Plan Are you concerned about any of your adult children? Estate planning can pose extra challenges for families with adult children struggling with addiction, marital issues, or irresponsibility with money. The last thing you want is for your wealth to end up having a negative impact on your child, or to see them squander their inheritance. Many parents are concerned about what
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Help for Seniors Who Fall Victim to Abuse

In October 2017, President Trump signed into law the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act. This bill was designed to combat the growing epidemic of the elderly being taken advantage of financially and abused physically. A study conducted by the National Council on Aging indicates that approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 or older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Although, this number is likely higher according to
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DON’T LEAVE THE LAST CHAPTER BLANK

Recently, my daughter begged me to read the same book she was reading. I resisted for a while because I thought I didn’t have time and I probably wouldn’t enjoy the book. Then she got her mother to take her to the library and check out the audio CD version of the book. She told me I would love it and she was so cute I couldn’t resist. In the
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