How Can I Prevent Inheritance Squandering?

Some people are better money managers than others. When you are engaged in your inheritance planning efforts, you may have concerns about the spendthrift tendencies of someone on your inheritance list. If you feel this way, there are steps that you can take to prevent inheritance squandering. Revocable Living Trusts If you are concerned about losing control of assets that you convey into a trust, you do not have to worry if you create a revocable living trust. With this type of trust, you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are living, and you have the power of revocation. You can dissolve the trust and take back direct personal possession of the assets at any time, so there is no loss of control on any level. In the trust declaration you name a successor trustee to administer the trust after you are gone, and you name a successor beneficiary (or multiple beneficiaries). You can name a person that you know personally to act as the trustee, but some people will use a c

True Link Financial: Elder Financial Abuse Losses Reach $36.5 Billion Annually

Sometimes you have to confront unpleasant realities head-on if you want to avoid victimization. There are certain subjects that people prefer not to talk about, and while this is understandable on one level, the shadowy approach can help to feed the problem. This can enter the picture when it comes to elder financial abuse. There is a perfect storm that nefarious types often take advantage of when it comes to senior citizens. Over time, you can accumulate a significant nest egg, and senior citizens often have very good credit. As we all know, memory loss can enter the picture when you reach an advanced age, and many elders require help with their day-to-day needs. When you put all this together, you have a segment of the population that is vulnerable to financial predators and opportunists. New Research Traditionally, this problem has not been adequately researched, and there is a good reason for this. The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study found that only one out of every 44

Do Assets in a Living Trust Get a Step-Up in Basis?

To understand what a step-up in basis is all about, you have to have some background information about the capital gains tax. Assets that appreciate are subject to this tax when a gain is realized. You would realize a gain when you sell the asset in question. There are long-term capital gains, and short-term capital gains, and they are taxed at different rates, because the government would like to encourage long-term investing. Short-term gains, which are gains that are realized less than a year after the original acquisition, are taxed at your regular income tax rate. As you might imagine given the definition of short-term gains, long-term capital gains are gains that are realized more than a year after you originally purchased the assets. These gains are taxed at a lower rate. The exact rate is based on your taxable income. The highest income earners pay a 20 percent rate, but most people pay 15 percent. Step-Up in Basis When you absorb all the information above, a logical question

How Is My Last Will Handled After I Die?

The process of estate administration is something to take into consideration when you are devising your estate plan. Executing legal documents can seem like the long and short of it, but there is a human element. Someone has to make your wishes come to fruition after you pass away. If you use a last will as the centerpiece of your estate plan, this person would be the executor or executrix. An executor is a male estate administrator, and an executrix is a female. We will use the term executor here for the sake of simplicity. You may envision the executor reading the last will to interested parties, with monetary distributions coming shortly thereafter. In fact, this is not the way that it works. When a last will is used as a vehicle of asset transfer, it must be admitted to probate. During probate, the court supervises the administration of the estate. This is not inherently negative in any way, and probate does provide certain protections. At the same time, this process is not always

Do Most Elders Require Nursing Home Care?

As you are going through life as a capable person, the concept of living assistance can seem irrelevant. Of course you are aware of the fact that some elders do require nursing home care, but you may assume that you will always be able to handle your activities of daily living. This could be especially true if you have taken good care of yourself throughout your life. It can be a sobering reality to confront, but in fact, most senior citizens will eventually need long-term care of some kind or another, and many will ultimately require nursing home care. There is a very informative website that you may want to visit if you are serious about preparing for the future called The site is maintained by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. According to this government maintained website, no less than 70 percent of people who are reaching the age of 65 on any given day will eventually need long-term care. Clearly, as you get older, it becomes more likel

Who Handles My Affairs If I Become Incapacitated?

No one wants to consider this eventuality, but the sobering reality is that many people become incapacitated toward the end of their lives. This is something to take seriously when you are devising your estate plan. Ideally, your plan should address potential end-of-life issues. When you take the right steps, you can be comprehensively prepared for the contingencies that may present themselves. Consequences of Inaction You and your family can suffer some negative consequences if you fail to plan ahead for possible incapacity. If you do become incapacitated at some point in time, and you have no incapacity planning documents in place, interested parties could petition the state to initiate a guardianship proceeding. Ultimately, the state could decide your fate, and a guardian could be appointed to manage your affairs. This can be disconcerting on a number of different levels. Most people would like to keep the state out of their private personal and family matters. Plus, the decision-m

How Can I Maximize My Social Security Benefit?

We assist clients who are concerned about the eventualities of aging, so we provide retirement planning services along with our elder law and estate planning assistance. Social Security is going to be important for most seniors, so you should understand how you can maximize your benefit. Before we get into the details, we should point out the fact that it is important to understand the limitations of the Social Security program. The average benefit in 2015 is just $1328, and the maximum benefit is a relatively modest $2663 a month. When you consider these figures, you can see why you should develop a retirement nest egg, and additional income sources can also be quite useful. There are three different approaches that you can take to Social Security eligibility. It is possible to accept an early benefit when you are as young as 62 years of age. This can sound enticing, but your early benefit would be between 30 and 35 percent less than your full benefit. The exact amount of the reducti