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Elder Law FAQs: Does the Nursing Home Get Half of My Assets? - Elder law attorneys help clients who are concerned about the contingencies that they may face during their elder years. There is a lot to take into consideration, and you should certainly discuss things with a licensed professional if you want to be prepared for the future. Currently, one of the most pressing elder law issues is long-term care. While most seniors will qualify for Medicare coverage, Medicare does not pay for long-term nursing home care. This is considered to be custodial care rather than medical or convalescent care. Since most seniors will someday need help with their day-to-day needs, this is a very big issue. Nursing homes are very expensive, and these costs could wipe out everything that you intended to leave behind to your loved ones. Medicaid Planning Some people hear spotty information about the subject, and they think that the nursing home that they choose will simply take their assets. There is some truth to this notion in a general sense, but it is not really

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Is a Last Will Always the Right Choice? - People who are not fully informed often reduce estate planning to the creation of a last will. While it is true that a last will can be used to facilitate postmortem asset transfers, this leis not always the best choice. Let s look at some of the reasons why you may want to consider an alternative to a last will. Estate Tax Savings High net worth individuals may be exposed to the federal estate tax. In 2015, the estate tax exclusion is $5.43 million. Asset transfers that exceed this amount would potentially be subject to the estate tax. If you keep direct personal possession of your property and arrange for its transfer through the terms of a last will, this property would be part of your taxable estate. However, there are alternatives that would provide estate tax savings. Asset Protection Asset protection is important to many individuals, because we do live in a litigious society. If you use a will to transfer property that you own directly, you would obtain no asset protection for

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Does a Revocable Living Trust Reduce Income Tax Responsibility? - The revocable living trust is a very useful estate planning tool. These trusts are widely utilized by people who do not consider themselves to be wealthy. Revocable living trusts allow for efficient control of assets while you are living. This type of trust will also facilitate timely asset transfers after you pass away. The individual who is establishing the trust is called the grantor of the trust. At first, the grantor of the trust would typically serve as the trustee and the beneficiary. As the trustee, you direct the actions of the trust, and you can receive monetary distributions from the trust. The long-term objective is to use the trust to transfer assets to an heir or heirs after you pass away. To make this happen, you name a successor trustee to administer the trust after you die. The successor trustee can be someone that you know, but it could alternately be a professional fiduciary like a bank or a trust company. When you create the trust agreement, you set forth terms tha

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Does the State Take My Assets If I Go on Medicaid? - You may not think about this program when you are planning for retirement, but in reality, Medicaid is very important for a significant percentage of senior citizens. Yes, Medicaid is a program that is in place to help people with very limited resources. And yes, you will qualify for Medicare at the age of 65 if you have paid taxes on your income throughout your life. However, Medicare will not pay for living assistance. Help with your activities of daily living is looked upon as custodial care rather than medical care. Medicare will help with medical expenses, and it will pay for up to 100 days of convalescent care, but it won t pay for custodial care. There are some myths that circulate with regard to Medicaid rules and regulations, and we will look at one of these misconceptions here. Medicaid Eligibility If you want to qualify for Medicaid to pay for long-term care, you must prove that you have significant financial need. The upper asset limit for an individual is just $2000 in mo

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Free Report: What is a Living Will in North Carolina? - A living will is called an advance directive for health care. It is not the only advance directive that should be included within your estate plan. There is another advance directive that is widely utilized called a durable power of attorney for health care or health care proxy. Topics covered in this report include: A Decision you Should Make Another Advance Directive for Health Care Click here to read the whole article or download the PDF.

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Is There a National Organization of Elder Law Attorneys? - A great many people were born between 1946 and 1964. This phenomenon is referred to as the baby boom. These people are entering their senior years now. As a result, the population is aging. Somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 people are applying for Social Security every day, and this will continue for years into the future. Elder law is the segment of the legal field that is focused on matters that are of interest to senior citizens. Because of the aging of the baby boomers, the elder law field is very important right now. Elder Law Issues There are currently some very pressing elder law issues. Long-term care is at the top of the list. Most people who are entering their senior years will someday need help with their day-to-day activities. Some will reside in nursing homes and assisted living communities, and others will be able to receive the help that they need at home. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, and this presents a problem, because long-term care is very expensive.

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Free Report: Why Would I Want a Revocable Living Trust in North Carolina? - The revocable living trust is a vehicle of asset transfer that is very useful for people of relatively ordinary means. Topics covered in this whitepaper include: The Basics On Going Control Probate Avoidance Click here to read the whole article or download the PDF.

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Free Report: What is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust in North Carolina? - You can reduce the taxable value of your home by placing it into a qualified personal residence trust. There are different types of trusts that are used in the field of estate planning, and they satisfy varying objectives. Topics covered in this whitepaper include: Federatl Estate Tax Federal Gift Tax Qualified Personal Residence Trusts Click here to read the whole article or download the PDF.

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Why Would I Want to Avoid Probate? - Because a lot of people tend to put the matter of estate planning on the back burner, they oftentimes fail to do the appropriate research. As a result, assumptions are made, and they can yield less than ideal consequences. Most people have heard of the existence of trusts, and everyone has heard of the estate planning device called a last will. There is a popular misconception about these estate planning tools. Many people assume that last wills facilitate fast and efficient asset transfers. To these individuals, trusts sound much more complicated. Let s look at the facts. Estate Administration If you state your final wishes regarding the transfer of your assets in a last will, you name an executor. This is the person who handles the estate administration tasks after your passing. You may envision the executor immediately distributing assets to the heirs that are named in the last will. But things do not work this way. The first order of business for the executor is to admit the will

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Are Estate Tax Laws Subject to Change? - Estate planning should be viewed as an ongoing process. When you create your first estate plan, you are dealing with a certain set of circumstances. There are the conditions of your own life, and there are also societal circumstances that impact everyone. Over the years, things change. You may have additions and subtractions to the family, and your financial position could change. Changes in marital status can also enter the picture. These evolving circumstances could call for estate plan updates. Taxation is something to take very seriously when you are planning your estate. There is a federal estate tax that can have a big impact on your family s financial future. The maximum rate of this tax is 40 percent, so the death tax looms large for high net worth families. For the rest of 2014, the federal estate tax credit or exclusion is $5.34 million. You can pass along $5.34 million tax-free, but further transfers would potentially be subject to the estate tax. There is a caveat to the a
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