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Estate planning varies substantially between individuals and is influenced greatly by a person’s goals. Each individual also has a unique situation as well as a background to consider. Two individuals with similar kinds of assets are worried about protecting property from future elderly care centers that might sound like they have similar estate plans. If one person is a disabled veteran, while the other has no military service though, estate planning between the two can be substantially different. When it comes to estate planning, countless important estate planning issues should be considered.

# 1 – Decide On Your Estate Planning Goals

Each person should assess his or her goals when deciding on what he or she would like to achieve with an estate plan. If the main goal is to make sure that a spouse inherits assets and can make choices after the individual becomes incapacitated, a plan involving a last will and testament and powers of attorney might be all that is required. If the primary objective of an estate plan is to guard against future liabilities, trust planning might be critical. 

The states currently resisting Medicare are currently falling behind in job-market strength as well as the growth of income. Meanwhile, even the states that later signed up for Obamacare are witnessing more prosperous economies.

Obamacare created a substantial debate in the country before it was passed into law. One question raised by critics of Obama care is the measure’s impact on the economy. Supporters argued that Obama would help companies flourish because they would realize many of the costs associated with healthcare, while critics warned that Obamacare would result in tax increases.

Data after Obama’s decade-long existence now reveals that states that have fully embraced the measure are enjoying stronger economies than states that assumed these measures.

A possible palliative care demonstration care model recently got substantial support from the House Ways and Mean Committee. Ten members of the committee wrote a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service Administrator requesting either a new community-based palliative care demonstration model or building on the Medicare Care Choices Model, which permits beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid to receive supportive care services that are often utilized hospice in the midst of receiving curative services. 

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization President who had been fighting to secure a demonstration model for years expressed encouragement from the committee’s support. 

The President also commented that through continued advocacy, the organization is starting to see Members of Congress coalesce around the need for a community-based palliative care model to make care access fairer, lower prices, deliver better services, and improve life quality for patients. 

Our lawyers recently heard of a divorced individual who passed away and left two children below the age of 18 years. When the person passed away, the individual had no will in place. As a result, it was uncertain who the deceased individual wanted to appoint as a personal representative of the estate. 

Remember, a person passes away without appointing a personal representative, New York law dictates who can apply to be appointed as a personal representative. Because the deceased individuals were below the age of 18, they could not apply to the court for appointment as personal representatives. 

The surviving family filed the appropriate paperwork with probate court hoping for the nomination of a conservator for each child. After the court-appointed conservators, the conservators selected a personal representative for the estate. The person chosen by the conservators then filed paperwork requesting the appointment of a personal representative. This person then gathered all of the deceased parent’s assets, paid the deceased person’s creditor claims, and then divided and transferred the remaining assets to each minor child’s conservator. These conservators must hold assets for the children until the children reach eighteen years of age. This case took a long time to resolve and involved substantial costs. Besides court fees, accounts, conservators, and lawyers also had to be paid. 

If you receive an inheritance but are also married, the person who passed on an inheritance to you likely intended only to benefit from these funds. If you end up getting divorced, you’re probably left wondering how you can guard the inheritance. Most assets gained by a couple during a marriage are viewed as marital assets, but there are exceptions to this. 

Some exceptions to marital property in New York include bequests from the estate of a deceased relative, gifts made to the individual by a non-spouse, and certain types of compensation for personal injuries. Divorce can make how this property is handled complex. 

While assets inherited by only one spouse often are not subject to property division during the divorce process, courts have the authority to split inherited amounts if it is determined that not separating these assets would create hardships for the other spouse for children who are the product of the union. This article reviews some of the helpful steps that you or a loved one can follow to make sure that inheritance is protected.

The difference between children born during a marriage and those born outside of marriage might seem insignificant, but this issue can become a substantial one for people who are navigating estate planning issues. 

In a recent case, Hollywood producer Steve Bing passed away with two illegitimate children. Steve’s father had created various trusts for the benefit of future grandchildren in 1980. Before Steve’s death, some litigation had occurred involving trusts. The dispute arising from the trusts addressed the meaning of the word, “grandchild”, as it was used in the trust’s tools. The trustee had taken on the view that “grandchild” did not include grandchildren born out of wedlock who had not lived as regular members of their natural parent while minors. Steve Bing had not resided with his children as regular members of his household. 

This case raises issues common to many jurisdictions in respect to definitions used in trusts as well as other estate planning tools. 

The year 2021 began with President Biden assuming his role in office. Democrats now control the House as well as the senate. As a result, many people are anticipating what changes the left has in store. While the introduction of tax changes has been discussed, it’s still too early to anticipate what will happen. The Covid-19 pandemic, however, will likely postpone estate planning changes. Given the changes that likely lie ahead, it’s important to do what you can to stay ahead of what might be coming.

Estate Tax Exemption Level

One anticipated change is that the estate tax exemption will drop to $5 million or lower. This change would lead to people utilizing various unique estate planning strategies. Some people have voiced the concern that if they pass away up to the current estate tax exemption of $11.7 million and later pass away when the exemption has been lowered to $5 million, they will owe estate tax on the lower amount as well as whatever assets are still found in their estate. The Treasury has provided directions as well as stated that they will not claw back gifts made before 2021, which afforded taxpayers the option to decrease their federal estate by transferring assets immediately and then drawing appreciation.

Disputes involving conservatorship and guardianship fall under the purview of probate litigation, while trust and will debates also fall under this category. The best approach to not mitigating the risk of probate litigation is to plan. Your plans may very well include comprehensive estate plans as well as measures to resolve incapacity issues and documentary evidence that supports gifts. 

The Creation of Wills and Trusts

Creating a will before a person passes away allows the creator the chance to both control and communicate their wishes for how their assets should be handled. The creator of a will is also able to nominate either their personal representative or the person charged with administering their estate. By creating a will, your estate plan will not be subject to the control of New York’s intestacy law. Individuals who create wills are instead permitted to have the terms of their will dictate the distribution of their estates and resolve their affairs. A nominated personal representative has the capacity to act in such a position. Without this appointment, surviving loved ones are often left to fight over how an estate is administered. Without the will’s creator appointing such a person, loved ones often fight over who is suited for the job. Additionally, the terms of a will must be clear and inarguable to anyone who reads them to reduce the risk of future litigation. 

Second marriages can help individuals cope with the pain associated with losing a spouse through death or divorce. If other beneficiaries are involved, you should consider what will happen to your assets after you pass away. You cannot guarantee that everyone in a blended family will be happy with the arrangements associated with your second marriage. Fortunately, however, it’s possible to avoid some mistakes so your family does not lose out on receiving an inheritance. With adequate estate planning, you can also make sure that your former spouse does not receive an inheritance if you do not intend so.  To better prepare your estate if you’re in a second marriage, this article reviews several estate planning tips that you should consider utilizing. 

# 1 – You Don’t Have to Treat All Heirs Equally

Most spouses do not marry while they are in equal financial positions. This is even more true for second marriages. If your new spouse moves into your residence, you might want your children to receive proceeds when your home is sold instead of your new spouse. Remember, in these situations, there is no established order that your assets must pass on equally to your children. There are various reasons why you might decide to treat your children unequally including children with disabilities, children who suffer from gambling conditions, or various other factors. 

Many times when a widow remarries, unseen financial challenges in addition to a new marriage occur. Unfortunately, this means that many times what widows see as great matches quickly evaporate into economic despair. Fortunately, financial advisors and estate planning attorneys can help to avoid such undesirable results. 

     Remarriage leaves widows financially exposed. Various strategies, however, can greatly reduce this risk while also protecting assets from a new spouse who might have questionable intentions. Many couples, unfortunately, overlook the fact that what most widows want more than anything is to feel safe and secure about the future. This article reviews some helpful estate planning steps whether you’re a recent or long-time widower to make sure that your assets remain protected.

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