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Elder Planning Isn't Just For The Elderly

White Plains Long-Term Care Planning Law Blog

Options for avoiding the probate of estate assets

When dealing with estate assets, it is a necessary to go through a legal process. Probate involves the collection and distribution of a decedent's assets in accordance with their will and other estate planning tools. In New York, the elements of a person's estate may be located, debts may be paid, beneficiaries identified and assets passed out all through the probate process.

However, not everyone wants their estate to go through probate. Probate is a public process and therefore individuals who do not want their estates made known to the world may choose to find other ways to have their assets passed out. Certain planning elements can help individuals keep their estates out of probate and away from the eyes of the public.

Planning for the long-term care talk with your parents

Long-term care planning involves addressing a multitude of issues, including legal, financial and medical matters. It can include putting aside money, purchasing an insurance policy and drawing up a health care directive or durable power of attorney. In addition, it is going to require some decisions concerning living arrangements and being able to meet daily needs and solving problems that might arise along the way.

When you were young, long-term care issues probably seemed a million miles away. However, now that you are in full swing adult mode and your parents are well past the age of retirement, it may be time to start considering what kind of long-term care your parents might need. Here are a few things to consider while planning for the long-term care talk.

What is a transfer on death account?

When two individuals own an account jointly, they may both use the funds in the account for their own benefit. Their creditors may pursue the funds when the individuals accumulate debts, and the individuals may transfer their rights in the account to others. It is not uncommon for married New Yorkers to use these types of accounts with their spouses.

However, when both of the owners of such joint accounts die, questions can arise with regard to where the funds should be distributed. One way that individuals can transfer property and investments at the times of their deaths is through transfer on death devices. Certain financial tools can be designated transfer on death or TOD, as can certain holdings of property.

Understanding Medicaid for long-term care planning purposes

When it comes to planning for the future, one need to consider how his or her medical care will be addressed. Medicaid is a government program that is administered to residents by the state of New York. It is often confused with Medicare, which is also a government program. While Medicare is a health care plan provided on a national level to elderly adults, Medicaid is a health care and nursing home program that is available to individual of low incomes.

Medicaid recipients may use their distributions to pay for nursing home stays when they are no longer able to care for themselves in their own homes. It is a necessary source of support for some who do not have their own financial resources to pay for long-term care; it is also necessary for those who cannot rely on the support of others to see their late in life needs met.

Know when to file for an Article 81 guardianship

It's heartbreaking to watch your formerly competent and decisive parent deteriorate into a confused, paranoid shell of their former self. Yet, such is the nature of dementia-inducing conditions like Alzheimer's.

Some elderly parents anticipate that they may one day be unable to make good decisions about their health and welfare, and plan for the possibility that one day they may need to live in a safe place where care and supervision is provided. Long-term care insurance can provide funding for them to live out their days in a safe and comfortable environment.

Are you prepared for to manage your long-term care?

Most people hope to live long lives with the individuals that they love and to do the activities that they enjoy for as long as possible. With good health and financial planning, many New York residents are able to fulfill their dreams and have positive life experiences as they age. However, not everyone sets themselves up to enjoy their later years of life, and the failure to plan for the future can leave some older individuals struggling to get by.

Long-term care planning is important for everyone and can occur before a person reaches their retirement years. It involves understanding how one's healthcare may be paid for and managed through private insurance as well as state and federal programs. In includes assessing if and when a person may need to leave their own home to live in a care facility and how they will pay for such services if they require them.

Problems that may lead to will challenges

One of the main reasons that New York residents take the time to make clear estate plans is to save their loved ones from having to guess what their intentions were for the disposition of their end-of-life wealth and assets. An estate plan does not have to be complicated to serve its purpose: the creation of several key documents can make all the difference between an estate that is subject to interpretation in probate and one that is efficiently distributed to a decedent's beneficiaries.

However, just having an estate plan is not enough to ensure that the resolution of a person's end of life estate will be a smooth process. In fact, challenges to decedents' wills are not uncommon and can create problems for estate administrators who wish to execute the intentions of the decedents they serve. This post will discuss just a few of the ways that wills may be challenged after decedents' deaths; further information on this complex legal topic should be sought from an estate planning attorney.

How to use a living will to your advantage

The thought alone of creating a living will may be enough to scare you away from doing so. However, if you remain calm and consider the benefits, you may come to find that it's one of the best additions to your estate plan.

A living will is a legal document that outlines the medical treatments you wish to receive (or not receive), should you be unable to communicate your thoughts to your medical team.

What powers may a guardian exercise?

No one wants to imagine a future in which they are unable to make decisions about their own welfare and care. Part of living independently is having the capacity to judge what one needs for one's own self and to procure it on his or her own terms. However, New York residents may have encountered situations where individuals have lost their abilities to properly care for their own needs and have had to have others step in to help them out.

Guardianships can apply in these situations. A guardian is someone who is recognized by a legal document or appointed by a court to make decisions for another person. In some cases, a guardian is needed to guide the life of a minor who is otherwise on their own. In other cases, a guardian is needed to help an adult who has become incapacitated to manage their own affairs.

Three important estate planning tools to prepare

An estate plan is an important set of documents and instructions that can provide security and peace of mind to a White Plains resident. That is because an estate plan may include the testamentary documents that explain how the creator's possessions should be distributed when they die, who may be in charge of their affairs if they are incapacitated, and how guardianship of their dependents may be managed if needed.

While an estate plan can include a slew of different tools and legal devices, there are three in particular that can serve the interests of New Yorkers in different stations of life. The first is a will, which is an estate planning tool that becomes relevant when a person passes away. Through a will a person may outline how their assets and wealth should be divided up and who will become a beneficiary of their end-of-life possessions.

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