As people get older it’s a natural desire to help their children financially, or perhaps make gifts to their grandchildren or other family members. But that generosity may later affect their eligibility for Medicaid benefits if they ever need long-term care.
WHAT IS MEDICAID?
Medicaid is a program that provides health coverage and long-term care to millions of Americans, including eligible low-income adults, children, elderly adults, and people with disabilities. Although the program is administered under federal guidelines and partially funded with federal funds, it is administered independently be each state.
MEDICAID AND LONG-TERM CARE
With the advancements in medical technology, people are living longer than ever before. As a result, it’s not unusual for them to outlive their financial resources. For those individuals who may require long-term care at some point during their lifetime, without the ability to pay for such care, Medicaid is often the program to which they turn. For those who meet the program’s strict asset and income guidelines, Medicaid can provide life-saving benefits to cover the costs of a nursing home or other long-term care. However, the program rules are extremely complex, and great care must be taken in order to comply with them. Actions that people take now could affect their eligibility for benefits in the future. Continue reading
Transfer on Death (TOD) Deeds to Transfer a Home or Real Estate Upon Death
In a past Estate Planning post I discussed how beneficiary designations can be an effective tool to avoid Probate upon death. As a Wisconsin Estate Planning Attorney I often use a type of beneficiary designation to pass a home or other real estate to a person’s family members when that person dies. This beneficiary designation is established with a properly drafted Transfer on Death Deed, also known as a TOD Deed. A TOD Deed allows the owner of real property to execute a deed during his or her lifetime, which names the beneficiary or beneficiaries who will receive title to the property upon the owner’s death. This allows the real estate to be transferred to the beneficiaries without them having to go through the probate process. Continue reading
Need Help Making out a Will? Preparing your Will is Important Business.
As an Estate Planning Lawyer, I often meet new clients who tell me that they’ve been putting off having their will prepared for several years. It’s certainly an easy thing to postpone. When we’re younger we often feel invincible – as if we’ll live forever. We don’t think about preparing a Last Will and Testament until we’re prompted by a certain event in our life such as a death in the family, a medical crisis, or even taking a long-distance vacation. But it’s never to soon to be prepared – every adult should be thinking about their estate plan. And drafting a will should not be taken lightly, it’s very important business. Continue reading
Estate Planning Becomes Challenging for Second Marriages and Blended Families
When one or both spouses are on their second or subsequent marriage, or in cases where families are blended together in a non-marital environment, Estate Planning can present some unique and challenging issues.
As an Estate Planning Attorney I often work with clients who are on their second or third marriage, and each spouse may have children from a previous marriage or relationship. They may also have children together. Other clients may live in a long-standing marriage-like relationship and they, too, frequently have children together or children from previous marriages or relationships. Continue reading
Beneficiary Designations to Avoid Probate
Beneficiary Designations to Avoid Probate can be a Great Estate Planning Tool When Properly Used. But Use Caution to Avoid Common Pitfalls.
You may have heard that you can avoid probate upon your death by simply placing beneficiary designations on your assets. Beneficiary designations, sometimes referred to as Pay on Death or POD designations, can be a great estate planning tool when properly used. Individuals who are named as beneficiaries on your various bank and investment accounts, insurance policies, retirement plans and so forth, can receive their share of the asset or plan upon your death directly from the institution or company involved, without the asset or funds being included as part of your probate estate. Depending upon the nature of your assets, sometimes probate can be avoided entirely with properly designated beneficiaries. However, be sure to use caution to avoid some very common pitfalls. As an Estate Planning and Probate Attorney I’ve seen various unexpected results with beneficiary designations, including the following: Continue reading
Creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC)? Use Caution…Starting a Business is not always a simple venture
So you’re starting a new business? It can’t be that difficult…can it? You do the research and decide that a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the best entity for your new venture. You may event go online and register your new entity with proper state agency. But use caution. Before you open the doors of your new business be sure you consult with a qualified Business Law Attorney to ensure that you’ve covered all the bases. Continue reading
For Sale By Owner Attorney
The real estate market is finally beginning to recover. Whether you’re working with a realtor, or venturing out on your own to buy or sell a property, it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced real estate attorney. This is especially true with a For Sale by Owner transaction, also know as a FSBO.
A real estate transaction often begins with a document referred to as an Offer to Purchase. While this document may appear to be a fairly innocent looking form, it is in fact a legally binding contract that consists of several important provisions. Unsuspecting sellers and buyers often have no idea of the legal consequence of these provisions. Great care must be taken to ensure that a real estate offer is properly prepared, and that all necessary contingencies and terms are included. Each contract should be custom tailored to each set of circumstances.
Proper Estate Planning can Avoid Legal Battles.
New Year’s Resolutions. We all make them; we all break them. But estate planning is one resolution that’s too important not to keep. Whether you live in my home town of Hudson, WI or across the river in the great land of MN, you’re never too young to have your affairs in order with a suitable Last Will & Testament, Revocable Living Trust, Power of Attorney documents, and a Living Will. Continue reading