There’s a new virus that’s emerging, novel “coronavirus,” also called “COVID-19.” It first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019. Here’s a link to the WHO’s site for the latest global information. At this point, the virus has infected near 100,000 people in 81 countries.There are hundreds of cases in the United States. Here’s the latest from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, there is no reason to panic. … [Read more...] about Preparing for Coronavirus
If you don’t know much about long-term care and the costs associated with it, you should definitely educate yourself when you are looking ahead toward the future. You may be surprised to hear that Medicare does not pay for living assistance, and this is a very big deal, because long-term care is extremely expensive.Here in the Overland Park area, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home is over $70,000. Assisted living communities are also costly at more than $34,000 per … [Read more...] about News Flash: Medicare Doesn’t Cover Nursing Home Costs
For most people, taxation is a small factor when inheritances are being distributed. There are no regular income taxes to pay on may assets, and if you inherit appreciated assets, you get a step-up in basis. This means that for capital gains purposes, the value of the assets would be equal to the date the original owner died, even if they appreciated considerably during the life of the person who left you the inheritance.This being said, high net worth individuals do have to be concerned … [Read more...] about How Can You Reduce Estate Tax Exposure?
It’s important to consider whom you’d want to get your assets when you die. Most of us have an idea of whom we’d choose. But, it’s also important to consider who should get those assets if your preferred recipient isn’t around. Life is full of odd twists and turns. Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t die in the order you’d expect. (The deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in a helicopter accident demonstrated this.)Let’s look at an example of the importance of naming contingent … [Read more...] about Whom Do You Want to Get Your Assets?
As estate planning lawyers, we feel a great deal of responsibility when it comes to educating people in our community. With the proper planning, you can prepare for the eventualities of aging as you craft your legacy, but a lot of people don’t understand how it’s done. In this blog post, we will share four important pieces of information in a question and answer format.At what age should you put an estate plan in place?This is a very good question. Since the average lifespan is close to 80 … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: Four Questions to Consider
Our elder law attorneys always stress the importance of comprehensive planning. There is no doubt about the fact that some of the matters that must be addressed are not particularly pleasant to consider.At the same time, if you stick your head in the sand and hope for the best, you and your family may wind up paying a considerable price later on. This is a dynamic that definitely applies to the subject of incapacity.Aging and Alzheimer’s DiseaseIt is important to understand the facts … [Read more...] about Incapacity Looms Large During Your Twilight Years
We often discuss the value of living trusts with clients who come in for personal consultations. They typically have many of the same questions, so we have a good understanding of the impressions that many people have about living trusts.In this blog post, we will share a hypothetical conversation between a client and a living trust attorney in an effort to shed some light on the subject.Aren’t living trusts only for very wealthy families?A lot of people are under the impression that … [Read more...] about Understanding Living Trusts
Beneficiary designations and other non-probate transfers are an often-overlooked part of estate planning. They are overlooked by clients and sometimes even by professionals.When planning what would happen to your assets at death, most of us think, “Oh, that’s simple, I need to do a Will to take care of that!” But, that’s just part of the process. You almost certainly have assets that are controlled by beneficiary designations or other non-probate transfers.Let’s look at an example. Mary … [Read more...] about Beneficiary Designations and Other Non-Probate Transfers
You have a number of different legal devices at your disposal when you are engaged in your estate planning efforts. Trusts can satisfy many different respective underlying objectives, and you should understand all the facts so that you can protect your resources and provide for each person whom you love in the ideal manner.A major distinction between classes of trusts is the power of revocation. There are some trusts that you can revoke, and there are irrevocable trusts. Let's look at some … [Read more...] about Trusts 101
More and more Americans are dying at home rather than in hospitals. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, in 2017 29.8% of deaths by natural causes occurred in hospitals while 30.7% occurred at home. The percentage of people dying in hospitals has been declining for several decades. While in 1912 two-thirds of people died at home, this evened out in the 1950s. By the 1970s, at least two-thirds of people died in hospitals. Since the 1970s, the trend has reversed. Now, more people are … [Read more...] about How Will You Age in Place and Be Able to Die at Home?