Blended families have become the norm in America. While blending families may be the norm these days it doesn’t mean that they blend easily. Often, it takes a significant amount of work and patience to create a harmonious blended family. Along with all of the work it takes to make your new family work, be sure that you also make changes to your estate plan that reflect your new blended family. For starters, review all of your old life insurance policies, retirement accounts and financial … [Read more...] about Estate Plan Changes for a Blended Family
A comprehensive estate plan typically encompasses much more than just a Last Will and Testament. For most people, it also includes things such as a life insurance policy, investment plans, trusts and even documents that you may not think of as estate planning documents like titles to property. Ideally, all of these documents will be coordinated; however, the world doesn’t always operate under ideal circumstances. Sometimes, two or more estate planning documents conflict. Imagine, for … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Documents – Which One Controls in a Conflict?
People who are good with money are often very proud of their ability to know when someone is trying to sell them on a bad idea. For example, they might be proud of being able to tell when someone is trying to sell them on a bad investment. We have long known that people who are good at doing this in their younger years often fall victim to scams in their elderly years. What we have not known is why, until now. Studies conducted at UCLA have recently shown that a section of our brain sends off … [Read more...] about An Interesting Study
Do you remember the old Smokey the Bear commercials? They always said, "Only can prevent forest fires." Taken literally, of course, it's an absurd statement. You cannot personally be around to prevent all forest fires, and the truth is that you cannot prevent a spark of lightning from starting a forest fire even if you are in the area. However, the commercials made sense and had an impact because there are things that you can do to prevent forest fires. In the same sense, we can say that only … [Read more...] about Only You Can Prevent Elder Abuse
No matter your age, you likely know the name “James Brown”. Known as the Godfather of Soul, Brown died back in 2006, yet his estate was just recently settled by the South Carolina Supreme Court after a six year long battle. As is often the case, the rest of us can learn something from the probate litigation that followed Browns’ death. Brown left behind a sizeable estate—the majority of which was left to a charity according to his estate plan. Brown established a charitable trust to help poor … [Read more...] about What We Can Learn from James Brown’s Estate Battle
Should children pay for the long term care of their parents? In the thirty states that have Filial Responsibility laws, they can be legally required to do so. Texas does not have these laws, but the issue is important for Texans whose parents live elsewhere or for Texas parents who might consider moving to another state. Filial Responsibility Laws allow the state, or a health care provider, to sue family members to recover money that was spent on a relative's medical care. Some of the laws take … [Read more...] about Filial Responsibility & Health Care Costs
If you have a trust, it is extremely important that you appoint someone responsible as the person to take over as trustee when you are no longer able to do so. It is called a "trust" for a reason. You need to appoint someone trustworthy who will look after the trust's financial interests. Consider the current issue surrounding the trust of Susan Strong Davis. She is 87 years old and has dementia, so she is no longer handling her affairs or her trust's. Instead, a man named James E. Larkin whom … [Read more...] about Appoint a Trustee You Can Trust
An increasing number of adult children – more than 2 million here in Texas - are caring for their elderly parents and, while few of them would complain about helping their parents in this way, the costs to these caregivers can be significant. Many caregivers reduce their employment hours and experience pay cuts in addition to expending money out-of-pocket to meet their parents’ needs. On the other side of this scenario are elderly parents who recognize the impact of the services their care … [Read more...] about Q&A: Caregiver Agreements
Although you might no longer live at home, you still have rights as a nursing home resident. Unfortunately, many seniors either aren’t aware of these rights or don’t understand what to do when these rights are infringed. Here’s just a few of the most important rights you or your loved one is entitled to. Rights Regarding Personal Freedom As a nursing home resident you have the right to your own personal freedom. This means you are afforded the same rights every other citizen has in their home. … [Read more...] about What Are Your Rights As A Nursing Home Resident?
Nursing home abuse has become a big problem in the United States. We’ve all heard the horror stories about the elderly or incapacitated being neglected or abused by their caregivers. To help combat the abuse and protect nursing home residents, the Government created the Nursing Home Reform Act (NRA) in 1987. The Act covers several aspects of nursing homes and supports government efforts to check abuse. The Act covers: resident care and rights staffing quality of … [Read more...] about Elder Abuse: Understanding Nursing Home Regulations