The acronym HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. In this post, we will explain why this piece of legislation is something to take into consideration when you are planning your estate.Advance Directives for Health CareEveryone is well aware of the fact that you have to facilitate postmortem asset transfers when you put your estate plan in place. A lot of people think this is the long and short of it, but a proper estate plan will also address … [Read more...] about What Is a HIPAA Release?
A simple last will is considered by many to be the estate planning tool of choice for people who are not very wealthy. In fact, this is not necessarily the case.You have limitations when you use a will. Lump sum distributions would be distributed to the heirs, and this can be a source of concern if you have people in the family who are not great money managers. Plus, the inheritances would be fair game if anyone on your inheritance list was to be the subject of a legal judgment.The … [Read more...] about Wills vs. Trusts: Understand the Distinctions
Some people think that estate planning boils down to one simple act. You take a few minutes to fill in the blanks on a last will template that you buy from some company on the Internet, and the task has been completed.In reality, there is a lot more to consider if you want to be properly prepared. Let’s look at a number of different reasons why you would do well to engage an estate planning lawyer.Asset Transfer DevicesOne of the first things you should understand about the process of … [Read more...] about Do You Really Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?
You may wonder why anyone would use a trust instead of a last will. After all, a will is simple and easy to create, and the executor can transfer assets to the inheritors quickly and efficiently, right?In reality, this is a widely held misconception. Let’s look at the differences between wills and trusts.Will Limitations and DrawbacksIf you use a last will, the executor who you name in the document would admit the will to probate. The court would oversee the proceedings, and during … [Read more...] about Will vs. Trust: What’s the Difference?
Most people know that it is important to put an estate plan in place, but many of these folks procrastinate. They feel as though it is something that they can address later on, but unfortunately, in far too many cases, they never get around to it.If you were to die without any estate planning documents, the result would be the condition of intestacy. Under these circumstances, the probate court would supervise the administration of the intestate estate. A personal representative would be … [Read more...] about Don’t Let the State Plan Your Estate
People often think of estate planning as being something that is all about financial matters. It is true that you have to facilitate postmortem asset transfers, but what about the period of time that will precede your passing?An incapacity component should be embedded within every estate plan. This is usually discussed as it applies to the eventualities that await senior citizens. Many elders become unable to make sound decisions due to incapacity triggered by dementia or for some other … [Read more...] about Incapacity Planning for Young Adults
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
If you start to look into estate planning for the first time, you will invariably hear the term “probate” mentioned quite often. In this post, we will provide some information about the probate court so that you can go forward with a basic understanding of its functions.GuardianshipWhen you think about the concept of guardianship as it applies to estate planning, minor children may come to your mind. This is definitely one type of guardianship, and the probate court has jurisdiction over … [Read more...] about What Does the Probate Court Do?