Beneficiaries with Substance Abuse Issues

As I work with families on their estate plans, one of the more difficult issues that  is raised is what to do when a family member has a substance abuse problem.  Substance abuse effects people of every generation and takes on many forms.  Whether it’s alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal narcotics the affects on the family can be huge.  Families facing this concern should consider the following questions when Read More

Do You Know the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid

Many people confuse medicare and medicaid.  Medicare is provided to seniors over the age of 65.  It is a federal health insurance program.  Medicaid is a needs based federal assistance program that pays for health care for individuals with few assets and low income. Because the criteria for the two programs is different, qualifying for one does not mean you qualify for both.  The asset and income eligibility limits Read More

Minor’s Trusts

Trusts are used for a variety of planning purposes.  One such use is a trust commonly included in wills.  It is a minors trust.  A minors trust allows you to place any inheritance that would be received by someone under the age of 18 into a trust. The trust then functions in several ways.  First, it allows the minors caretaker to gain access to the funds for the health, education, maintenance and support of the Read More

Trusts Can be an Important Planning Tool for Non-Traditional Families

The use of a revocable trust can be an important estate planning technique for non traditional families and same sex couples.  All estate planning should begin with the four key documents but non traditional families and same sex couples need to take that planning a step further. A revocable trust is established during a person’s lifetime and the trust document names a trustee and one or more successor trustees to Read More

Estate Planning for Pets

In some households pets are key members of the family and any estate plan that doesn't address their needs would be found incomplete.  An important first step in this process is to discuss your desires with the person you wish to care for your animals after you are gone.  There are several questions you should ask yourself and discuss with the potential caregiver. Will you care for my pets? Is there a limit on Read More

Overview of Trusts

A trust is a separate legal entity created for a defined purpose.  In estate planning that purpose is often to reduce a taxable estate or to care for loved ones who are unable to manage their finances.  Trusts can be a great tool to accomplish your goals. The person who creates the trust is called the grantor or settler.  The trust is created as either a revocable or irrevocable trust. If a trust is revocable the Read More