Elder law and estate planning serve two different—but equally vital—functions. The main difference is that elder law is focused on preserving your assets during your lifetime, while estate planning concentrates on what happens to your assets after you die. Elder law planning is concerned with ensuring that seniors live long, healthy, and financially secure lives. It usually involves anticipating future … Read More
When Can Someone be Declared Legally Incompetent?
If a loved one is experiencing memory loss or suddenly making poor decisions and they do not have a power of attorney in place, you may need the court to appoint a guardian, which requires a declaration of incompetence. Determining whether someone is incompetent to make their own decisions is a complicated process. If a loved one is unable to … Read More
How to Have a Financial Management Conversation with an Elderly Loved One
Guest Blog By SilverBills Having a conversation with an older adult relative about financial matters may be challenging. However, conversations such as these are essential as they provide an opportunity to talk about what a loved one may need help with as he or she ages. Starting these conversations can sometimes be problematic, as the idea of allowing others to help … Read More
When Is It Time to Revise Your Will or Trust?
When completing a Will or Trust, oftentimes people believe it will never need to be changed. But typically, life is filled with changing circumstances, and it is important to revise your Will or Trust following major changes in your life. There are several major changes in your life which should prompt you to update or revise your Will or Trust: … Read More
Why Now is the Time to Start (Or Refresh) Your Estate Plan – And How to Get Started
There are any number of reasons why people put off their estate planning. We’ve heard it time and again: I do not need a will. I am young, I am healthy. I cannot afford it right now. I do not have that many assets. My family knows what I want. I trust my new spouse to take care of my … Read More
How Divorce Can Affect Your Finances Later in Life
Divorce is generally a tumultuous time, no matter when it occurs. Financial issues are a common cause of strain during the divorce process, from how resources will be divided to alimony or childcare payments and which assets are included in the calculations. But you may be surprised to learn that those who divorce after the age of 50 are in … Read More
Where Should I Keep My Estate Planning Documents?
Esther was 78-years-old when she passed away peacefully in her sleep. She was a widow and the mother of four children. Esther had always been a very private person who shared very little with her children about her finances, her end of life wishes, her funeral and burial wishes, and her estate plan. Two years prior to her death, Esther … Read More
Is a Power of Attorney Right for a Person with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability?
Not every person with an intellectual or developmental disability is unable to make health care and/or financial decisions. The impact and spectrum of disabilities varies widely from person to person and diagnosis to diagnosis. One person with Down Syndrome may be capable of decision-making while another may not, just as a person with autism may be capable of decision-making while … Read More
People’s Motivation to Do Estate Planning
There are many reasons clients are motivated to do their estate planning, but the two I hear most are they are going to be travelling, usually overseas, or they have an upcoming surgery. Nothing like flying across the ocean or going under the knife to get you thinking about your mortality. Along those lines, my observations suggest people equate estate … Read More
7 Things You Don’t Know About a Special Needs Parent
About 6 million kids in America receive special education, according to the U.S. Department of Education. One out of every 10 children under the age of 14 has some type of special need, which includes any physical, cognitive, or medical disability, or chronic or life-threatening illness. Raising a child with any disorder, condition or special need, is both a blessing … Read More
Do I need a trust?
Just yesterday, I was asked by a friend “Do you think that I need a trust?” “Well,” I said, in my usual lawyerly fashion, “it depends.” In our law firm, we draft many trusts for many different reasons. We also discuss with clients whether or not they should have a trust of any sort. There are many types of trusts, … Read More
Preparing for Cognitive Decline – Powers of Attorney and Moving to a Protected Paradise
Dementia is a frightening disease, the last thing you want to feel is scared, isolated, and restricted. Ever wonder if there is a better, more creative way to provide care for a loved one diagnosed with dementia? It seems that the tiny village of Hogewey, located outside of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, has figured out a way to provide a … Read More
Q & A About Guardianship and Conservatorship
What is Guardianship? The court approved process of appointing a person or agency to act on behalf of an incapacitated adult who is unable to manage some or all aspects of his or her care. What is Conservatorship? The court approved process of appointing a person or agency to manage the financial affairs of an incapacitated adult who is unable … Read More
How to Talk to Your Family About Estate Planning
Discussing finances and end-of-life decisions is not an easy discussion to have with loved ones, but it is an important one. Often many problems in probating an estate or caring for an elderly parent or grandparent can be avoided by simply making sure that necessary conversations occur before it is too late. What should a family discuss? Here are some … Read More
Estate Planning- Not Just for the Rich and Famous
Estate Planning- Is It for Everyone? Estate planning is not just for the rich and famous. Ask yourself this – -Do you have now or have you had a spouse/partner? -Do you have children or grandchildren? -Are they under age 18? -Are they adults that behave like children? -Do you own your home? -Do you own a vacation home or … Read More
Guardianship for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
Parents of children with developmental disabilities are often surprised to learn that when their child turns eighteen, they no longer have the right to make medical decisions for their child or manage their child’s finances. If the child is incapacitated, that is, unable to manage their personal and/or financial affairs, the parents need to consider guardianship and conservatorship. In New … Read More