Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Monday, July 25, 2016

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)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Death Doulas Making Dying Easier

Death doulasA death doula primarily works to be a presence at the end of life, easing the passage from living to dying. Their job is to assist and accompany those who are facing death and make this last chapter less scary. Death doulas are emerging as the baby boomers grow closer to this stage and as the recognition grows, presenting how the spirit needs to be attended to just like the body. These doulas job consists of helping with strategies to relieve burdened family members, organizing legacy projects that capture the patient’s life, assisting at the moment of death, and helping loved ones process grief.

See Ellen McCarthy, Dying Is Hard. Death Doulas Want to Help Make it Easier., Washington Post, July 22, 2016.

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

July 24, 2016 in Death Event Planning, Elder Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Saving Social Security by Taxing the Wealthy

Taxing the wealthyAccording to the most recent report, the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust will exhaust itself by 2034. At that time, the program will not cease to exist, but benefits will need to reduce by 25%. This reduction could mean great sacrifices for future generations, considering the amount of retirees that rely on this income. To combat this problem, the Article discusses the best reform—raising taxes on the wealthy. Eliminating the “tax max” of $118,500 would help solve a great deal of the future Social Security problems. Putting this plan into effect, however, faces many obstacles, so it is important to save and invest now for your future retirement.

See Lacey Kessler, Can Taxing the Wealthy Save Social Security?, Trust Advisor, July 14, 2016.

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

July 19, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Hospice Nurses's Journey of Dealing with Death

Hospice nurseHeather Meyerend is a hospice nurse, working in South Brooklyn and visiting her patients approximately once a week. Heather takes her time with each patient and understands that her presence means something different to each. Hospice care believes in taking care of patients medical needs but also the family’s needs, psychological needs, and spiritual needs. The rest of the Article details Heather’s experiences with her many patients and her own life experiences. Read to find out about Heather’s personal way of dealing with dying patients.

See Larissa MacFarquhar, A Tender Hand in the Presence of Death, New Yorker, July 11 & 18, 2016 Issue.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, DC) for bringing this Article to my attention.  

July 15, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nursing Home Encourages Their Sexual Expression Policy

Senior sexA nursing home in the Bronx, Hebrew Home at Riverdale, is allowing residents to freely express their sexual desires under their “sexual expression policy.” Today, America is seeing more and more elders having intimate relationships well into their 70s and 80s, breaking the traditional notions of aging Americans. Accordingly, nursing homes are moving from institutionalized to individualized care, supporting personalized choices like intimate relationships. The Bronx nursing home is sponsoring events like happy hour, senior prom, and a dating service, G-Date, to help resident get involved in such relationships. The nursing home put their sexual expression policy into place not only to encourage intimacy but also to set guidelines for staff members and protect residents from unwanted advances.

See Winnie Hu, Too Old for Sex? Not at This Nursing Home, NY Times, July 12, 2016.

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

July 14, 2016 in Elder Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Estate Planning for Retirees

RetireesIn the United States, the life expectancy continues to rise, meaning that Americans need more financial support as they age. If the aging population does not plan accordingly, they will be unable to maintain the quality of life they deserve during retirement. Estate planners need to help these retirement-age individuals address their new priorities accordingly. When planning for retirement, estate plans should pay attention to gift provisions, so that they do not take advantage of the retirees. Another examination is state income tax, which will effect where retirees establish residency. Estate planners should also consider a retirement trust for their clients, allowing children to disclaim all or some of the inherited retirement account benefits for their own kids.

See John M. Goralka, Estate Planning for an Aging Population, Wealth Management, July 5, 2016.

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

July 7, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Article on the Theory of Sham

ShamAlexander A. Boni-Saenz & Reid K. Weisbord recently published an Article entitled, Sham and Remedial Doctrines, 22 Trusts & Trustees (Forthcoming 2016). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

This Essay articulates a general theory of sham, understanding it as a species of fraud uniquely characterized by the deceptive misuse of an otherwise valid legal form to defeat a substantive rule of law or policy. It then considers two theoretical questions underlying the design and structure of civil remedial doctrines that protect potential victims and claimants against fraudulent sham transfers. First, should a sham avoidance doctrine require evidence of the challenged wrongdoer’s subjective fraudulent intent, or should the doctrine alternatively allow for more objective proof, such as circumstantial evidence of surrounding facts indicative of a sham transfer? Second, is a bright-line rule prohibition or a holistic standard for ex post evaluation more likely to be effective as a remedy for sham transactions and how do concerns about efficiency of judicial review weigh in this rendition of the rules-versus-standards debate? The Essay identifies the Fraudulent Transfer Doctrine as the dominant approach for addressing sham transactions in the United States, which imposes a standard rather than a rule, and allows for proof of either subjective fraudulent intent or objective circumstantial evidence of badges of fraud in connection with the challenged transaction. The Essay then surveys other specialized sham avoidance doctrines, developed to address abusive tax trusts and spousal disinheritance, which illustrate experimentation with both subjective state-of-mind criteria and rule-based prohibitions, with mixed reception and success.

July 1, 2016 in Articles, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sacramento County Reports a Surge of Elder Financial Abuse

Elder financial abuseReports of elder financial abuse in Sacramento County surged to 72% as the public gained awareness of this type of crime and the baby boomer population increased. Technology has made it easier to take advantage of victims with declining mental and physical fitness. Sacramento County, however, reinstated their financial abuse unit in January 2015, hoping to alleviate the problem. The unit’s social workers have developed expertise in the financial abuse area and will have handled approximately 150 cases since June 2015. 

See Brad Branan, Reports of Elder Financial Abuse Surge in Sacramento County, Sacramento Bee, June 25, 2016.

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

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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Challenges of Court-Ordered Guardianship

Guardianship court orderedThe theory behind guardianship is to protect incapacitated people. This relationship, however, can place the incapacitated person in a vulnerable position because not all guardians have good intentions. In response to this problem, recent changes have been made to guardianship laws in 18 states, including guardian background checks and improved access to the incapacitated person. Even with these changes, guardianship still presents challenges, which is why it is important to plan ahead and choose your guardian rather than allowing the court to do so. 

See The Pros and Cons of Court Ordered Guardianships, Wealth Management, June 14, 2016.

June 16, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Guardianship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What Happens if We Forget the Bad Financial Times?

Financial memoryOverconfidence in past financial decisions can cost you as you age, causing people to take more risk than they can afford. As we get older, we benefit from more experience and perspective, but we are subject to biases that affect the details of what exactly we remember.

Consider a study where senior citizens were approximately 25% less likely than their younger counterparts to recall faces paired with larger losses. These senior citizens tend to pay more attention to positive information, which is consistent with previous research. To help with these biases, it is helpful to rely on financial autopilots and target-date funds.

See Shlomo Benartzi & Alan Castel, The Financial Price of Forgetting Bad Times, Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2016.

June 14, 2016 in Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)