The versatility of trusts for children

Parents in Georgia who are creating an estate plan may think that a will is the best way to pass assets down to children. A will can appoint guardians for minor children, but other vehicles have advantages as well. Beneficiary designations and titles are a way of ensuring that assets pass to heirs quickly and privately. Beneficiary designations can be used with assets such as retirement accounts and life insurance Read More

The hidden culprit inside many nursing home contracts

After avoiding the issue for years, a 67 year old man knew it was time. He admitted his parents to a nursing home. According to him, the paperwork was simply “a little more than a formality.” But that small formality is now part of a broader elder law issue that has stirred nationwide attention. The basic facts are as follows: Three years after his mother was admitted, she was found dead in her room at the hands of a Read More

The role of the settlor of a trust

Estate planning can be confusing for Georgia residents, and the process is filled with terms that are unfamiliar to many people. One of the most common terms involving trusts is settlor, which is often confused with settler but has an entirely different meaning. The settlor of a trust is simply the person who creates it. This is accomplished by first establishing the terms of the trust in a legal document. Then the Read More

The importance of will and trust reviews

A Georgia couple that has a bypass trust in place in order to minimize federal estate taxes may want to revisit their estate plan if there has not been a recent review. In some cases, this type of trust may be in place based on estate planning that took place during a time period that was known for high tax rates and low exemption levels. In the 1990s, only $675,000 per spouse was exempt from the extremely high Read More

Worried about nursing home costs? Don’t transfer your assets

Many people today are included in what’s referred to a “sandwich generation.” They are raising children of their own but also taking care of the needs of their aging parents. When handling Medicare and other issues involving elderly parents, many worry about nursing home care and the costs associated. They often wonder whether their parents will lose their home if they have to be placed into a senior care facility. Read More

Special needs planning: Are ABLE accounts coming to Georgia?

In 2014, Congress passed a rare bipartisan bill. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act allows people with disabilities to set up saving accounts without impacting their Medicaid and Supplement Security Income eligibility. The money in the account would not factor into the $2000 asset limit for disability and other federal benefits. The legislation required each state to set up its own program. Georgia has Read More

A change in housing requires careful consideration for seniors

It goes without saying that some of the more difficult conversations that those people with senior parents will ever have are those that focus on whether it’s time for them to give up certain activities or lifestyle choices owing to their diminished abilities or an underlying health condition. Some examples of these conversations might include whether it’s time to stop driving, whether it’s time to give up certain Read More

3 times when you will want to revisit your long-term care plans

Readers of this blog should understand that the creation of long-term care and estate planning documents can be crucial for people who want to protect their wishes and assets.  If you already have a will, power of attorney and/or trust in place, you have tackled major aspects of planning for your future. However, to make sure these documents and wishes continue to be relevant and enforceable, it can be crucial that Read More

Update your estate plan to reflect life events

Life changes on a constant basis. Relationships change, families change, work and careers change. You need to make sure your estate plan changes, too, to reflect the ebbs and flows of life. Many people make the many critical decisions required to create an estate plan that will protect their loved ones, no matter what happens. They fail to update the plan, however, leaving their estate vulnerable and their loved ones Read More

What do you really know about guardianship and conservatorship? – III

In a series of posts, we’ve been exploring how those faced with the difficult reality of having loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves either physically or financially will often find themselves exploring whether it’s perhaps time to secure a guardianship and/or a conservatorship. In today’s post, our blog will continue this discussion, examining how the law in Georgia has set forth some Read More