Is a Life Estate Right for You?

Creating a life estate as part of your estate planning portfolio might be a good idea so long as you understand the benefits and potential risks involved. If you have been properly advised by an estate planning lawyer, a life estate can be an excellent financial plan for your heirs while allowing you to remain in your house over your lifetime. Read more

Using Do-It-Yourself Legal Documents won’t give good “Bang for Your Buck”!

Legal documents that ostensibly seem easy to prepare and execute are often subject to specific and subtle nuances that only an experienced practitioner will be familiar with.

A good portion of the initial consultation with an experienced estate planning lawyer will be spent collecting pertinent information, and coming up with a strategy that incorporates both estate and/or elder law planning that meets the client’s specific needs.  The attorney should be asking to review the client’s prior estate/elder law documents during the consultation if, in fact, any planning had been done previously. Sometimes it comes to light that the documents that were prepared by individuals without the expertise of an attorney are usually lacking the protection that is required by law, and can unfortunately lead to dire consequences.

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Moving in With Your Adult Children

If there are circumstances under which you have asked, or your adult children have inquired, if you would like to move in with them, you may want to consider the psychology, financial reality, and likely scenarios before taking this step. For example, are your minor grandchildren still living with your children, how large is the home, and do you get along with your child and in-law? There are a host of other factors to consider also when pondering whether such an arrangement is realistic or workable.

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Why Single People Need Estate Planning

If you think that just because you are single that you do not need a will or an estate plan in place, think again. The assets and ownership interests you have in a home and other real property, stocks, retirement account, business or other property can be reduced by federal and state taxes and by having to go through probate if you pass away without a will or other testamentary measures in place. Your property will also be distributed according to the state’s law on intestate succession if you die without a will, which can be contrary to your wishes.

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Medicaid and Personal Injury Benefits

Personal injury settlements are often beset by reimbursement claims or liens from other parties that may have contributed to the payment of medical costs such as third party insurers or Medicaid. Medicaid is a federal and state run program for low income individuals who receive medical care at no or low cost. Read more