Estate Planning

  • How to Prepare a Letter of Last Instruction for End-of-Life Wishes

    A letter of instruction is an informal estate planning document that clearly communicates instructions and desires that are to be handled after a person dies. It guides surviving family members through personal, financial and funeral information.

  • Estate Tax Q and A for Family Caregivers

    Taxes are an important element to consider when engaging in estate planning. Discover the answers to 5 key estate tax questions.

  • Understanding Probate and Estate Administration

    When someone you love passes away, the last thing you want to think about is locating legal documents and handling financial matters. Use these steps to make the probate process as simple as possible.

  • Understanding Which Assets Must Go Through Probate

    Probate is the court-supervised process of inventorying all a decedent’s assets and distributing them to creditors and inheritors. However, not all property is subject to disposition by a will or the probate process.

  • How to Find out If a Loved One Had a Will

    Learn how to find out if a valid will exists and get tips on where to look for one so you can begin the probate process.

  • Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Living Trust

    A living trust is a popular financial tool that can be used for Medicaid planning, estate planning and tax planning purposes. However, a trust may not be the best the best approach, depending on a person’s long-term goals and unique financial situation.

  • How to Find a Good Elder Law Attorney

    Seniors and their caregivers often face legal issues that require professional counsel. Use these tips for hiring an elder law attorney who can help with government benefits, power of attorney or guardianship, estate planning, and more.

  • Can You Change or Cancel a Will?

    People, families and finances change over time, and these changes should be reflected in one’s estate planning documents. Consult an elder law attorney about your options for updating or cancelling a will to ensure your wishes are followed.

  • 4 Reasons to Review Your Will

    Most people mistakenly believe that creating a will is a one-time task, but estate-planning documents should be reviewed regularly to ensure they still reflect your wishes.

  • Legal Competency: When Is It Too Late to Create a Will, Trust or POA?

    It is crucial to engage in proper legal planning with family members while they are still of sound mind. An elder law attorney outlines competency criteria that must be met in order to obtain valid legal documents before a crisis strikes.

  • Medicaid Estate Recovery: Long-Term Care Benefits Aren’t Necessarily ‘Free’

    The goal of the Medicaid estate recovery program (MERP) is to recoup all the money that Medicaid spent on a senior’s care. Learn how MERP works and what families can do to minimize the impact of the recovery process.

  • 10 Things You Should Know About Your Elderly Parent's Finances

    Would you know what to do if you suddenly had to take over managing money and paying bills for your parent? Here are 10 things you need to know before assuming this responsibility.

  • The Difference Between POA, Durable POA and a Living Will

    An estate plan that will safeguard a senior’s health and finances consists of a will, advance directives and powers of attorney. Familiarize yourself with these basic legal documents before estate planning begins.

  • 5 Common Legal Issues Caregivers Face

    Seniors and their caregivers are prone to many unique legal challenges. Learn about the most common elder law issues families face and why it's important to enlist the help of an elder law attorney in a senior's care planning.

  • How Can My Elderly Parent Qualify for Medicaid?

    Find out how annuities play into Medicaid planning for your elderly parents. It may seem hard to believe that annuities can help the elderly qualify for Medicaid - yes, Medicaid. This is sometimes called the "Half-A-Loaf" approach, and in certain cases, it can be a lifesaver for those who need the help the most.

  • Exercise Caution When Considering a Life Estate Deed

    Some individuals may consider transferring property to a trusted family member as a part of their estate plan or Medicaid planning strategy. However, there are a few different scenarios to consider to ensure the property isn’t lost altogether.

  • Married Couples Should Update Their Will to Avoid Medicaid Misery

    This path of inheritance is the normal distribution under many states' "intestacy statute" (the law setting forth the distribution of the property of a decedent with no will).

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  • What is a Trust?

    Details for caregivers on trusts, including definition of a trust, types of trusts and how to set up a trust.

  • What “Solo Agers” Should Know About Planning for the Future

    Some people anticipate aging alone without family, while others find their plans upended by divorce, estrangement or death. Preparing for the possibility of being a solo ager requires extra effort but will prevent unnecessary hardships and stress.

  • What Caregivers Need to Know About Notarizing for Someone With Dementia

    Essential legal documents for estate planning and long-term care planning often need to be notarized to prove they’re valid. However, notarization can be tricky if a senior has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

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