Category: Probate and Estate Planning

Get These Documents in Order Before Your Child Goes Away to College

There are three important legal documents that parents should have in place before their college student leaves for or returns to school. Once a person reaches the age of majority, his or her parents are no longer entitled to access medical records, financial information, or make decisions on their child’s behalf.

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5 Red Flags that Indicate a Problem with Your Estate Plan

Although it is easy to consider an estate plan a sealed deal once it is completed, one that has not been updated in a while may need to be reviewed for red flags that might indicate it’s out of whack. A plan that is not updated to reflect family and life changes, current laws, or newly acquired assets can…

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Careful Estate Planning Can Help You Qualify for Medicaid

Careful estate planning can help older or disabled individuals obtain eligibility for Medicaid without depleting their assets, preserving some or all of their wealth while helping them avoid penalties. While the creation of trusts is an attractive solution for many Medicaid applicants, only certain types of trusts are effective for avoiding asset limits, and specific rules apply.

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Trusts and Wills: Why You Need Both

Individuals should consider creating both a trust and a will to help ensure that all of their assets are protected and distributed in accordance with their wishes. While a will alone offers a number of benefits, the documentation becomes public information upon a person’s passing and a will is subject to probate, which can be extremely costly sometimes.

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What Happens to a Reverse Mortgage After Death?

When the owner of a home with a reverse mortgage dies, the heirs are on the hook for the full loan balance and any interest that’s accrued over the life of the loan term. The lender will expect a quick repayment regardless of whether the beneficiary plans to live in the home or not.

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Will a Living Trust Protect Your Assets From Nursing Home Costs?

Irrevocable living trusts can be used to protect a person’s assets against nursing home expenses under certain conditions. Since the property transferred is owned by the trust, assets in such a trust are not considered when applying for Medicaid, and assets are shielded from depletion when receiving long-term care.

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Using a Special Needs Trust for Medicaid Recipients

Special needs trusts are designed to provide funds or other assets that benefit the disabled individual who is receiving Medicaid or SSI benefits without jeopardizing the recipient’s income eligibility. Often referred to as supplemental needs trusts, they can be used to provide services and amenities to recipients that improve their quality of life. Since public benefits programs are highly…

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A Life Estate Deed Could Protect Your Home

A life estate can ensure that property is passed to an individual’s intended heir(s) immediately after death. This allows the individual to reside in the home while creating different rights of possession for the homeowner and the intended heir(s). Setting up a life estate with an Illinois probate lawyer can avoid conflict over the property and make it easier…

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