Tag Archives: family

Planning for the Non-Traditional Family

By Robert M. Slutsky, Esq.

Robert Slutsky Associates

Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, An ElderCare Matters Partner,

The percentage of married households in the United States fell from 55 percent in 1990 to 48 percent in 2010. About 40 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Three quarters of people who divorce remarry — accounting for a pretty large proportion of the 48 percent of American households that are married. Nearly 1.5 million babies a year are born to unmarried women, more than a third of all births. This can complicate matters, especially when the father is not identified or, in the case of donated sperm, does not exist. It also can mean a greater need for planning when there is no identified back-up parent if something happens to the mother. If you are in a relationship, but not married, have been married more than once, have children by more than one partner, or have beneficiaries who cannot manage funds for one reason or another, then it’s more important that you do estate planning. And you need more than LegalZoom to accomplish your goals. Continue reading

Trusts for Creative Spenders

Trusts can be quite useful for protecting children. However, for some children, the trust serves an additional function: It protects the principal from being rapidly spent by a child. These trusts have a specific name—they are called “spendthrift” trusts. Marla was visiting with her attorney Elizabeth shortly after her husband Harry passed away. She shared her concern for her youngest child, Joe.  Marla: “Harry and I were very fortunate to have four great children. I love each one of them very much. However, when it comes time to making decisions about inheritance, I have a big problem. Our older children Sam and Linda are quite good with financial matters. The third child Lynn is average, but our youngest son Joe is very carefree. If Joe has money, it is gone in a flash. What can I do?” Elizabeth: “This is a fairly common situation. Many parents would like to treat their children equally, but some children are very good managers and one or two are not. In your case, we hope that Joe eventually learns to become more responsible. But for the present plan, it makes good sense to provide Joe with spendthrift trust provisions.” Continue reading

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Elder Abuse?

-Don L. Rosenberg, Attorney and Counselor The Center for Elder Law Troy, Michigan, An ElderCare Matters Partner, posted this article on the ElderCare Matters website

Unfortunately, there are many different kinds of elder neglect and abuse. When you have a loved one who needs care, the last thing you want to worry about is whether this family member is being hurt or neglected in a nursing home, assisted living, or other care facility. Sadly, this issue has become of increasing importance across Michigan and throughout the county. Personal injuries, malpractice, and inadequate care and supervision are increasing in magnitude as the elderly population increases.

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Wills – Good and Bad

Published November 2, 2012
United Methodist Foundation for the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences

Where is the Missing Will?

More than 40 wills were submitted to the probate court, with a multitude of potential heirs each claiming to be the true recipient of a wealthy business owner who passed away in 1976. With a $2.5 billion estate at stake, there was an intense interest in the decision of the court.

After extensive review of the 40 documents, the court finally determined that none of the 40 wills were valid. Because there was no valid will, the court divided the $2.5 billion estate among 22 relatives. Court costs, attorney costs, and estate taxes were enormous, but the 22 heirs still each received millions of dollars.

 Why is a Will Important?

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Separate & Joint Property

Published September 14, 2012
United Methodist Foundation for the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences

“My brother Pete and I own a ranch together,” said Joe to his advisor. “Our mother deeded the four sections of her ranch to us with right of survivorship. As a single person, I think that I will plan to leave 50% of my share to Pete and the other half to my favorite charity. Of course, if Pete dies, he is married and probably wants to leave his share to his spouse and children.”

Do Pete and Joe need to review their estate plans? Yes! These two rancher brothers held title as joint tenants with right of survivorship. If the single brother (Joe) were to pass away, Pete would inherit his brother’s half of the ranch. Even though Joe stated that half of his share should go to his favorite charity, nothing will be given to charity.

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