Latest Blog Entries

3 basic types of financial powers of attorney

A power of attorney allows a person you appoint — your “attorney-in-fact” or agent — to act in your place for financial purposes.  It is a very important estate planning tool, but in fact there are several different types of powers of attorney that can be used for different purposes. Before executing this crucial document, […]

True story of how making changes yourself to your will is a bad idea

Just as making a will without the help of a qualified attorney can be dangerous, trying to change an existing will on your own can fail as well.  A recent court decision in Minnesota serves as a cautionary reminder to anyone thinking of altering their estate plan on their own. Esther Sullivan executed a will in […]

9 potential problems with your trust

All trusts should be reviewed every few years to make sure that they are up-to-date with the law and meet your goals today. Following is a checklist of trust features you can review yourself. But be aware that these only refer to revocable “living” trusts, not to irrevocable trusts. Do you have the right successor […]

Don’t forget to check retirement plan beneficiary designations

Many people periodically update their wills or other estate plans, but do not remember to update who will receive distributions from their retirement plans (such as IRAs and 401(k)s) upon their deaths. Every year you should review your entire estate plan, and the review should include retirement plan “beneficiary designations” to make sure they are […]

How to ensure an inheritance will be spent well

Many parents or grandparents with sizable amounts of money to pass on to their heirs are apprehensive about the effect it may have on their children or grandchildren. In some instances, they fear that the recipients will misspend the funds on drugs, fancy cars or failing businesses. In other cases, the fear is simply that […]

Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act – in the hands of the House

The Senate has unanimously approved the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, a bill that would allow people with disabilities to create their own first-party special needs trusts without having to rely on others. Now that the legislation has cleared the Senate, action moves to the House, where a companion bill has been tied up in the Energy and […]

5 steps to minimize the risk that your Will is challenged

Emotions can run high at the death of a family member. If a family member is unhappy with the amount they received (or didn’t receive) under a will, he or she may contest the will. Will contests can drag out for years, keeping all the heirs from getting what they are entitled to. It may […]

Was James Gandolfini’s Will a mistake?

James Gandolfini is reported in the New York Daily News of having a $70 million estate for which a federal estate tax of approximately $30 million will be due in large part to his generosity to family and friends. In the article, at least one commentator characterizes this as a tax “disaster.” You can read Mr. Gandolfini’s will, […]

Do you really need an Elder Law Attorney for Medicaid planning in North Carolina?

Do you need an attorney for even “simple” Medicaid Planning? In most cases, the prudent answer would be “yes.” The social worker at your mother’s nursing home assigned to assist in preparing a Medicaid application for your mother knows a lot about the program, but maybe not the particular rule that applies in your case or […]

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to low-income children, seniors, and people with disabilities. In addition, it covers care in a nursing home for those who qualify. In the absence of any other public program covering long-term care, Medicaid has become the default nursing home insurance for many. Lacking access […]

Disclaimer

The Blogs/Content on Website/Downloads are made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes as well as to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. IT IS NOT PROVIDED AS SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE TO THE READER. By using the information provided on or via the Blogs/Content on Website/Downloads the reader understands that there is no attorney client relationship created between the reader and the attorney. The Blog/Content on Website/Downloads should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in the state of the reader.