Articles Posted in Asset Protection

The term, sandwich generation, was created to refer to a generation of individuals who were taking care of their parents while also having their own children. As the baby boomer generation ages, younger individuals are moving into a similar situation and in many cases are doing so at a younger age than their parents did. While this can be a complex process, adequate planning can help.

A recent AARP study found that approximately one in four family caregivers is a millennial, which refers to individuals born between 1980 and 1996. One reason why younger caregivers are becoming more common is that many baby boomers decided to wait until later in life to have children. Another reason for the increase in millennial caregivers is that divorces are more common and millennials are often acting in the caregiver role that a spouse would have filled. 

Caregiving for an elderly loved one is not an easy process. For one, providing care to an elderly loved one is a time-consuming process. Young caregivers also have less secure jobs and are hesitant to discuss caregiving obligations with the previous generation. Even in the best situation, acting as a caregiver while juggling employment and other obligations can be overwhelming. Through adequate planning, you can fortunately avoid some of the stress associated with caring for your loved one. As a result, this article reviews some important support systems that you should make sure to have in place if you are caring for an elderly loved one. 

If you decide to establish a trust, you will likely need to select someone to make sure that the trust is administered in accordance with your wishes. A trustee is a person who assumes the position of managing a trust’s assets. The regulations to which the trustee must comply are contained in the terms of the trust. While trustees are often the trust’s creator when the trust is formed, trustees can also be the beneficiary of a trust. Following the death or incapacity of the trust’s creator, a person or institution is named as the successor trustee to manage the trust’s assets. The person or entity named in a trust as a successor trustee should also be carefully appointed because an unreliable trustee can both mismanage and waste assets. Also, because trustees have substantial powers, a risk exists that an incorrect trustee might end up harming a beneficiary. While selecting a trustee is a critical aspect of estate planning, too many people appoint a trustee without sufficient planning or thought. As a result, this article reviews some important qualities to look for when selecting a trustee. 

# 1 – The Ability to Perform the Job

To successfully administer and manage a trust, trustees must be capable of performing various tasks. These individuals must have an understanding of both trust terms as well as the applicable law. Trustees should also know how to successfully manage assets as well as be able to diplomatically deal with beneficiaries. While a trustee does not need experience with areas like finance or trust management, whoever is appointed as trustee should be able to show financial responsibility as well as successfully resolve matters with others. The person appointed as trustee should also be able to make ethical decisions and act in the best interest of the trust creator and beneficiaries. 

Estate planning disputes can arise in countless ways. One of the most common types of disputes involves individuals who cannot successfully represent themselves or argue for what is in their best interest like mentally incapacitated adults or unborn beneficiaries. In these situations, a New York judge will often appoint a guardian ad litem to act in the position as a surrogate decision-maker. If you find yourself in such a situation, it helps to consider some important things about guardian ad litem, which are reviewed in this article.

# 1 – Reasons to Consider a Guardian Ad Litem

Guardian ad litem can be utilized whenever disputes have arisen involving custody, visitation, or any other issues addressing the subject. In the case of an older individual, a guardian ad litem is often utilized to make sure that the subject is receiving the best care possible. In accordance with New York’s Appointment of Guardian ad Litem statute, the topic comes before a court as the result of a motion by a party to a divorce action, a conservator, a guardian, or the court itself.

It’s a common predicament. After the holidays have concluded, adult children are frequently left concerned about whether their parents can live safe independent lives. These adults often are left feeling uncertain about what the best decision is to make so that their parents remain safe but also do not have freedoms needlessly stripped. This year has made adult children more concerned than usual because with many people deciding to celebrate the holidays virtually, it’s becoming more difficult to recognize when someone can no longer live independently. Despite COVID-19, there are still several helpful strategies you can follow to have a conversation about long-term care with your parents now instead of later.

# 1 – Discuss Your Parent’s Daily Routine

Whether it’s in person, over the phone, or through video should, you should begin by chatting with your parents and discussing their lives as well as their routines. Some of the critical questions that you should ask include what are your parents’ daily habits and whether they find anything that limits their ability to live life as they once did. You should also inquire as to what modifications your parents have made to their daily lives as a result of the pandemic. Any clues that a parent’s basic daily living activities have ceased or are substantially limited should give rise to concern about the parent’s safety. 

The best types of estate planning involves a multi-faceted approach, which both addresses financial as well as health concerns. While many people are aware of the benefits provided by estate planning tools like wills and advance healthcare directives, one helpful but commonly overlooked estate planning tools are life insurance policies. As a result, to widen the types of estate planning tools that you can consider utilizing as you plan for your incapacity or death, this article reviews the role that life insurance policies can play in estate plans.

# 1 – The Primary Purpose of Life Insurance Policies

Life insurance is often viewed as an income replacement for dependants. For people who are the primary or significant income providers in households, income replacement is not optional. Similarly, if a person is a homemaker or the primary caregiver of a minor or disabled child, it is critical to remember that the cost associated with hiring a replacement caregiver is substantial.

It’s a common occurrence for family and friends to be the caregiver for disabled and elderly loved ones. In these situations, it is critical to understand that caregiver assignments are legal documents that both define as well as describe how a loved one should be cared for by another individual, which often will include a family member or friend. These agreements play the critical role of making sure that family members and loved ones both agree and understand the labor and cost associated with caring for a loved one. To better help you understand the role that a caregiver agreement can play in your estate plan, this article reviews some critical issues that you should consider about such agreements.

Why Caregiver Assignments Are Important

Caregiver assignments are an invaluable tool for making sure that a loved one receives the best care possible from both family members as well as medical providers. These documents can also perform the invaluable role of protecting caregivers by performing the necessary task of describing how much a caregiver should receive as well as the plan of action for such care. Caregiver assignments also often perform a valuable role in avoiding family conflicts.

Communities in New York are dedicated to stopping the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the state has declared various cautionary measures to control the spread of the disease throughout the state. Tragically, despite these measures, New York is still facing a substantially high number of deaths due to the illness. If your loved one passes away in a nursing home from covid-19, it’s common to be left with various questions. One of the most common questions that people ask is who should be held accountable following such a devastating loss. This article considers such an occurrence.

How Families Respond to the Loss of Loved Ones from COVID-19

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a loved one, but COVID-19 tends to deprive individuals of the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved one in a face to face environment. Many times when a loved one passes away from COVID-19, good-bye’s must be made through digital means like Facetime. Due to this risk of transmission, family members and loved ones ultimately lose out on the closure of seeing a loved one for the last time. This closure can greatly help say goodbye to a loved one.

Medicaid is state and federal funding that pays for long-term care costs, either at home, called “Community Medicaid,” or in a nursing home, called “Institutional” or “Nursing Home Medicaid.” The Medicaid rates change every year for income and asset requirements to determine eligibility for benefits. Following are the 2020 New York rates.

A single applicant for Community Medicaid may keep up to $15,750 in assets and $875 in income. If the applicant’s income is greater than the limit, a “Pooled Income Trust” created by a non-profit organization may shelter the excess income to make the applicant eligible for community Medicaid.

A married applicant for Community Medicaid may keep up to $15,750 in assets and $875 in monthly income. The non-applicant spouse may keep their own income and keep up to $128,640 in assets. The rules are different if one spouse is enrolled in a Managed Long Term Care Plan. The applicant spouse may keep $409 of monthly income and the other spouse may keep $3,216 of monthly income. The healthy spouse may keep between $74,820 and $128,640 in assets. “Spousal Refusal” is another option that may help the healthy spouse keep more income and assets. A review of the couple’s income and assets helps determine which approach is more favorable.

In-vitro fertilization, also known as IVF, has its origins in the 1890’s when the first known case of embryo transplantation occurred in rabbits in Great Britain. By 1973, scientists were able to transplant a human embryo into a woman. The first human IVF pregnancy occurred 47 years ago in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to IVF there are other assisted reproductive technologies, commonly called ART for short, that have changed human conception, such as artificial insemination and surrogacy that have made parenthood possible for people who are unable to reproduce naturally.

Significant changes are afoot in the area of estate planning of such families as more children are born from ART methods for reproduction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.8% of all infants born in the United States were aided by ART methods. In the context of estate planning, there are two main issues ART families should tackle. First, how parentage and descendants are defined for legal purposes, such as maintenance and inheritance. Second, is who controls the disposition of stored genetic material that has not been used.  

Are all children descendants, legally speaking, of course?

If you’re eligible for divorce benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can collect up to 50% of the amount your former spouse is eligible to receive by claiming your benefits at his or her full retirement age (FRA).

 
Your FRA is either 66, 66 plus a few months, or 67, depending on the year you were born. The earliest you can claim Social Security benefits is 62. If you claim benefits before your FRA, your Social Security benefits will be permanently reduced by as much as 30%. You can only receive your full Social Security benefit amount if you claim benefits at your FRA.

 
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