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July 2019

The Pros and Cons of a Special Needs Trust

Parents of special needs children often worry about protecting the financial future of their child. Numerous options can be used to meet the challenge. One option is the special needs trust. If you are the parent or guardian of a special needs child and you are worried about safeguarding their financial future in case something happens to you, a special needs trust is probably a good idea. Special needs trusts provide a financial provision for someone with special needs. Many individuals with special needs receive federal government benefits. These benefits are accessible through adherence to strict qualification rules regarding the allowable...

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How to Legally Protect Your Assets from the Costs of Long Term Care

Some older adults do not know and fully understand their options and their rights for long-term care (LTC), which is regularly defined as “ruinously expensive.” Those are the exact words that the New York State Court of Appeals used to describe the long-term care scenario in the United States. Many older Americans actively refuse to face the issue. Others rely on faith that they will not need long-term care as they age. Since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that anyone turning 65 today has an almost 70% chance of needing long-term care services of some type...

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It’s Not Too Late to Implement an Elder Law Strategy

We've all heard the old saying, "Better late than never." We've also all seen life prove this particular old saying right – over and over. It's no less true when it comes to elder law planning. If you've been putting off your elder law planning because you fear it may be too late – don't waste another day. Planning late is better than never planning at all, but there's no time like the present. Be proactive. People who do no elder law planning at all often suffer severe financial consequences as a result. Putting elder law strategies in place today...

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Estate Planning: Strategies for Beneficiaries

When creating an estate plan, a lot of thought is given to who should be named an executor and who should fulfill the duties of the trustee. Equal care is usually given to choosing back up agents in the event the first is not able or not available when the time comes to fulfill their duties. Yet many don’t recognize the need to implement strategies for beneficiaries. When creating your estate plan, do not designate beneficiaries lightly. Create a list of your beneficiaries. Take time to consider if you have listed everyone you wish to include. Consider any specific options you...

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Planning Techniques to Help Gain Medicaid Eligibility

For older Americans seeking assistance with the costs of long-term care through Medicaid, income and assets must fit within the established guidelines. One of the most basic of the Medicaid guidelines is that you must spend down your assets before qualifying for state or federal assistance. Strict Medicaid rules are in place to prevent people from getting around the rules. However, numerous strategies are used to circumvent the rules. 5 Common Strategies Used to Qualify for Medicaid Without Spending Down Assets:   Irrevocable Trust: An irrevocable trust allows loves ones to receive the financial benefits of your assets. In the simplest...

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How to Seek Adult Guardianship

Do you have questions about adult guardianship? Are you unsure what it means to seek guardianship or how to start the legal process of naming a guardian? Adult guardianship is a legal procedure in which the court determines that an individual is incapable of making decisions due to a disability or that the individual requires protection. In some cases of adult guardianship, the individual is too confused or forgetful to make decisions about medical treatment or obtain appropriate food and shelter. This situation would be referred to as “disability.” If the court finds someone to be unable to make decisions...

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The Duties of a SNT Trustee

Are you considering taking on the duties and responsibilities of a trustee of a special needs trust? If so, you probably have questions about exactly what those duties and responsibilities are and what it means to be a SNT trustee. While there are many potential duties, these five responsibilities will constitute the majority of what a SNT trustee will need to manage. Duties of a Special Needs Trust Trustee: Make Distributions from the Trust: The trustee is legally required to abide by the terms of the trust when making distributions. Before the SNT trustee can make a distribution, they must...

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The Purpose of the Advance Directive

If you are a young, healthy person, do you need an advance directive? If you are in poor health, do you need an advance directive? If you’ve had open discussions with your loved ones about your preferred health care decisions, do you need an advance directive? The answers are simple, and the answers to all the above questions are the same: YES. Unless you have signed an advance directive to protect yourself if you are ever unable to make your own health care decisions, you are at risk. The advance directive, sometimes referred to as a durable power of attorney for...

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Make Your Own Decisions with an Estate Plan

Do you know what an estate plan is and why you are supposed to have one in place? Do you know the purpose? There is more to an estate plan than simply drafting a will or a trust. It’s more than just ensuring that your assets are transferred seamlessly to your heirs upon your death. The purpose of an estate plan is simple but profound: to allow you to make your own decisions. Don’t waste any more time – put the pieces in place today to keep the decision making power in your own hands: Will/Trust Durable Power of Attorney Beneficiary...

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