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The Law Offices of Sean Patrick Cox PLLC
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The Law Offices of Sean Patrick Cox PLLC's posts

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When going through a divorce, an estate plan is one of the last things on your mind in such an emotional time. However, it is a key step towards finalizing the process and beginning a a new chapter in your life. The paper work can become overwhelming and confusing at times - that's where an experienced attorney can make a world of difference. Follow the link to read more and see how we can be of assistance to you and your family! http://seancoxlaw.com/estate-planning-help-post-divorce-changes/

You're Never Too Young For An Estate Plan

It’s never too early to think about estate planning if you own a home. The other big trigger you want to be aware of is having your child or children.  Even for folks without children, it is important to have your real estate in a revocable trust to protect it from probate, needless taxation, and potentially creditors if you are married or if you are single and want to use an irrevocable trust as an asset protection device.  Couples having their first child need to think seriously about the importance of estate planning to appoint a guardian or guardians for their child or children.  The last thing you want to have is a court battle between each spouse’s family members over who is going to have custody of that child or those children.  If you appoint the guardian or guardians you want in your estate plan, then the court must honor your wishes.  The older we get, the more we also need to consider the use of an irrevocable trust for asset protection purposes and for long term care planning.  No matter what your age, think of a solid estate plan as your opportunity to ward off probate, taxes, nursing home costs, and possibly even creditors with the use of an irrevocable trust.

To see how we can help you, give us a call!
(616) 942-6404

Estate Planning

It’s never too early to think about estate planning if you own a home especially if you have children.  If you are married or  single  it is important to have your real estate in a irrevocable trust to protect it from probate, needless taxation, and potentially creditors. 

Couples having their first child need to think seriously about the importance of estate planning to appoint a guardian or guardians for their child or children.  The last thing you want to have is a court battle between each spouse’s family members over who is going to have custody of that child or children.  If you appoint a guardian or guardians in your estate plan, then the court must honor your wishes. 

The older we get the more we also need to consider the use of an irrevocable trust for asset protection purposes and for long term care planning.  No matter what your age, think of a solid estate plan as your opportunity to ward off probate, taxes, nursing home costs, and possibly even creditors with the use of an irrevocable trust.

VA Aid and Attendance Pension

The VA Aid and Attendance Pension is a nonservice connected pension or “NSC” benefit from the VA, so you do not have to have fought on the battle field to be eligible for this benefit. It is available to veterans and their spouses at age 65 and has four basic requirements. 

 -  You have to have been in active duty for at least 90 days and for one of those days a war was going on.  (see eligible wartime periods below).  You also cannot have a dishonorable discharge. 
 - You must have medical need such as that you need assistance with dressing, help in and out of the shower or bath, or help going to the bathroom. 
 -  Your monthly medical care cost (such as your in home care cost, or assisted living cost) must be  greater than your gross monthly income  - Finally, the VA has an $80,000 asset limitation (not including your home or car).  We are allowed to use an irrevocable trust to shelter assets over $80,000 and still get you approved for this benefit.  The benefit is a tax free income stream with the following rates below:

Aid & Attendance Pension Amount
Surviving Spouse_...........$1149
Single Veteran_................$1788
Married Veteran_.............$2120
Veteran Couple_..............$2837

A healthy veteran filing with a sick spouse is eligible for up to $1,406 per month

Feel free to call us during normal business 616 942-6404 or visit the website at http://seancoxlaw.com/
#VAaid   #VAattendancepension   #VApension   

ASSET PROTECTION FOR NURSING HOME MEDICAID

If your spouse or parent is facing the prospect of entering a nursing home they do not have to lose all of their assets to become eligible for Medicaid.  In the case of a married couple we can still shelter most or all of the family assets by using special planning techniques that allow us to transfer the assets of the nursing home patient spouse to the “community spouse”, or the spouse not living in the nursing home.  The bridges manual, which is the codification of Medicaid rules, sometimes referred to as BEM or BEM’s, allow us to literally disinherit the nursing home spouse within one year of approval for nursing home Medicaid.  As is always the case, if we can meet and plan with families before their loved one actually enters the nursing home, we can save even more assets and make this kind of planning and transition so much easier.  The simple act of transferring the family homestead into a revocable trust before the patient enters the nursing home allows us the opportunity to leverage the value of the homestead to save even more of the financial assets the couple may have.
If your parent or loved one is single we can still typically shelter as low as 50-75% of a single person’s assets while getting them approved for Medicaid.  In Michigan we are allowed to use the “half loaf” planning technique which allows us to use a promissory note to gift assets to the child or other family member of the nursing home patient as a mechanism to shelter at least 50-60% of the remaining assets.  Once again, if we can help people pre-plan before entry into a nursing home, we can be much more effective.  Married clients and single clients alike can all benefit from the use of an irrevocable trust to plan ahead and shelter assets by getting ahead of the five year clock or five year look back period for Medicaid transfers of gifts.  If you are over the age of 65 you need to think about having a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust for the purposes of asset protection planning relative to long term care.  This planning is not expensive and ultimately well worth the investment in the long run.

Give us a call today to see how we can help you!
616-942-6404

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Going through a divorce is an emotional time, and estate planning is often put on the bottom of the priority list during this transition. However, it is an important piece of the changes that take must take place. Read how a family law attorney can help you: http://bit.ly/1LWQW8d

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Plan for quality care. Advocate for dignity and respect. No one should have be feel lonely and unwanted. http://on.fb.me/1QZpvL6

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Tomorrow night: Get dinner and fund a great cause! Join us in supporting the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 258​ and all they do. http://on.fb.me/1KOFqea

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For every family who walks through our doors, planning for the challenges and hoping for the best.
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If you are eligible for veterans benefits, or know someone who could be, it pays to get legal counsel and learn more about the Aid and Attendance Improved Pension Benefit.

Here's how to find out more: http://bit.ly/1OyOAgr

#Veterans #VeteransBenefits #Pensions
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