The parent-child relationship is pretty well defined. Children generally don’t advise their parents. It’s the other way around. However, this dynamic can shift as parents get older and children become adults. This becomes especially prevalent when considering estate planning and elder law issues. Continue reading
When an individual applies for Medicaid assistance in a nursing home, one of the first questions that is asked of them has to do with whether a transfer has been made of any asset for less than fair market values within five years (60 months) of the date of the application. If such a transfer has been made, a “penalty period” will result depending on the value of the gift. The larger the gift, the longer the penalty period. 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
A family letter is a key part of a good estate plan. It is much more personal than many of your estate documents. A family letter allows you to share your heart and show appreciation and gratitude to family members. The family letter may have up to ten different sections. Each section will cover an important but separate topic. 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. While first-party special needs trusts and pooled trusts hold funds that belong to the person with special needs, third-party special needs trusts, as the name implies, are funded with assets that never belonged to the trust beneficiary, and they provide several advantages over the other two types of trusts. Continue reading