Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

When A Loved One Has Alzheimer’s Careful Planning Is Essential

AlzheimersWhen a family member or loved one has Alzheimer’s it is important to plan ahead.  Early planning can potentially alleviate a lot of stress that might come up as a result of waiting too long.  It is important to put in place both legal and financial plans.  Another benefit of planning early is that the person who has Alzheimer’s can be involved in the process.  There are a number of costs involved with treating Alzheimer’s, planning ahead for medical care and treatments is essential.  The person suffering from Alzheimer’s should be encouraged to make decisions for his or her future while that person still has legal capacity.  Planning ahead is a good way to make sure the person with Alzheimer’s is able to get the sort of care and treatment that they need.

See Idaho Estate Planning, Helping Loved Ones Suffering From Alzheimer’s, Wealth Management, July 28, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.   

July 30, 2015 in Disability Planning - Health Care, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Guardianship, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

More Senior Citizens Are Moving To States With Lenient Marijuana Policies

Medical marijuanaA growing number of senior citizens are choosing to move to states that have lax marijuana laws.  There are currently twenty-three states that have legalized medical marijuana and it is legal for recreational use in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.  It is difficult to obtain exact figures on the number of senior citizens choosing to move to a state because of its marijuana policies.  Professor Michael Stoll at the University of California, Las Angeles, cited to a study showing Oregon to be a top moving destination in 2014.  The same study also listed Colorado as a top recent retirement destination.

See Chris Taylor, Seniors Are Seeking Out States Where Marijuana Is Legal, Time, July 22, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 28, 2015 in Current Affairs, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

White House Launches New Website For Elderly

PresidentAging.gov is a new website launched by the White House in order to give retirees the ability to gather information about government resources and other aging related matters. This site is intended to help the growing number of Baby Boomers that will retire soon and has been designed to be easy to use and provide information about a wide swath of programs. However, the site does not offer much in the way of detailed information, rather, acts as a portal to a number to other specialized websites. In all, the new site offers a great starting point for those reaching old age concerning what steps should be taken to secure government benefits.

See Anna Sulkin, Obama Administration Launches Aging.gov, Wealth Management, July 24, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention. 

July 26, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Elder Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Economists Urge People To Reconsider Borrowing From 401(K)s

CitiIn the United States it is very easy for people to borrow from 401(K) plans, often times it only takes a few clicks of the mouse.  IRS rules even permit borrowing up to 50% of the account balance or $50,000, whichever is greater.  Taking out 401(K) loans can lead to bad consequences of not having enough saved up for retirement.  There can be lost growth and borrowers are often required to pay set-up fees.  The United States is unique in providing people with this much unrestricted access to cash without the person having to prove that they are in dire need.  According to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government professor Brigitte Madrian there is not likely to be any legislation changing 401(K) loan provisions any time soon.

See Beth Pinsker, Economists want you to stop borrowing from your 401(K), Reuters, July 23, 2015.

July 24, 2015 in Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ten Retirement Mistakes People Should Avoid

BlundersAs the United States population average life expectancy continues to rise more people will need to plan ahead for retirement.  Here are ten retirement mistakes that people should avoid making:

  1. Not planning ahead. Failing to have a retirement plan in place is a common mistake people often make. 
  2. Discounting inflation.  When putting together a financial plan for retirement it is important to factor in inflation.
  3. Not having enough saved up.  Make sure you have enough money saved up to last for a long time. 
  4. Dipping into retirement accounts too early.  People should avoid raiding their retirement early, keep the money in the accounts so that it can accumulate. 
  5. Making rash investment decisions.  It is important to be cautious and not overly emotional when making investment decisions. 
  6. Being too cautious with investments. Although it is true that people should not be overly rash when making investment decisions.  It is still a good idea to take some reasonable risks with investments.
  7. Forgetting about employer 401(k) match.   Avoid making the mistake of missing out on employer matching funds. 
  8. Allowing all retirement income to be taxable.   People should consider putting money into a Roth IRA to receive tax benefits. 
  9. Not preparing for health care expenses.  Plan ahead for the unexpected expenses of long term health care. 
  10. Filing for Social Security early.  While people can start getting benefits at the age of 62, it is a good idea to wait for the full retirement age to file for social security benefits. 

See Maryalene LaPonsie, 10 Big Retirement Blunders, U.S. News, July 23, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 23, 2015 in Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Life Settlement May Provide For Long Term Care Of Dementia Patient

Old WomenFull time, in house care for a person suffering from dementia or Alzheimer cost an astounding amount every year. Medicare does not cover long term care and Medicaid only applies to those with little or no money which often leaves the family to pay the cost. However, if a patient has a life insurance policy, they have the option to sell the policy on an open market to provide instant liquidity to pay for care. There is a downside though, the immediate payout will be for a percentage of the policies' face value and the seller must continue to make premium payments to maintain the coverage. But a family that needs money now should carefully explore a settlement as it offers, in certain circumstances, the best option to care for a loved one in their dying days without wrecking the survivor's finances.

See Jeff Hallman & Scott Thomas, Families of Alzheimer’s patients turn to life settlements, Life Health Pro, June 25, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.   

July 23, 2015 in Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Important Things To Remember When Making An Estate Plan

Estate planning 2Putting together an estate plan is a very important task that many people often neglect to do.  This column includes a 14-point checklist of important things people need to remember when making an estate plan.  One of the most important things a person should do is seek out assistance from a competent and honest financial adviser who can help put together an estate plan that can accomplish the client’s goals.  The checklist includes things people need to do to plan ahead for the distribution of their estate and to determine who will have power of attorney and guardianship in the event something happens.  Going through this checklist will help people identify the important details that they need to remember when speaking with an adviser.  This column will hopefully provide more people with the tools they need to make better financial planning decisions. 

See Art Koff, Review your estate plan against this 14-point checklist, Market Watch, July 20, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.    

July 22, 2015 in Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Guardianship, Income Tax, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

CMS Proposes Changing Regulations Of Long-Term Care Industry

DementiaThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed revisions to the regulations on the long-term care industry.  The goal behind the proposals is to reduce hospital re-admissions, cut down on the rate of infections, and improve the standards of nursing homes.  Modification of meal plans to better cater to individual cultural, religious, or nutritional needs is also part of the proposed revisions.  The proposal will also include a “competency-based” approach that will encourage health care facilities to live up to CMS standards.  The 403-page CMS report can be read here

See Emily Mongan, CMS proposes massive regulation revision for LTC, McKnight’s, July 13, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 22, 2015 in Current Affairs, Disability Planning - Health Care, Elder Law, Guardianship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Caseworker Convicted Of Stealing $125 Thousand From Elderly Couple

JudgmentIn New Jersey, an Atlantic County Adult Protective Services caseworker has been convicted of helping to steal $125 thousand from an elderly couple.  William Price was indicted with five others for allegedly defrauding more than a dozen clients of up to $3.8 million.  The caseworker befriended the elderly couple back in 2006 when working for Adult Protective Services.  He recruited the couple for his co-conspirators who were ran a scheme that defrauded them of $800,000.  Price got $125,000 of the stolen money as part of his cut.  Prosecutors are recommending that Price be given a five year sentence, and he will also have to repay the money that he stole. 

See Andrew Ford, Elder care worker guilty of stealing $125K from seniors, Asbury Park Press, July 17, 2015. 

July 19, 2015 in Current Affairs, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Professional Responsibility | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alzheimer’s Association International Conference Meeting In D.C.

AlzheimersThis week more than 4,000 scientists from around the world will be meeting in D.C. for the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.  Attendants of the conference will be discussing current and future trends in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.  Right now more than 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to rise to 13.5 million by the year 2050.  Scientists want to hurry up and find either a cure or improved treatment methods because they understand that more people are going to be diagnosed with this disease in the future.  Researchers at the conference will be representing 65 different countries with 40 percent of the attendees being international. 

See Fredrick Kunkle, Alzheimer’s scientists to meet in D.C. amid signs of progress for treatment, The Washington Post, July 18, 2015.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 19, 2015 in Current Events, Disability Planning - Health Care, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Guardianship, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)