Being a Trustee is an important responsibility. If one does not handle the duties of a Trustee appropriately, he can be liable to the beneficiaries of the Trust for the improper actions taken. This article gives general guidelines to Trustees but is not legal or tax advice. Every situation is different, and you should consult … Continue reading “5 THINGS TRUSTEES CAN DO TO AVOID BEING SUED”
As someone who has been practicing elder law for decades, I find it amazing that so many people are willing to give their friends and acquaintances advice about Medicaid planning and that so much of the advice they give is absolutely wrong. And then there is the Internet… When mom or dad are starting to … Continue reading “Medicaid Myths”
How to Avoid Disinheriting Your Children
Most people who are married for the second time do not wish to disinherit their children from a previous marriage. However, that can happen very easily. Here are some examples: Tom and Sue are married for the second time and both have children from their previous marriages. They have done nothing to plan their estate … Continue reading “How to Avoid Disinheriting Your Children”
Beneficiary Designations on Bank and Brokerage Accounts: an Easy Way to Avoid Probate or a Possible Nightmare for Your Family
John went to his bank and set up payable upon death (POD) accounts for his three children. This seemed to John like a simple thing to do to avoid probate and pass his assets directly to his beneficiaries. Unfortunately, one of his children predeceased him. His predeceased child had children of his own. However, because … Continue reading “Beneficiary Designations on Bank and Brokerage Accounts: an Easy Way to Avoid Probate or a Possible Nightmare for Your Family”
IS YOUR REVOCABLE TRUST WORTH THE PAPER IT IS WRITTEN ON?
Joe has created a revocable trust and he thinks that he has completed everything he needs to do to obtain the benefits of having such a trust. However, if he has not funded his trust (that is, retitled his assets into the trust), his trust document is just a piece of paper. Having it drawn … Continue reading “IS YOUR REVOCABLE TRUST WORTH THE PAPER IT IS WRITTEN ON?”
Putting Assets into Children’s Names
Transferring assets into children’s names (a.k.a. gifting) is very effective for Medicaid planning. Once the assets are transferred to another, they are no longer available to the individual and after any applicable penalty periods (five years for nursing home) the individual will qualify for Medicaid. However, is this a good idea? Whenever one considers transferring … Continue reading “Putting Assets into Children’s Names”
My Mom Needs Help and Will Not Admit It: Can I Use a Guardianship to Make Her Accept Help?
In my role as an elder law attorney, this is a question that I get all the time. In the child’s opinion, mom and/or dad is not safe, is living in an inappropriate environment or is being financially abused. The parent refuses to do anything to change the situation. Can a guardianship be used to … Continue reading “My Mom Needs Help and Will Not Admit It: Can I Use a Guardianship to Make Her Accept Help?”
Changes to The Medicaid Home Care Program
If one meets certain financial and medical requirements, one can apply for Medicaid to provide home care services. Such services must be provided by a managed long-term care plan (MLTC) if the individual is: dual eligible (eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare); over 21 years of age; and needs community based long–term care services for … Continue reading “Changes to The Medicaid Home Care Program”
You Are A Trustee… Now What?
Being a trustee is a big responsibility. A trustee who does not fulfill his responsibilities could end up being sued or, in extreme cases, criminally liable for his actions. There are four aspects to a trust. The first is the person who creates the trust. This is usually the person whose property and/or assets are … Continue reading “You Are A Trustee… Now What?”
What to Expect During the Initial Consultation with an Estate Planning/Elder Law Attorney
Attorneys, like other professionals, rely on complete and accurate facts in order to make appropriate recommendations to their clients. No one would expect a doctor to make a diagnosis without running the appropriate tests and a lawyer cannot give proper legal advice without the proper fact-finding. This article will discuss things that your estate planning/elder … Continue reading “What to Expect During the Initial Consultation with an Estate Planning/Elder Law Attorney”