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Debt Is Piling Up: Will Americans Make It Out Alive?

About 68% of Americans wonder whether they will ever become debt-free, and while debt from credit cards, mortgages, medical bills and even student loans continues to pile up, a few simple strategies can help consumers make it out of debt alive.

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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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Does Bankruptcy Affect a Settlement Award?

The disbursement of settlement proceeds may be significantly impacted for individuals who have filed personal injury claims before filing for bankruptcy or throughout an open bankruptcy unless they take certain steps to preserve their settlement funds. Taking the following steps can help ensure that individuals have more control over their settlements, preventing unwanted circumstances from negatively affecting them.

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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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Converting a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to a Chapter 7

Converting a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 is sometimes a solution that better meets the financial needs of some consumers, but it may not be the best choice for everyone. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often an attractive option for debtors as it wipes out most debt owed, while Chapter 13 requires a portion of the debt to…

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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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