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Estate Planning

Are You Struggling to Find the Prices for Nursing Home Care?

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Have you noticed that prices for nursing home care are impossible to find? Individuals and families searching for assisted living and other facilities quickly notice how rare transparency in this area. When you are searching for an independent living facility, assisted living community, nursing home, continuing care retirement community, or other care facility for seniors, it’s likely that you’ll see a lot of pleasant photography and wordy descriptions of the location. What you probably won’t see is the price for care at the facility. The public holds most industries to a transparency standard with great success, but one industry that seems...

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Is Your Florida Power of Attorney Valid?

Do you have a Florida durable power of attorney? If so, did you have it created or reviewed by an experienced elder law planning attorney? Too often, Florida durable power of attorneys are no good for long-term care planning purposes. If you are concerned about long-term care planning, please consider having your power of attorney reviewed by an attorney experienced in elder law. Why You May Need to Update Your Durable Power of Attorney: As of October 2011, the Florida Power of Attorney Act made the possibility of a general, all-encompassing durable power of attorney a complete fiction. An all-encompassing power of...

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5 Tips for Seniors Considering Selling Their Home

Many seniors seeking to prepare for their future through elder law planning and Medicaid planning struggle with the idea of selling their home. Selling a home they spent many years living in or raising their family in can become a very emotional experience. And emotions are bound to run even higher if they are moving into an assisted living facility or to live with a family member who will provide care or assistance. If you are a senior considering selling your home or if you have a loved one who is a senior selling their home, consider these tips to...

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Lady Bird Deed vs. Traditional Life Estate Deed

To understand the unique benefits of a Lady Bird deed (or enhanced life estate deed), you must first become familiar with the traditional life estate deed. The conventional life estate deed allows a property owner (Grantor) to reserve the right to live on a property until their death. Upon the Grantor's death, the property goes directly to the designated beneficiary (Grantee) without going through probate. When using a traditional life estate deed, the Grantor gives up their right to sell or mortgage the property. When using a Lady Bird deed, the Grantor is also able to retain the right to live...

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Does Your College-Age Child Need Estate Planning Documents?

When children leave for college, families often have a lot on their minds. They worry about their college students classes, their major, their housing, their roommates, their extracurricular life, the distance from home, the extra expenses, and their grades. But there is one thing that families typically don’t worry about that should probably outweigh all the other items on this list: their college student’s estate plan. Most college students leave home without any estate planning documents in place. Why Does Your College-Age Child Need an Estate Plan? Most college-age children have already turned or are about to turn 18. In most...

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Is a Special Needs Trust Beneficial for Public Benefits Applicants?

Many assume that the use of a special needs trust (SNT) is limited to medical items or items directly related to the disability of the beneficiary. This is actually not accurate because the phrase “special needs” is used with a fairly broad definition. The actual legal phrasing used in virtually all special needs trusts that limits the use of funds to special needs with “special needs” defined as anything that is not provided by the Trust beneficiary’s public benefits programs. Public benefit programs are designed to provide for critical items/essential needs, not supplemental items to improve the quality of life. This...

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What Are the Duties of an Executor or Administrator?

An executor is a person or institution appointed by a testator to carry out the terms of their will and administer the estate. An administrator is a person legally appointed by the court to manage and administer the estate of someone who died without a will. So while the two roles are not the same, they do fulfill the same duties and responsibilities once they are in position. In Florida, a deceased person’s estate is administered by the Personal Representative. Duties & Responsibilities: Gathering Estate Assets: The first task on the Personal Representative’s agenda is to identify and secure the estate’s...

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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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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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