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AL Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Making Plans In the New Year? Consider a Trust in Your Estate Plan


An estate plan may not be the most exciting plan to be made in the New Year, but it can be one of the most important. Estate plans usually involve putting legal documents in place regarding how your assets will be handled and distributed in the event of your death. Did you know that a trust is a very common estate planning vehicle used to serve a variety of purposes? Trusts can be both versatile and customizable, therefore, it is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to help you create a trust that will work best for you.


Depending on your assets and your goals, you may decide to create a trust in your will to go into effect upon your death, which is a testamentary trust.  On the other hand, you may create a trust to hold some or all of your assets now, which is a living trust or inter vivos trust.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

5 Things to Consider When Talking to Your Loved Ones About Long-Term Care Planning Over the Holidays


Are the holidays synonymous with family time for you? For many, the answer is yes. This focus on family can mean it is an excellent time to consider talking to your elderly parents and aunts and uncles, who do not have their own adult children, about long-term care planning. As the topic of long-term care planning can encompass a lot, here are five things to consider: 

 

  1.  What long-term care planning have they already done? This broad question will elicit information about whether your relatives have taken any steps to plan for long-term care. Perhaps they have a complete plan already in place. Perhaps they have done zero planning.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Finding the Right Estate Planning Attorney


Are you married with children? Are you a solo parent? Due to any number of reasons, estate planning is likely a topic that weighs heavily on your mind. Choosing an estate planning attorney in your area to guide you through the process can be a good way to ensure that the burden is somewhat lightened. Your estate plan needs to reflect what you want for your children. Whether you are widowed, were never in a relationship with your child’s other parent, or pursued parenthood on your own by choice, take special care to find an estate planning attorney experienced in working with solo parents for the smoothest path forward.

 In a situation where you are your child’s only legally recognized parent, the right estate planning attorney can help you make contingency plans in the event that you unexpectedly pass on.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

When a Family Caregiver isn’t Enough and a Nursing Home is Needed


The decision to move a loved one to a next level of care is a highly personal decision, often influenced by finances and community support. Have your needs or that of a loved one come to a point where a family caregiver is not enough and a nursing home is needed? Researching nursing homes well in advance of the decision to move to a higher level of care can help you feel confident in your decision. While there are many factors that impact this decision, these key points can help you make the best decision possible when the time for long-term care comes:  

  1. Location and size. Location may be one of the most important factors. If you are the one needing care, you will want to be as close to your family as possible.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Are You Planning for Tangible Property in Your Estate Plan?


Did you know that there are three types of property that can transfer through a will? These include: real property (also called real estate), intangible personal property (like cash, bank accounts, retirement accounts, insurance policies, etc), and tangible personal property. Tangible, meaning “perceptible by touch,” refers to all the stuff we own, for example, jewelry, vehicles, clothing, furniture, art, dishes, electronics, musical instruments, and more.


Many people have specific wishes regarding how their tangible personal property will be distributed among beneficiaries. In some states, an itemized list will be included as specific bequests in the will. In most states, the law allows an individual to itemize some or all of their tangible personal property in a separate written list or statement, specifying who receives which item.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

How To Prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment


Are you prepared for Medicare open enrollment? If you or a loved one are enrolled in Medicare, now is the time to review your healthcare plan and your medical needs to see if you need to make changes to your current Medicare coverage. 

Every year in September, Medicare plans send out an Annual Notice of Change letter or an Evidence of Coverage letter outlining your plan benefits and notifying you of any changes to coverage.  It can be important to review these notices closely because Medicare insurance policies make changes every year.  Those changes may include changes in premium pricing, co-pay amounts and requirements, or even changes in coverage. 

It is also important to spend some time thinking about your own healthcare needs for the year as you prepare for Medicare open enrollment.


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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Estate Planning Awareness Is Essential During the Global Pandemic


Planning for death or incapacity may not be something that is typically on the forefront of our minds and can often be pushed to the backburner as we tackle our daily lives.  Have you considered, however, the fact that the COVID-19 crisis and the risk it has imposed on many members of the community may have forced more Americans to face the reality that they should make sure they have a plan in place for the possibility that they suffer a tragedy such as a severe case of this new virus? 

Every year in October is Estate Planning Awareness Week, and estate planning practitioners try to raise awareness of the importance of creating a comprehensive estate plan and executing key documents meant to protect you, your family, and your assets in the event of your death or incapacity.  This year, in light of the pandemic, the week seems to hold extra significance.

Due to social-distancing and other restrictions imposed as a result of COVID-19, it may be even more difficult for families to gather and make financial and healthcare decisions during a crisis.  This may be one reason why now, more than ever, it can be essential to have a comprehensive estate plan in place.


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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Enhance Your Estate Plan with Life Insurance


Recent events are causing many of us to consider our mortality and how we can ensure our loved ones are taken care of, especially if the unexpected happens. Life insurance can be an affordable way to provide for our children, a spouse, a sibling, aging parents, and other loved ones. Life insurance can provide heirs numerous benefits: extra income to help pay ongoing household bills; funds to pay off a mortgage, credit cards and other debt; money to pay for college, or money to pay funeral costs and other final expenses. For business owners, life insurance also plays a vital role in business succession planning.

A simple way to determine the amount of life insurance needed for income replacement purposes is to multiply the annual income to be replaced by the number of years it will be needed.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Living Trusts Help Protect Seniors


It’s an unfortunate truth that seniors can be prime targets for financial abuse and scams. Sadly, the elderly are often taken advantage of by strangers — and sometimes even their own family members. That’s why it’s important that planning is in place to help seniors protect themselves and their assets.


Read more . . .


Thursday, July 2, 2020

What You Should Know About Estate Planning

Many people think of estate planning as an objective for the very wealthy, however, in the eyes of the law, an estate is simply the aggregate of property an individual owns, and most everyone owns something.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Why Wealthy Retirees are Cautious on Spending

When the US economy was in a cycle of more than ten years of economic growth, its citizens, even the “wealthy” ones, were worried about running out of cash and scared to spend.
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