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November 2014 Archives

Family Discussion on Powers of Attorney and Living Wills

A great time for a discussion on Healthcare Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and end-of-life decisions is with everyone sitting around the table at Thanksgiving.  It may not seem that these topics are "fun" to discuss while your family is giving thanks for the delicious food, for being together and for any other good things that happened during the past year, but it is a good time to look ahead and plan for a time when a crisis may occur. 

Veterans Benefits may be part of long term care planning

As part of long term care planning, Veterans Benefits may be discussed if you or your spouse is a Veteran.  Veterans Benefits are complex and subject to many rules and regulations. To be eligible for pension benefits, a veteran must have limited income, been discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war time, and be age 65 or older OR permanently and totally disabled.  There may be additional requirements depending on the dates of service. It may be helpful to meet with an elder law attorney to discuss possible eligibility as part of long term care planning.   

How Does Certain Property Pass After Death?

Last Wills and Testaments pass property to heirs after the death of the Testators, the people who signed them. However, there are other ways to pass property outside of Last Wills and Testaments, such as jointly-titled property, payable on death accounts and beneficiary designations.  It is a good idea to review your assets with an elder law attorney to determine which property is controlled by your Last Will and Testament and which property passes in other ways. 

Long Term Care Planning - Insurance

When doing long term care planning, one important consideration as a way to help pay for long term care, whether it is care at home or in a facility, is LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE.  This type of insurance is purchased to help deal the costs of long term care, which may be $12,000 to $15,000 per month for care at home, $3,000 to $6,000 per month for a personal care home or assisted living facility and $8,000 to $10,000 per month for nursing facility care. Long term care insurance can shift some of the risk of paying for long term care to an insurance carrier and, therefore, protect your assets. 

Powers of Attorney and Gifting

Powers of Attorney may contain authority for the Agent to make gifts of the Principal's assets.  The type of authority to make gifts, whether it is limited or unlimited, or even if the Agent should have any such authority, should be discussed with a certified elder law attorney and then written carefully in the Power of Attorney.

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