Inheritance Planning: Protect Your Children

Many marriages end in divorce, and a significant percentage of these divorced people have children. If you were to remarry as a parent, you may have some estate planning concerns. You naturally want to protect your new spouse, but what about your children? If you leave everything to your spouse, your children could ultimately be disinherited. To respond to this type of situation, you could utilize an estate planning device called a qualified terminable interest property trust. Because the name of the trust is somewhat wordy, these trusts are often referred to as QTIP trusts. The way that it works is you fund the trust, and you name a trustee to administer the trust after you pass away. Many people will utilize a corporate trustees such as a trust company or the trust section of a bank. Professional fiduciaries understand how to administer a qualified terminable interest property trust, there would be no longevity concerns, and there would be no conflicts of interest. Your spouse would
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How Can I Prevent a Guardianship?

When you are planning your estate, you are taking care of things that will take place after you pass away. Without question, this is a very important part of the equation, but you should also address end-of-life issues. Many people become unable to handle all of their own decision-making at some point in time. This is largely due to the widespread nature of Alzheimer s disease. If you would like to obtain detailed information about the disease, you may want to visit the Alzheimer s Association website. This site contains a great deal of very useful information. According to the Alzheimer s Association, somewhere in the vicinity of 45 percent of people who have reached the age of 85 are suffering from Alzheimer s disease. This is a very attention-getting statistic. When it comes to longevity, people are living longer and longer lives. Between the years 2000 and 2010, the segment of the population that was between 85 and 94 years of age grew faster than any other ten-year grouping accor
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Choosing the Right Trust

The typical layperson may not be aware of all of the options that can be exercised when an estate is being planned. Of course there is a legal document called a last will that most people are aware of, and there are also multiple different types of trusts. There are various reasons why you may want to utilize a trust of some kind. Let s look at some of the scenarios that can come into play. Asset Protection We live in a litigious society as they say, and lawsuits can be a source of concern for many people. If you were to convey assets into an irrevocable asset protection trust, they would be shielded from legal actions. You can protect assets for your own purposes, and you can also protect assets that you are leaving to a loved one when you are planning your estate. Estate Tax Efficiency The federal estate tax is a looming threat for high net worth individuals. You can transfer unlimited assets to your spouse tax-free, but transfers to others could be subject to the death tax and its
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What Is End of Life Planning?

Estate planning involves making preparations for the things that will happen after you pass away, but you should also consider the period of time that will precede your passing. These years are sometimes called the twilight years. First off, you should consider the possibility of long-term care expenses. According to a government agency, seven out of every 10 seniors will someday need help with their activities of daily living. Long-term care is something that most people will need; it is a likelihood, not a remote possibility. Medicare will help with your medical expenses when you re a senior citizen if you have paid into the program sufficiently throughout your life, but Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Paying out-of-pocket is not easy for most people, because nursing homes and assisted living communities are very expensive. We practice law in the state of Connecticut. In our state, the average charge for a year in a nursing home is over $100,000, and seniors often require
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Is There a Source of Income for People With Special Needs?

People with special needs are often going to be unable to earn income on their own. There are a couple of different government programs that provide income for people who are in this position. One of them is Social Security Disability Insurance. When you work and you pay those pesky FICA or self-employment taxes, you are earning credits that will ultimately lead to eligibility for Social Security benefits. This program is for the most part in place to provide income for senior citizens, but it also protects you if you become unable to work due to a disability. If you have sufficient credits, you may be able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if a disability prevents you from earning much income on your own. Since this program is not specifically designed to provide for people with financial limitations, you could potentially qualify, even if you are in possession of resources. Supplemental Security Income The other government benefit program that provides inc
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Should I Use a Revocable or Irrevocable Trust?

The process of estate planning involves a great deal of decision-making. There are different estate planning devices that can be utilized, and it is important to make the right choices. Many people assume that a will is the ideal estate planning document, but in fact, a trust can be preferable in many instances. You have to understand the fact that there are different types of trusts. Some trusts are revocable, and there are trusts that cannot be revoked or rescinded. The best type of trust for you would depend on your unique set of personal circumstances. If you are not concerned about estate taxes or asset protection, you could use a revocable living trust. With this type of trust, you have the right of revocation, so you can change your mind and dissolve the trust if you ever choose to do so. Plus, you can act as the trustee while you are living, so you would have total control of the trust while it is intact. After you die, a trustee that you name in the trust declaration would be
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Why Should I Consult With an Elder Law Attorney?

When you are traversing your career path as a relatively young adult, you invariably have immediate concerns on your mind. However, as time goes on, you may start to consider the eventualities of aging. When you reach this point, you may want to consult with an elder law attorney. These attorneys focus on matters that are of particular interest to senior citizens. There are a number of different elder law issues that are pressing at the present time, and many people have concerns, because the population is aging rapidly. The baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age, and around 10,000 people are applying for Social Security benefits every day. One elder law issue that you should be aware of is the matter of elder financial abuse. The MetLife Mature Market Institute conducted a survey a couple of years ago, and it found that losses are in the billions of dollars annually. This is a major problem, and sadly, in many cases caregivers and family members are the perpetrators of the
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