Monthly Archives: October 2020

Selling a House for a Loved One With Dementia

Many people find themselves in the challenging position of having to sell a loved one’s home to pay for that person’s medical care. While this is a difficult ordeal regardless of your loved one’s condition, selling a home becomes even more complex if a loved one is suffering from dementia or mentally incapacitated. To better prepare individuals who find themselves in such a situation, the following reviews critical details that caregivers should appreciate before taking steps to sell their loved one’s home. Can a Person With Dementia Sell Their Home? Only the individual who owns a home can transfer the house to a buyer. If an elderly person has become incapacitated, that individual must appoint someone else through the terms of a durable power of attorney document to act on the individual’s behalf before a sale can occur. If a caregiver or family member has no legal authority through the proper estate planning tools to do so, this individual cannot sell the home. Selling a Parent’s Home When You Have Power of Attorney The authorizations in a power of attorney document distinguish what a person can and cannot do. Many financial power of attorney documents grant an agent the broad     Read More

Tags: , , , , |

Mistakes Frequently Made in Trust Administration

Creating a trust helps people achieve various important goals. Trusts help to manage assets and property as well as make sure that assets are appropriately distributed after a person's death. Trusts can also protect from creditors and others who are interested in collecting on debts. Despite these advantages, however, administering a trust appropriately is not easy. There are several mistakes that people commonly make while handling trusts. Not Understanding What is Required as a Trustee Sometimes, trustees are appointed without being certain about what their responsibilities are. Other times, ambiguous language in the terms of the trust leaves a trustee uncertain what the trust’s creator wanted. Because trustees are personally liable for mismanagement of trusts, it is a good idea for trustees to carefully identify what duties are requested and whether any potential conflicts need to be resolved first. Mismanagement of Trust Assets Trustees have a duty to act in the best interest of the trust beneficiaries and must also conform to federal laws and regulations. These regulations permit beneficiaries to pursue payment from trustees for any investment decisions that lead to financial losses. Trustees, however, can protect themselves by delegating investment duties to a professional investor. Not Remaining Neutral     Read More

Tags: , , |

Recognizing When it is Time to Revise Your Estate Plan

Life changes. So does the way that we should handle our estate plans. As a result, it is a good idea to continuously review your estate plan to make sure that it reflects both your current and future goals.  Many life changes necessitate a revision of your estate plan, which is why it is a good idea to routinely read over the terms of your estate plan. This article was created to help provide a better idea of what situations should necessitate a fine-tuning of your estate plan. Federal Changes The exemption amount for federal estate gift and estate tax exemptions has changed significantly over the last few years, due in no small part to 2017’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act. If you wrote your estate plan before this time, it might be a good idea to revise your estate plan to reflect these changes.  Additionally, as 2020 nears its end, changes in both congressional and presidential leadership could also signify substantial changes in laws that impact estate planning.  Marital Status Changes Changing your marital status can greatly disrupt how your assets are transferred after a loved one dies. Marital status can include not just getting married but also divorce,     Read More

Tags: |

Critical Ways to Maintain Your Advance Health Care Directive

The pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our daily lives. The pandemic has also resulted in significant changes for estate planning, which includes how people think about advance health care directives. Often, these directives specify the type of medical care that patients would like to or do not want to receive in case they are not able to communicate.  These documents also serve the invaluable role of expressing the specific approach that patients would like towards life-saving measures. Many times, advance directives are used in combination with living wills, which appoint a health care proxy to make decisions in case a person is incapacitated.  The Unpredictable Nature of the Coronavirus Tragically, during the coronavirus pandemic, many people are admitted to the hospital without loved ones present due to concerns about how the disease will spread. The most serious COVID-19 patients are as a result at a significant risk of having their intent overlooked by medical professionals.  Additionally, the trajectory of the virus varies greatly, and often there is not a large window in which to treat a person. By having an advanced healthcare directive in place, however, a person can greatly increase the likelihood that their intent is known.  Assumptions     Read More

Tags: , , |