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As they look towards the end of their lives, most people want nothing more than to spend every day independent and in their own homes. In reality, however, this is not always possible. Deciding to play a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision and can leave those who helped make the decision plagued with uncertainty and guilt. Despite these negative feelings, it’s often necessary to place a loved one in a nursing home. 

Fortunately, even if your loved one has recently had to enroll in a nursing home, you can still be there for them. While you might not be your loved one’s primary caregiver now, you still can play an influential role in making sure whether or not they are happy. This article reviews some helpful strategies to remember if you want to continue playing a positive role in your loved one’s care after they enter a nursing home. 

Acknowledge that the Change Is a Necessary One

Understandably, many clients want to appoint children or grandchildren to receive their assets. Appointing a minor beneficiary directly to an account, however, can present its fair share of challenges. Unfortunately, clients often assume that the estate planning process is complete after they sign a will and trust. These individuals often then name the same individual named in their estate planning documents as the direct beneficiaries of their accounts. Remember, if a designated beneficiary is a minor at the time of an account owner’s death, several undesirable results can occur. This article reviews just some of the most important reasons why you should be careful when appointing a minor beneficiary. 

Problems with Naming a Minor

Some substantial reasons exist to dissuade you from naming a minor as the beneficiary of your estate. The most substantial of these problems include the following:

In the recent Texas of Marshall v. Marshall, a beneficiary initiated legal action against a trustee as well as five co-trustees of two trusts addressing claims that they had breached fiduciary duties. After the original lawsuit was filed in Texas, the trustee filed a petition seeking declaratory relief and requesting that the court declare the co-trustees were sufficiently appointed. The beneficiary obtained a temporary injunction preventing the co-trustees from receiving compensation as well as disposing of trust assets or participating in litigation.

The court of appeals reversed the litigation on the grounds that permitting the lawsuit to continue did not constitute a miscarriage of justice. The court of appeals also reversed other aspects of the temporary injunction on the grounds that there was no evidence to support that irreparable harm would occur otherwise.

The Role of Co-Trustees

Many people were forced to think about how to adequately manage their estates in 2020. While a will and last testament was for many years the most common estate planning, trusts have grown in popularity. As part of a will, a person must specify how his or her properties should be distributed after that individual passes away, while family trusts are established for either a specific individual or a group of people who are not specifically named. This article reviews some valuable details you should understand in deciding whether a will, a trust, or both a will and trust are right for you.

Critical Differences between Trusts and Wills

While the critical differences with trusts and wills teal with the time when the assets are transferred, some of the  other vital differences between trusts and wills include the following:

As we proceed into 2021 and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, many fundamental aspects of daily living have been challenged. Among many lessons people learned from the pandemic, one of the most critical ones is the importance of asset protection. Private placement life insurance provides individuals with the opportunity to allocate alternative investments in a tax-efficient manner while creating efficient strategies that do not exist with other life insurance options. Various factors make it an ideal time to consider using private placement life insurance including high lifetime exemptions and attractive federal estate and income tax rates. This article reviews some critical details that you should consider about deciding whether private placement life insurance is right for you.

 How Private Placement Life Insurance Functions

Private placement life insurance trusts are a special type of life insurance that has a high cash value compared to a low death benefit. To minimize fees, the life insurance aspect is kept as affordable as possible, which permits the cash value of the policy to drive death benefits. The purpose behind private placement life insurance trusts is to amass a substantial cash value within a life insurance policy to take advantage of the tax-free handling of income as well as gains from the underlying investments in the policy. 

One of the most important elder law decisions is picking the best nursing home. While this decision is often financially motivated, it’s also critical to find a facility that offers the best possible care to fit your needs. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are capable of meeting everyone’s needs. To help process best, Medicare has implemented a five-star rating system.

The Separate Nursing Home Ratings

Not all nursing homes meet Medicare standards. After an in-depth review of a nursing home, Medicare assigns facilities with a rating based on a one to five scale with one being the worst and five being the best. Five-star ratings for nursing homes are based on the following separate categories:

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a larger than usual number of people adopting pets. After all, stay-at-home orders reduced the chances that people had to interact with others and pets began to play an increasingly more important role as companions. Data compiled from PetPoint reveals that animal welfare organizations throughout the country had a difficult time keeping up with the demand. 

With pets playing a role in a record number of people’s lives, it’s critical to understand the powerful and valuable role that pets can play in the lives of seniors and individuals with disabilities.

# 1 – Reducing Loneliness

Many legal scholars and others who are impacted by elder law issues are positively responding to a landmark decision in favor of people who care for their parents at home. This decision has the potential to result in a substantial increase in the number of homes that are transferred to caregivers.

The case in question, A.M. v. Monmouth County Board of Social Services, was decided by New Jersey’s Appellate Division and reaffirmed a New Jersey regulation, which permits older adults to transfer their homes to adult caregiver children without facing Medicaid penalties. The regulation permits the transfer of homes without penalty when an adult child provides care to a parent for a period.

An Influential Victory

  One of the most undesirable situations in the field of estate planning is a person becoming incapacitated or passing away without the proper estate plans in place. To die intestate means that a person passes away with no legal will. This means that if a person intestate, the distribution of that person’s assets is determined based on New York law rather than any consideration for the needs of the deceased person’s loved ones. 

Tragically, many people die without the proper estate planning tools in place. For example, Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman passed away without a will. Boseman’s case is unique because he filed some estate planning documents, but not enough to fully oversee how his estate was handled. Consequently, the distribution of Boseman’s assets was left to the control of a California probate court to distribute Boseman’s estate which is valued at $939,000. Given the celebrity of Boseman’s film roles, his estate was likely worth much more but passed on many assets to trusts. Curiously, however, wills are often written contemporaneously to wills. Boseman’s story brings to mind why you should ignore some of these common reasons and engage in adequate estate planning sometime soon.

# 1 – To Make Sure Your Children Are Cared For

In the recent case of Odom v. Coleman, a brother and sister initiated legal action against another in a matter involving their father’s estate. The dispute between the two siblings focused on whether the father’s estate should be reformed in accordance with Texas Estates Code Section 255.451(a)(3) that allows courts to modify or reform a will if necessary to correct a “scrivener’s error” in the terms of the will to conform with the testator’s intent which must be based on clear and convincing evidence.

The Will In This Case

The will in this case contained a residuary clause that passed on personal property to the son and then the daughter. A rigid interpretation of the will found that the deceased man’s real property would not be included in the residuary cause instead passed through intestacy. The son then initiated legal action to revise the will to omit the word “personal” in the residuary clause. The trial court ultimately for the son and the daughter appealed.

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