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You Have the Power

Estate planning is a complex task, requiring the advice of a qualified estate attorney. What is the wisest course of action in your situation?

You can hardly read a paper currently without coming across an article about the Brooke Astor case. Sadly, this case highlights what can go wrong when someone abuses the trust inherent in a power of attorney agreement. Although signing a power of attorney is critical to any comprehensive estate plan, it’s wise to put safeguards in place to reduce the risk of financial abuse.

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Disinheriting a Relative Can Be Complicated

Can a relative be completely removed from your will?  It’s often possible, but you should check with a qualified estate attorney about laws in your area.

Although we may love them equally, all children aren’t the same, which often leads to complication in the execution of a will.  Some parents feel that one child has received more, and should therefore be content with a reduced settlement in the will’s execution.  In some complicated situations, parents feel that one heir should simply be cut from the will altogether.  Regardless of the reason, disinheriting a close relative–especially a spouse or a child–can be complicated.

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Did You Elect Early Social Security Benefits?

Although you can be approved to collect Social Security benefits between age 62 and your full retirement age, this option lowers the benefits available for retirement. For example, if you were born in 1944 and decide to retire at age 62 (four years before your full retirement age of 66), your total benefit reduction is 25 percent. If your full benefit was to be $1,000 a month, your reduced benefit will be $750.

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Updated Medicaid Asset Transfer Rates – 2008

By: Bernard A. Krooks, Certified Elder Law Attorney® Unfortunately, Medicare coverage of long-term care is extremely limited and subject to significant restrictions. Thus, if one of us or a loved one gets sick and requires long-term care we must either pay out-of-pocket or rely on Medicaid. One way to minimize the burden of paying out-of-pocket is to purchase long-term care insurance. This can help assist with the cost of care …

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