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?
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.
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.
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 Even if you had your paperwork set up a few years ago, all of your documents are now out of date, thanks to tax laws that went into effect in 2018.
Clients are often surprised at the amount of documents included in an elder law estate plan. Following are the various components.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.