If you’re thinking that you can protect your pets by leaving money in your Will, think again. Under the law, pets are considered property and therefore, cannot inherit. The alternative is to bequeath the money to the person you’ve designated as your pet’s caretaker. But once the money has been dispersed and the terms of the Will have been met, the estate is dissolved and the probate court is out of the picture. There’s nothing in place to ensure that the designated caregiver uses the money … [Read more...] about Why You Need A Pet Trust
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants authority to someone you choose to take action on your behalf. POAs can be used for a variety of purposes but they’re most commonly used when you need your attorney to negotiate or enter into contracts on your behalf. What makes a POA “durable” is that you intend for the authority to continue, even if you become incapacitated. The authority granted under a general POA is automatically revoked if you become mentally incapacitated or … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between A Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney?
If you were to pass away tomorrow, who would inherit your estate? This may sound like a trick question but the fact is, it may not be who you think. While most of us assume that our closest relatives and loved ones would inherit our assets, that’s not always the case. Old life insurance policies, pensions and retirement plans can have an ex-spouse or deceased relative as the beneficiary and since you never thought to change them, those accounts aren’t going to be distributed the way you … [Read more...] about Who Will Inherit Your Estate?
Estate planning might seem a little complicated, especially when you consider all the various forms and tools you might use. Yet, while every estate plan is different, there are some common mistakes you’ll always want to avoid: Stopping At A Will Many people believe that if they have a Will, their estate plan is complete. But this simply isn’t true. You might have a disabled dependent you need to plan for or children from more than one marriage – the point is, there are a number things … [Read more...] about Common Estate Planning Mistakes
For some, the cost of long-term care insurance is just too expensive; especially with so many living paycheck to paycheck or putting off this commitment until it’s too late to be affordable. Yet, while there might not be much you can do to bring down the price, there are some steps you can take to work this important coverage into your budget. The first thing you should do is consult with a financial adviser. He or she may be able to help you rearrange your investments, resulting in a higher … [Read more...] about Budgeting Your Long-Term Care
While no one wants to think about a time when our parents are no longer around, the truth is, that day will come and there are actions we can take now to be better prepared. So although it may be an uncomfortable conversation, talking to your parents about their estate plan and end-of-life decisions will help you ensure that their wishes are carried out. The first thing to remember is to start the conversation early. Waiting until your parents become ill or incapacitated will make it … [Read more...] about Asking the Difficult Questions
A Health Care Directive is basically a durable Power of Attorney that allows you to name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you become unable to do so for yourself. In some states the Directive instructs others about the care and treatment you wish to receive in very narrow, specific circumstances; for example, if, in the opinion of two physicians, you are either terminal or persistently unconscious. In those states, a separate Health Care Power of Attorney covers … [Read more...] about What is a Healthcare Directive?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Insurance (SSI) are two types of disability benefits offered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to be eligible for either type of benefit you must meet SSA disability guidelines and be unable to work for income. Similarities Both SSDI and SSI offer supplemental income to individuals who are disabled. Your disability may be mental or physical as long as it is deemed enough to keep you from working a job. When … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?
Many retirees live on a fixed income and paying extra taxes can easily strain their financial well-being. Fortunately, there are deductions that seniors can take advantage of that will help to save money on taxes. Contributions to Your Retirement Plan – Even after you retire you can still make contributions to your IRA account, or if you are self-employed you can make contributions to your SEP-IRAs or Keogh plans. This serves a double purpose, you get a tax deduction for the contribution, … [Read more...] about Important Tax Deductions for Seniors
In the estate planning world, a Revocable Living Trust and a Last Will and Testament are the two most common documents used to settle estate affairs and pass property and financial assets to beneficiaries. Both offer the ability to name your heirs as well as someone to oversee your estate, and give you the capability of dividing your assets among those you love. But there are several ways these two documents are different: Life and Death A Last Will and Testament, the most commonly … [Read more...] about Trust vs. Will: Understanding the Difference