Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Questionare to Help Identify Those at Risk for Alzheimer's

Alzheimers3A group of neuropsychiatrists and other experts introduced a 34-quetstion checklist to help identify those at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s. The questions are grouped into domains, including areas like interest, motivation, and drive; mood or anxiety symptoms; ability to delay gratification and control behavior; following social norms; and strongly held beliefs.

See Draft Checklist on Mild Behavioral Impairment, NY Times, July 25, 2016.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

July 28, 2016 in Current Events, Elder Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Alzheimer's Effect on Women v. Men

Alzheimers2Historically, statistics show that Alzheimer’s Disease effects women way more often than men—nearly two thirds of those suffering from the disease are women. It has long been the theory that women live longer and therefore have more time to develop the illness. An annual Alzheimer’s conference, however, has created a different theory for this uneven statistic, reporting that fewer men are being accurately diagnosed and that physicians should pay more attention to younger patients.

Looking at one state’s brain bank, of the brains that were affected by Alzheimer’s, 51% were men and 49% women. Women are often diagnosed at older ages and have more typical symptoms compared to men who are normally younger when the disease strikes and have atypical symptoms. Another factor affecting historical research is how the disease affects women’s brain differently than men’s, often attacking the hippocampus and cortex respectively. The conference also reported several other visible risk factor differences between men and women.

See Tara Bahrampour, Men May Get Alzheimer’s as Much as Women; We Just Haven’t Known How to Spot It, Washington Post, July 26, 2016.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

July 27, 2016 in Current Events, Elder Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Increasing Awareness of Thieves Targeting Elders

Elder abusePolice were called to investigate a case of elder abuse by a woman who befriended an 81-year-old man with dementia and depression. The man, who had once been a missile systems analyzer for the Air Force, now sat broken in his home with a woman accused of stealing his money. This 56-year-old woman befriended him, banked with him, and married him all within seven days of meeting him. At the time of investigation, she had already embezzled more than $65,000 from the man. Following her arrest, a judge sentenced her to two years in prison for the exploitation of a vulnerable adult and ordered her to repay the victim the total stolen amount. This story represents the increasingly targeted practice of thieves against elders who are trusting and living alone. 

See Dan Morse, Elderly, Lonely and Suffering from Dementia – To Thieves, the Perfect Mark, Washington Post, July 25, 2016.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

July 27, 2016 in Current Events, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hershey Trust to Reform Its Governance

HersheybarHershey Trust Co. reached a provisional agreement with the Pennsylvania attorney general to reform the governance practices of the $12 billion charity, which controls the Hershey chocolate company. The trust has faced allegations of arbitrary, extreme spending by board members who control the company through voting shares. The chocolate giant has been seen as a takeover target for quite some time now.

See Nick Turner, Hershey Trust Reaches Tentative Deal to Reform Its Governance, Bloomberg, July 23, 2016.

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 26, 2016 in Current Events, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Reverse Mortgages Helping Fund Retirement

Reverse mortgagesReverse mortgages let homeowners who are 62 and older access their accumulated home equity without facing monthly payments. So, seniors are using these reverse mortgages to finance their future retirement income. They can provide cash or “longevity insurance” when other retirement income sources fail to adequately finance their needs. This home equity can be a large part of an owner’s net worth, which makes it valuable in the long run. However, when providing a bequest to heirs by allowing them to sell your home, a reverse mortgage can eliminate a majority of the equity in your home. So, it is important to understand exactly how reverse mortgages can fit into your financial future and estate plan.

See John F. Wasik, The Quiet Comeback of Reverse Mortgages, NY Times, July 22, 2016.

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 25, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Senior Move Managers Can Help the Elderly Downsize

Senior move managersWhen elders are considering downsizing, an emotional task on its own, they should hire a senior move manager. Aging Americans often find moving stressful because they have grown accustom to their home over several years and accumulated large quantities of assets. Divesting themselves from their belongings becomes a very sentimental undertaking.

Senior move managers can help with these issues facing elders, including donations and sales and hiring movers. The movement of senior move managers is new and growing as baby boomers continue to enter this late life stage. They provide a level of trust that is needed when seniors begin to uproot their comfort level. Also, they bring organizational skills and a discerning eye for the management of certain assets. 

See Kaya Laterman, Helping the Elderly Downsize, NY Times, July 22, 2016.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

July 25, 2016 in Current Events, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Art Sales at a Global Low

Art salesAfter the recession, art collectors were splurging at an all time high, but now art lovers are increasingly content with buying cheaper pieces. Christie’s International, the famous London-based auction house, reported that its sales were down a third from the year before at $3 billion. Only 29 artworks in this period sold for over $6.5 million compared to 47 the year before. Without the large purchases of hungry art collectors, the auction house has shifted their approach to put established artists, whose painting do not always get top dollar, into the spotlight. It has paid off! This along with the persuasion to bid online has really helped to rebuild the industry.

See Kelly Crow, Art Sales Suffer Global Slump, Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2016.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 21, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

HSBC Report on Saving for Retirement

Retirement savingsA report by HSBC Group reveals that Americans prepping for retirement expect to save seven years longer than current retirees. However, almost 44% of those surveyed wished they started saving earlier while 33% state they should have put aside a greater share of income. Additionally, these Americans are working on average five years longer than their global counterparts and rely less on their children for support in retirement. HSBC’s research has also identified ways that can help people improve their financial well-being for retirement, including considering all your retirement expenses, saving earlier, seeking professional advice, and expecting the unexpected. 

See The Retirement Countdown: Americans Are Now Planning to Save Seven Years Longer for Retirement, Business Wire, July 18, 2016.

Special thanks to Kevin Walters (Hill + Knowlton Strategies) for bringing this article to my attention.  

July 20, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gun Trust Loophole Shut Down

Gun trustsBefore last Wednesday, gun trusts were used to circumvent the need for individuals to get sign-off from their local police chief to buy firearms. Now, individuals must follow the same identification and background check requirements that apply to first-time firearm purchasers. There are new requirements for the settlor of a trust making a firearm transfer, such as filing new forms, submitting photographs, and fingerprinting. The new rules say that no sign-off is needed, but all applications will be forwarded to the chief law enforcement, while gun trusts require notification.

See Ashlea Ebeling, Gun Trust Loophole Closed, Background Checks for All, Forbes, July 13, 2016.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 17, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bowie Art Collection Set for Auction

BowieDavid Bowie’s $13.3 million art collection, containing 380 pieces, is set to go up for auction in November. The main piece, entitled Air Power by Jean-Michael Basquiat, is estimated to fetch $4.7 million, which Bowie originally purchased for $120,122. Bowie began collecting modern British art but later turned to contemporary art. His collection will be toured to view before the auction in London.

See Lacey Kessler, David Bowie’s Private Art Collection Goes to Auction, Trust Advisor, July 14, 2016.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 15, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)