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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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
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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
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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
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