The bulk of inheritances left to loved ones are usually not held in bank accounts, cars, and other tangible assets. Rather, they are tied up in retirement accounts (such as an IRA, SEP, 401(k) or 403(b)), life insurance policies, annuities, or employee benefit plans or stock options. A will does not govern the disposal of these assets. So, how can you guarantee that your inheritance passes in accordance with your wishes? Review all of your beneficiary designations upon any life changing event, or at least every three years.
Protecting the family home is one of the biggest issues that people worry about when discussing Medicaid eligibility. Let’s look at some of the basics:
Medicaid is a healthcare program designed to help individuals with limited income and assets afford needed medical care. Importantly, Medicaid covers long-term healthcare services such as nursing home costs and costs for at-home personal healthcare. Because Medicaid is intended to benefit those with limited income and assets, there are strict eligibility requirements based on income and assets. Although Medicaid is a federal creation, it is jointly operated by the federal and state governments. As a result, the specific income and asset eligibility requirements for each state are different and you should consult with a Medicaid planning attorney in your area for specific eligibility advice.
No one wants to face the fact that our loved ones will not be with us forever. Facing our own mortality is frightening as well. Although none of us wants to contemplate a time when we or a loved one might become disabled or die, it is important to be prepared. There are many steps families can take in advance of death or disability to avoid future conflicts or uncertainties:
It will most likely be difficult or impossible to complete the tasks, if all the facts are not available.
When you go to visit an elder law estate planning attorney, it is important to tell the truth about all aspects of your family members and other potential heirs. If not, it is possible the estate plan may need to be revised or recreated, your assets may not go where you would like and conflicts can arise in the family, according to the Times Herald-Record in “What you need to tell the elder law estate planning attorney.”