When interest rates are low, intrafamily loans can be a good way to assist a relative (typically a child) with purchasing a house or a family business, and in certain circumstances, they can be used to gift money to the next generation.
The Biden administration is calling on Congress to pass proposals to lower prescription drug prices, including allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies and capping out-of-pocket spending by Medicare beneficiaries.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the elderly, particularly those in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. This has raised questions about how the virus has influenced the costs and provision of long-term care insurance, which covers care in facilities and sometimes at home as well.
Prices of new long-term care insurance policies for 2021 have been posted in the annual report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, an industry group. The price increases apply to new, not current policies. Comparing the 2021 prices with 2020 is difficult, however, because they refer to two different types of policies.
The amount of Social Security benefits a surviving spouse receives depends, in part, on when their deceased spouse began claiming benefits. However, husbands usually don’t take survivor’s benefits into account when claiming benefits, according to a recent study, meaning that many widows will needlessly experience a significant drop in income.
As COVID-19 cases start to rise again due to the highly contagious Delta variant, nursing homes are considering requiring staff members to be vaccinated. Only 59 percent of nursing home staff are partially or fully vaccinated nationwide, and the percentages are much lower in some states.
Many types of property and investments pass outside of probate and allow you to designate who will receive them after your death. It is important that these designations are kept up to date and are consistent with the rest of your estate plan.
Ideally, when a second marriage joins two families together, it should be a joyous occasion that creates one bigger family unit. Unfortunately, it too often also creates inheritance fights between stepparents and children.
Long-term care involves not only a loss of personal autonomy; it also comes at a tremendous financial price. Proper planning can help your family prepare for the financial toll and protect assets for future generations.
Medicaid long-term care benefits traditionally pay mainly for nursing home care, but the federal government can grant “waivers” to states allowing them to expand Medicaid to include home and community-based services.
More and more transactions are done digitally, but estate planning has lagged behind technology. That may be changing, though. Even before the coronavirus pandemic made social distancing necessary, electronic wills were gaining legitimacy.
Every adult is assumed to be capable of making his or her own decisions unless a court determines otherwise. If an adult becomes incapable of making responsible decisions, the court will appoint a substitute decision-maker, usually called a "guardian," but called a "conservator" or another term in some states.
Directed trusts can be a useful estate planning tool, allowing you to place your family’s assets in a trust but benefit from the expertise of an advisor who knows more about the handling of certain trust functions than you may.
A new administration usually means that tax code changes are coming. While it remains unclear exactly what tax changes President Biden’s administration will usher in, two possibilities are that it will propose lowering the estate tax exemption and eliminating the stepped-up basis on death.
If you want to make a gift to family members but have exceeded the annual gifting limit, there is another way. Payments for a family member’s education or health care expenses are exempt from the gift tax.
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders (D) has introduced legislation that would require more estates to pay estate tax and that raises the amounts they would pay. Another proposed law would eliminate the step-up in basis that inherited assets currently enjoy.
With the federal estate tax exemption possibly about to be lowered, it may be time to think about steps you can take to keep your estate from being taxed. An irrevocable life insurance trust allows you to pass on money to your heirs while avoiding both the federal estate tax, as well as any applicable state estate tax.
A recent court case involving a power of attorney demonstrates the problem with using online estate planning forms instead of hiring an attorney who can make sure your documents are tailored to your needs.
A new survey has found that motivated in part by the coronavirus pandemic, younger adults are now more likely to have a will than middle-aged adults. Nevertheless, the overall percentage of Americans with a will has dropped over the past several years.
President Biden has introduced a plan to spend $400 billion over eight years on home and community-based care for the elderly and people with disabilities. The money would go to expand access to care and support higher-paying caregiving jobs.
The federal government has expanded access to protections for spouses of reverse mortgage holders who are not named in the loan document, allowing more such spouses the ability to stay in their home if the borrowing spouse dies or moves to a care facility.
To qualify for Medicaid coverage of long-term care, you must satisfy very complicated financial eligibility rules—rules that often can be traps for the unwary. One of the most significant traps is Medicaid's right to recover its expenses from your estate after you die – a practice known as “estate recovery.”
In a profanity-laced episode of his HBO show that is by turns hilarious and deeply disturbing, comedian John Oliver delivers one of his trademark rants, this one exposing the “abuse and neglect” that he says is all-too-prevalent in our system of long-term care.
Parents and other family members who want to pass on assets during their lifetimes may be tempted to gift the assets. Although setting up an irrevocable trust lacks the simplicity of giving a gift, it may be a better way to preserve assets for the future.