Elder Law & Estate Planning

When a Loved One Needs a Guardian

Caring for a loved one is a situation that many people find themselves in, and the caregiver’s status as a guardian should be made official by the law. Often times, individuals begin taking care of a relative or loved one without thinking about the need for official legal documentation. If you are managing the health and financial decisions of loved one, becoming their legal guardian will simplify many common tasks.

Elder Law & Estate Planning

The Pain of Estate Litigation

The stress and emotion involved in losing a family member can only be explained by those experiencing the loss. Truly, this is the worse time in a person’s life to have to get involved with litigation. Whether someone feels that their rights have been denied by the will and probate court, or when a will…

Elder Law & Estate Planning

The Myth of Do-It-Yourself Wills

You might not think it makes a difference, but a will made with software is not the same as a will created by a lawyer. The idea that the two are similar couldn’t be further from the truth. An elder law attorney will know the law and possible risks that software can not predict.

Elder Law & Estate Planning

Estate Planning – More than Just a Will

When talking about estate planning, people generally think about a will. A will is an essential part of estate planning, but it is only the beginning. A will expresses your wishes of asset disbursement after you pass on, but complete estate planning covers important items that may affect you while you are alive.

Elder Law & Estate Planning

Remarrying Impacts Life Insurance Decisions

Second marriages are becoming a more common piece of the American experience. The remarried face unique and specific challenges in tailoring their life insurance policies to their individual situation

Deciding on a beneficiary can be a complicated process for the remarried. It’s rarely a simple decision, especially when children from a previous marriage are involved. In that case, it can be difficult to strike a balance between taking care of the current spouse and the previous spouse’s children.

Elder Law & Estate Planning

Well Spouses Must Plan Wisely In the Event of Their Partner’s Illness

When a spouse becomes ill, the well spouse is suddenly faced not only with the emotional toll, but the burden of handling all the financial responsibilities and long-term planning on his or her own. If the ill spouse always handled the financial matters, even paying bills can be overwhelming.

Based on the experiences of many of our clients, it has traditionally been the primary breadwinner who managed family finances. But regardless of who kept the family books, often the other spouse is in the dark on the family’s financial matters and record keeping. Additionally, the well spouse may not know what long-term planning considerations have been made for her or what is even available.

Elder Law & Estate Planning

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.

Elder Law & Estate Planning

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.

Elder Law & Estate Planning

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.

Elder Law & Estate Planning

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…