News

The changing landscape of memory care

Projected demographics indicate that memory care is about to become a booming market of opportunity for facilities and their construction that tend to developing specialized memory care needs. While some facilities are stand-alone solutions for

Do We Have to Report My Father's House on a Medicaid Estate Recovery Form If He Transferred It to His Wife?

My father went into a nursing home in Pennsylvania in December 2005. He immediately applied for Medicaid and had to cash in all his assets. His spouse was allowed to keep all her assets, their home, and one vehicle. In January 2005, my father transferred their home into his spouse's name only. My father lived in a nursing home until his death in April 2018. His spouse is still living in the home. We got a Pennsylvania estate recovery program questionnaire asking my father's spouse to list all of his assets and properties. Does the home have to be reported if the spouse's name is the only name on the deed?

How to Handle Sibling Disputes Over a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents, but when one sibling is named in a power of attorney, there is the potential for disputes with other siblings. No matter which side you are on, it is important to know your rights and limitations.

Estate Planning and Retirement Considerations for Late-in-Life Parents

Older parents are becoming more common, driven in part by changing cultural mores and surrogate motherhood. Comedian and author Steve Martin had his first child at age 67. Singer Billy Joel just welcomed his third daughter. Janet Jackson had a child at age 50. But later-in-life parents have some special estate planning and retirement considerations.

Your estate plan needs an update, even if it is new

Have an old binder with your will and estate plan? Even if you had your paperwork set up a few years ago, all of your documents are now out of date, thanks to tax laws that went into effect in 2018.

Components of an elder law estate plan

Clients are often surprised at the amount of documents included in an elder law estate plan. Following are the various components.

Gifts to Grandchildren

Gifting assets to your grandchildren can do more than help your descendants get a good start in life; it can also reduce the size of your estate and the tax that will be due upon your death.

The Durable Power of Attorney

For most people, the durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available -- even more useful than a will. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint -- your "attorney-in-fact" or “agent” -- to act in place of you – the “principal” -- for financial purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated.

HUD Makes Reverse Mortgages a Little Less Attractive

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced changes to the federal reverse mortgage program. Citing the need to put the program on better financial footing, HUD will raise reverse mortgage fees for some borrowers and lower the amount homeowners can borrow.

Estate Administration

Estate administration is the process of managing and distributing a person’s property (the “estate”) after death. If the person had a will, the will goes through probate, which is the process by which the deceased person's property is passed to his or her heirs and legatees (people named in the will). The entire process, supervised by the probate court, usually takes about a year. However, substantial distributions from the estate can be made in the interim.

How to Use IRA Savings to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance (LTCi) is an important element of good retirement planning, since it offers financial protection against unexpected illness or disability that would otherwise eat into savings. However, many LTCi plans are simply too expensive for most retirees or people nearing retirement age, and the costs just seem to be going up.

Where Should You Put Your Retirement Money?

There are as many opportunities to grow money as there are people with great ideas. Some people choose to save for retirement outside of the conventional vehicles like 401(k)s and IRAs.When systemic market failures surfaced around the globe in 2008 and caused massive market turmoil, seasoned investors as well as novices were caught off guard. What was supposed to be safe turned out not to be. Many Americans who were counting on the appreciated value of their homes to convert to a stream of income for retirement were left vulnerable, finding themselves with far less to work with than they expected.

Five Topics to Discuss With Your Spouse Before You Retire

You may have a vision for your retirement, but does your spouse share that vision? Spouses often disagree about many key retirement details. It is important to work together to come up with a plan you both can accept.A 2011 study by Fidelity Investments found that many husbands and wives are not in accord about retirement. For example, the study found that one-third of couples disagreed or don’t know where they were going to live in retirement and 62 percent didn't agree on their expected retirement ages.

What to Do With an Inherited IRA

Inheriting an IRA may seem like a good thing, but there can be tax consequences if you aren't careful. If you inherit an IRA, you should check with an attorney or financial advisor as soon as possible to find out your options.

Estate Taxation

In January 2013, Congress permanently set the amount that an individual can transfer tax-free either during life or at death. The agreement essentially extended the rules that had been in place in 2011 and 2012, with one important exception.