A college education — even at a highly rated private institution — was once regarded as a relatively affordable route to lifelong prosperity, but in recent years it has become a hobbling financial burden for many families. As a result, older generations are often stepping up to help their families with college funding. Continue reading
What will happen to my money and possessions if I die without a will?
If you die without a will, what happens to your assets will be determined by the state in which you reside. Every state has intestacy laws in place that parcel out property and assets to a deceased person’s closest relatives when there’s no will or trust. Keep in mind these laws vary from state to state. A good resource to help you find out how your state works is About.com’s Wills and Estate Planning site, which provides a state-by-state breakdown of how your estate would be distributed if you die without a will. See StateIntestacyLaws.com for a direct link to this page. In the meantime, here is a general (not state specific) breakdown of what can happen to a person’s assets, depending on whom they leave behind. Continue reading
Special needs trusts come in three main flavors — first-party special needs trusts, third-party special needs trusts, and pooled trusts. All three trust varieties are designed to manage resources for a person with special needs so that the beneficiary can still qualify for public benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Continue reading
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
posted Thursday, January 15, 2015
- Being old and poor in the U.S. isn’t easy — or uncommon.
In 2010, about 26 percent of people 65 and older had individual incomes that were between the federal poverty level — $10,458 — and 200 percent of the poverty level — $20,916. Another 9 percent had incomes below the federal poverty level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
That adds up to more than a third of people 65 and older living on less money than it takes to enjoy a secure retirement. Continue reading
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