Monthly Archives: June 2018

Utilizing Burial Directions and Organ Donation in Your Estate Plan

One of the most important parts of successful estate planning is making sure that all possible issues are considered. While many people expect their estate planning to cover subjects like the distribution of their assets, it is also important to consider issues like burial, cremation, and organ donation. By fully addressing these issues in an estate plan, you can remove the chance that your loved ones will make a mistake by attempting to interpret your wishes. As a result, this article will consider two of the topics that are often left out of discussions about estate planning - funeral directions and organ donation. If you have any questions about either of these steps, discuss matters with an estate planning attorney. Be Sure to Document Your Funeral Plans The best way to inform loved ones about what you would like to have happen at your funeral is to write down a list of specific instructions in a document that is kept separate from other estate planning tools like trusts and wills. Some of the common concerns addressed by these plans include whether a person wants to be cremated, be buried, and have a funeral or memorial service, and where the person     Read More

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Are Inherited IRAs Protected From Creditors?

Most people who file for bankruptcy automatically think of their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and 401(k) accounts as the most common type of assets that are exempt from being lost in bankruptcy and kept safe from creditors. As a result, many people believe that they will be allowed to exit the bankruptcy process with their retirement accounts untouched, which will greatly facilitate making a fresh start. The answer, however, is much more complicated if an IRA is inherited. If a person inherits the IRA from a spouse, however, the IRA will not qualify as exempt from bankruptcy and as a result will subject to collection efforts from creditors. In 2014, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of Clark v. Rameker that an inherited IRA someone other than a spouse is not classified as a bankruptcy exemption. In drawing the distinctions between inherited IRAs and participant owned IRAs, the court noted three differences - the beneficiary of an inherited IRA cannot make additional contributions to the account but a participant IRA, an inherited IRA beneficiary must take required minimum distributions from the account but an IRA owner can defer distribution until the age of 70 and ½, and     Read More

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Establishing Trusts When a Family has Debt

More than many other estate planning tools, trusts are capable of protecting a family’s assets for future generation. However, if either the person creating the trust or the beneficiary has debt, the trust will likely not be able to protect the assets from creditors. This means that if someone in the family files for bankruptcy, there is a risk that the trust could be seized for the repayment of debts. The Difference Between Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts The role of debt in the creation of a trust emphasizes the distinction between irrevocable and revocable trusts. A person who creates a revocable trust is in control of the trust until his or her death, which means that assets in this type of trust are considered property during the creator’s lifetime and will pass to beneficiaries after the creator’s death. Irrevocable trusts are not in control of the trust’s creator, but sometimes a “spendthrift”  provision can be added to the trust to protect it from creditor seizure if a beneficiary of the trust later files for bankruptcy. The Advantages of a Trust There are some distinct advantages to both irrevocable and revocable trusts. Irrevocable trusts offer the benefit of reducing estate tax,     Read More

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How to Find the Best Nursing Home for a Loved One

One of the many obstacles to helping a family member perform estate planning is that it is often difficult to accept that a loved needs extra care to survive. It is also a challenge to find a good nursing home for a loved one, particularly when statistics suggest that abuse and neglect are occurring at an increased rate all over the country. There are fortunately several signs that a nursing home is a safe and good fit for a loved one. It is important to weigh each potential nursing home against these criteria to make sure that a loved one ends up getting the best care possible. While the following are five signs of nursing home neglect, if you are interested in learning more, AARP has a list of 10. Sign # 1: Examine the Staff Culture It is important to examine how staff members at nursing homes interact with one another. If staff members are combative or passive with one another, this is likely how they will interact with the nursing home’s residents. The best nursing homes have staff that interact with one another in a pleasant manner. Sign # 2: What Activities do Residents Engage in? Empty corridors     Read More

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