Families who have a family member with a disability must plan for the future very carefully. How assets are left after your death can have a tremendous impact on the quality of life for that person. In the past, a Will may have been enough, but times have changed. To protect a person with special needs, a well-defined estate plan is vital. How A Special Needs Trust Works A Special Needs Trust allows a parent, grandparent, family member or guardian to provide funds for a disabled child without … [Read more...] about Planning for Loved Ones with Disabilities
Parents of Minor Children
Most families with children of special needs rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits administered by the Social Security Administration to some extent to provide for the children after the parents pass away. For some families, this is the only plan that they have. However, proections by some suggest that the Social Security Trust Fund may run out of money. It may be time to make other plans. Parents of children with special needs can create Trust funds for their children that … [Read more...] about Special Needs Children and Social Security Benefits
A special needs trust, sometimes referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is a specific type of trust used to provide support for a special needs individual. This exceptional estate planning tool should be considered by anyone who has a child or loved one who qualifies. So what is a supplemental needs trust and why would I want to create one? A Special needs trust, or SNT, may be used for an individual who is physically or mentally disabled or who suffers from a chronic or acquired … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know about a Special (Supplemental) Needs Trust
With the divorce rate hovering around 50 percent in the United States, blended families have become the norm in today's society. If you have just created a blended family, or are planning to do so in the near future, there are a number of changes that you may need to make to your existing estate plan in order to reflect your new status as a blended family. Although each family is unique, the following are possible options to consider. Adding Your Spouse to Titles. Titles to real property, … [Read more...] about What Changes Do I Need to Make to My Estate Plan When I Create a Blended Family?
Think about all the details you know about your child and his or her life. As the parent of a child with special needs, there are some things that only you know. And, if you weren’t there, that information would be lost. What impact would that have on your child’s life? A care plan can ensure that all the important information about your child, down to the smallest detail, is communicated to his or her guardian or trustee. Often done in the form of a Letter of Intent, a care plan is simply … [Read more...] about Special Needs Children Need Special Planning
No way! Married people need estate plans. Some folks think that because they own assets jointly with a spouse, they don’t need an estate plan. In fact, joint ownership is called a “poor man’s estate plan.” In reality, it should just be called a “poor estate plan.” Joint tenancy ownership is riddled with perils. Likely, the most serious peril is the unintentional disinheritance of your children. Sadly, it happens too often because of joint ownership. This is what can happen when you … [Read more...] about Married People Don’t Need Estate Plans, Right?
We are happy to report that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we are still able to deliver quality legal services and to serve our community with their legal needs. We also are doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing facial coverings, disinfecting our office, providing hand sanitizer to all visitors, practicing social distancing, and offering telephonic and video conferencing options. While we navigate our way through this unprecedented era, we will be operating with the above … [Read more...] about Important Notice Regarding COVID-19
In previous newsletters, we have discussed both so-called “529 accounts”, which are a type of tax-efficient education savings accounts and ABLE accounts, which are a relatively new type of account that can be established to provide additional resources for persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. While each account is for a different purpose, they do share some similar features. Due to a recent law change, it is now possible to make limited transfers from existing 529 … [Read more...] about Interaction between Education Savings (“529”) Accounts and ABLE Accounts
Dying without a will or trust is called dying “intestate;” and, the intestacy laws of your state of residence, at your death, will determine who inherits from you and in what percentages. If you die with a well constructed and comprehensive will or trust plan, you get to decide who benefits from your estate. Typically, state intestacy laws don’t match decedents’ wishes. Furthermore, if you die with assets in more than one state, especially real estate, your assets would be subject to two … [Read more...] about What Happens When Someone Dies Without a Will or Trust?
With over half of all marriages in America ending in divorce, it is no surprise that the number of blended families has also steadily increased over the past few decades. If you are one of those people whose is planning to remarry in the near future, you are likely concerned about how to create a successful blended family. Often, the partners in a blended family bring with them children from previous relationships as well as assets and debts. Discussing your financial strategy with your future … [Read more...] about Estate Planning for Blended Families: A Necessity