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Planning for Your Golden Years: 5 Things You MUST Know!

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Planning for Your Golden Years: 5 Things You MUST Know!   Webinar on: Wednesday, October 28th, 2020 10:30 am To register call us at 301-663-9230 or Kristin@davidwingate.com   For a complete list of upcoming seminars, visit our website at www.davidwingate.com. Peace of mind is only a call or click away! For an Initial Consultation call Estate and Elder Planning by David Wingate at (301) 663-9230 or visit www.davidwingate.com David Wingate is an estate planning and elder law attorney at Estate and Elder Planning by David Wingate. The Estate and Elder Planning office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills,…

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Five Reasons to Have a Will

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Your will is a legally-binding statement directing who will receive your property at your death. It also appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. However, the will covers only probate property. (Probate is the court process by which a deceased person’s property is passed to his or her heirs and people named in the will.) Many types of property or forms of ownership pass outside of probate. Jointly-owned property, property in trust, life insurance proceeds and property with a named beneficiary, such as IRAs or 401(k) plans, all pass outside of probate. Why should you have a will?…

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Understanding the Common Types of Trusts

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A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.” Trusts fall into two basic categories: testamentary and inter vivos. A testamentary trust is one created by your will, and it does not come into existence until you die. In contrast, an inter vivos trust, starts during your lifetime. You create it now and it exists during your life. There are two kinds of inter vivos trusts: revocable and irrevocable. Revocable Trusts Revocable trusts are often…

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Your Medical Directive

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Any complete estate plan should include a medical directive. This term may encompass a number of different documents, including a health care proxy, a durable power of attorney for health care, a living will, and medical instructions. The exact document or documents will depend on your state’s laws and the choices you make. Both a health care proxy and a durable power of attorney for health care designate someone you choose to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. A living will instructs your health care provider to withdraw life support if you…

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End-of-Life Care Decision Making

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Just as we create estate plans for our eventual demise, we also need to plan ahead for the possibility that we will become sick and unable to make our own medical decisions. Medical science has created many miracles, among them the technology to keep patients alive longer, sometimes indefinitely. As a result of many well-publicized “right to die” cases, states have made it possible for individuals to give detailed instructions regarding the kind of care they would like to receive should they become terminally ill or are in a permanently unconscious state. These instructions fall under the general category of…

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8 Tips for Having ‘The Talk’ with Elderly Parents

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Talking about estate planning is a difficult, emotional topic but it’s essential for every family. Unless you’re certain your parents have an up-to-date will and a wider plan for what should happen in the event of their passing, you shouldn’t assume everything will be taken care of. According to a 2017 survey, less than half of Americans have a will. If your mother or father dies intestate – meaning without a will – such a situation could lead to added emotional strain and stress. And it could have financial implications for all their children and/or other family members. The following…

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Medicaid’s Asset Rules

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In order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits a nursing home resident may have no more than $2,500 in “countable” assets (the figure may be somewhat lower / higher in some states). Note that Medicaid is a state-run program, so the rules are somewhat different in each state, although there are federal guidelines. The spouse of a nursing home resident–called the “community spouse” — is limited to one half of the couple’s joint assets up to $128,640 (in 2020) in “countable” assets. This figure changes each year to reflect inflation. Called the “community spouse resource allowance,” this is the most that…

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How Does Medicaid Treat Income?

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The basic Medicaid rule for nursing home residents is that they must pay all of their income, minus certain deductions, to the nursing home. The deductions include a $83-a-month personal needs allowance (this amount may be somewhat higher or lower in your state), a deduction for any uncovered medical costs (including medical insurance premiums), and, in the case of a married applicant, an allowance for the spouse who continues to live at home if he or she needs income support. A deduction may also be allowed for a dependent child living at home. In determining how a Medicaid applicant’s income…

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Medicaid Protections for the Healthy Spouse

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Medicaid law provides special protections for the spouses of Medicaid applicants to make sure the spouses have the minimum support needed to continue to live in the community while their husband or wife is receiving long-term care benefits, usually in a nursing home. The so-called “spousal protections” work this way: if the Medicaid applicant is married, the countable assets of both the community spouse and the institutionalized spouse are totaled as of the date of “institutionalization,” the day on which the ill spouse enters either a hospital or a long-term care facility in which he or she then stays for…

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Caregiver Contracts: How to Pay a Family Member for Care

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Although people are willing to voluntarily care for a parent or loved one without any promise of compensation, entering into a caregiver contract (also called personal service or personal care agreement) with a family member can have many benefits. It rewards the family member doing the work. It can help alleviate tension between family members by making sure the work is fairly compensated. In addition, it can be a be a key part of Medicaid planning, helping to spend down savings so that the elder might more easily be able to qualify for Medicaid long-term care coverage, if necessary. The following are some things…

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