Choosing A Trust Instead Of A Will

Wills are an important estate-planning tool, but it is a mistake to assume you can use them interchangeably with trusts. In other words, if you have drafted a will, there are still significant benefits associated with creating a trust too. Ultimately, both of them allow you to pass your assets to your beneficiaries, but they do so in very different ways.  For example, when you pass away after only having a will, your Read More

Protecting SSI For Your Special Needs Child

We have talked about the unique estate planning considerations for people with special needs. By inheriting your assets, they may become ineligible for the programs and forms of assistance they rely on. Though these parents want to support their children and ensure they are provided for, they may inadvertently harm them by not being thorough in their approach to estate planning.  At J. Kevin Tharpe, P.C., we resolve Read More

Self-Settled & Third-Party Special Needs Trusts

Although we have discussed how and why you need to create a special needs trust, it is essential to distinguish between a self-settled trust and a third-party one. Self-settled trusts can be particularly confusing because they are also referred to as first-party trusts. Despite what you think the name implies, these trusts are not established by those with special needs. They are created by a parent (or grandparent), Read More

Estate Planning & Elder Law: Distinct But Complementary

It is very common. When you discover that an attorney builds estate plans, you may see “elder law” as a separate practice area. Though the skills attorneys develop through crafting estate plans may lay the foundation for a career in elder law, they are still two disciplines. Furthermore, you will discover they are answers to two different questions. Two Questions When you approach an estate planning attorney, you Read More

Prepping For Your First Estate Plan

Even if you have never considered creating an estate plan before and have not yet begun, you still have made the responsible decision to start. To help you along, we will provide some insight about what you can do before you ever meet with an estate planning attorney.  Most of the tips will work in conjunction with the things you will do with a lawyer. The odds are that they will ask you to do some of these steps. By Read More

Competency vs. Capacity

Though you may have heard these two terms being used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings—and they have specific applications. Capacity and competency are separate, but they are also determined by different people and used for unique purposes.  Competency  The terms get misunderstood and switched because “competency” is sometimes referred to as “legal capacity.” To help you understand the term, remember the Read More

Benefits For An Aging Veteran

There are over 18 million veterans in the United States. Almost 1 out of every 10 Americans has served in the military. These people represent critical moments in our history—from World War II to the Global War on Terrorism. Even the most recent conflict has veterans who have aged out of military service or have reached retirement.  Because of their service, there are numerous benefits available to them. This Read More

Should nursing home residents have a medical power of attorney?

If you are planning to move your elderly parents into a nursing home, you undoubtedly have a great deal on your plate. After all, not only must you choose the right facility, but you also need to figure out how to pay for extended care. Encouraging your parents to write a good estate plan may be key. As part of the estate planning process, your parents may want to create a durable power of attorney for health care Read More

No will or trust for your estate: What happens at your death?

If you have high-end property, it may be a challenge to plan your estate well. Even after careful planning, there may be changes in your life that can result in the invalidation of your original plans. For instance, if there are family changes or changes in tax laws that complicate your initial estate plan or will. However, when this happens and you pass away, Georgia law allows the distribution of your property to Read More

What is Medicaid Estate Recovery?

Many Georgia seniors turn to Medicaid to help cover long-term medical care costs. However, doing so may affect the estates of some seniors. What is the Medicaid Estate Recovery program? Medicaid Estate Recovery The Medicaid Estate Recovery Program is a federally required program. Chapter 111-3-8 of the Rules of Department of Community Health, Medical Assistance explains the program. This program requires that Read More