Estate planning is often overlooked until it is too late. Surveys that are conducted consistently find that most of the adults in the United States are not properly prepared from an estate planning perspective. Older people are more likely to have a plan in place than their younger counterparts, but in reality, estate planning is important for all self-supporting adults, especially if you are the parent of a minor child. Many people are well aware of the fact that they should take action to protect their family members, but they procrastinate because they don’t know how to proceed. This is understandable, because there is conflicting information out there. There are websites on the Internet that sell do-it-yourself estate planning documents. They contend that anyone can create an estate plan using online templates and downloads. Pragmatic, sensible minded people are going to question this contention, because we are talking about an important legal matter. The whole issue can get clo
There is a veritable alphabet soup used in the field of estate planning when it comes to acronyms. Some of these acronyms look very similar, and they may be used to represent programs and legal devices that accomplish similar aims, so there can be a lot of confusion. With this in mind, let’s look at the distinctions between SSDI and SSI. SSDI When you are working and paying taxes, one of the taxes that you pay is the FICA payroll tax. Some people scratch their heads when they see a significant chunk of their income going toward this tax. It can be frustrating to see that money go out the window. However, you can take heart, because it is going to benefit you in the long run if you are fortunate enough to reach the typical age of retirement. When you pay FICA taxes you are earning retirement credits, and you can accumulate up to four per year. When you have at least 40 retirement credits, you will qualify for Medicare coverage when you reach the age of 65. Medicare is a health insura
Sometimes an individual wants to empower another person to act on his or her behalf in a legally binding manner. There are various different reasons why this dynamic may be in place, and the situation can be addressed through the creation of a legally binding document called a power of attorney. To provide a simple overview, the person who is granting this power to another is called the principal or the grantor. The individual who is going to be empowered to make decisions on behalf of the grantor is called the agent or attorney-in-fact. Don t be thrown by the term attorney-in-fact. The person who is going to act as the grantor s representative does not have to be a lawyer. Any adult of sound mind who is willing to act as the agent can do so. There are different types of powers of attorney. A general power of attorney could be used to give the agent broad latitude. The agent would have sweeping power to enter into most types of legally binding agreements on behalf of grantor. This is
The matter of nursing home costs is something that most people don t think about. However, the situation will invariably get your attention when you start to seriously consider the eventualities that you will face as a senior citizen. You are probably aware of the fact that you may need help with certain activities as you age, but many people feel as though they can rely on family members, friends, and neighbors to provide a certain level of support. Without question, this is the dynamic in many cases. At the same time, when you look into the facts, you would do well to take a pragmatic approach so that you can position yourself in the optimal manner for the benefit of your loved ones. Government Statistics Government statistics paint a very compelling picture when it comes to nursing home care. The government website LongTermCare.gov has been carefully crafted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to help people understand the lay of the land. There are various
The Social Security program will probably be a very important source of income for you when you attain senior citizen status. In this blog post, we will provide you with some very useful information about the program. Eligibility Age First, we will look at the age of eligibility for Social Security coverage. In many cases, the government can make things more complicated than they probably should be, and this enters the picture when it comes to the eligibility age. There is no one age of eligibility that applies to everyone. The eligibility date depends upon your year of birth. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your age of eligibility for your full Social Security benefit is 66. After 1954, the eligibility age goes up by two months each year. To explain by way of example, if you were born in 1955, you would become eligible for your full Social Security benefit two months after your 66th birthday. Someone who was born in 1956 would become eligible at the age of 66 years and four m
The Medicaid program is only available to people who can demonstrate a significant level of financial need. As such, there is indeed an asset limit. For a single individual, this limit is $2000. The $2000 limit is certainly attention-getting, but fortunately, some things that you own are not countable. The biggest asset that is not counted is your home, but in Connecticut, there is an equity limit that stands at $828,000 during the current calendar year. Topics covered in this report include: Medicaid Eligibility Click here to read the whole article or download the PDF.
There is a federal gift tax in place that is unified with the estate tax, but there are exclusions that can be used to give tax-free gifts. You can give up to $14,000 each calendar year to an unlimited number of people tax-free, and you can also pay for school tuition and medical expenses free of the gift tax. Topics covered in this report include: Annual Per Person Exclusion Educational Exclusion Medical Gift Tax Exclusion Unified Lifetime Gift and Estate Tax Exclusion Click here to read the whole article or download the PDF.