Digital Life, After Death

Your assets and cherished memories will be deleted forever unless you act now.A woman who we will call Janice left little behind when she died in a hospital. She was in her mid-60s and suffered from emphysema caused by years of heavy smoking.  Janice had very few friends and was estranged from her family at the end and left virtually nothing behind.  But she did have a few email accounts and a Facebook page.  Her ... Read More

Did You Know?: You Can Use Your Will to Dictate How to Pay Off Your Debts

Many people know and understand that the primary purpose of a Will is to dictate who should receive what from your estate. However, you can also specify how your debts should be paid in this document as well.Generally, if you had outstanding debt obligations while you were living, you will also have debts after you pass. Your estate is required to address those responsibilities before dispersing your assets to ... Read More

What Should I Do When a Loved One Passes Away?

It can be extremely difficult to lose a loved one. If you are also tasked with the often complex duties of being an Executor of an Estate, those responsibilities combined with your grief can be overwhelming. To make matters worse, failing to fulfill your role as an Executor properly can cause new family conflicts.Thankfully, a probate attorney can help you with this process. He or she can ensure that you are ... Read More

Beneficiary Designation Basics

“Oh, I’ll just put down my nephew as the beneficiary of my life insurance policy at work.” Looking back, it was almost an afterthought. That was 10 years ago on your first day of new employee orientation, when you were right out of school. You now have a spouse, one child and another on the way. You have not thought about updating the beneficiary designation in light of your changed circumstances. Beneficiary ... Read More

Watch Out for Social Security Scams

It seems there are scams all over the place these days. You’ve won the lottery of some obscure country or a needy millionaire in Europe is seeking your help transferring funds to the United States.These kinds of scams can be upsetting, particularly when you realize the reason they exist — because so many people fall for them.Especially upsetting are the scams that target people who depend on Social Security ... Read More

Who May Open an ABLE Account?

ABLE accounts are a great new savings tool for individuals with disabilities, but not all people with disabilities are eligible to open these accounts.  The rules for determining eligibility are for the most part uncomplicated, although one requirement is proving controversial. Created by Congress via the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014 and modeled after popular 529 college ... Read More

When Should Inheritances be Unequal?

Equal treatment of children in an estate plan is most common.  It leaves the children with positive feelings towards their parents and towards each other knowing that the parents did not show favorites.  That said, there are certain situations in which unequal treatment may be desirable or necessary.Beneficiary with Greater Need.  Some children have an undeniably greater need that might justify a larger ... Read More

An Introduction to Florida Dynasty Trusts

Florida law permits families to create “dynasty trusts.” These estate planning tools are used to preserve certain assets within your family. It is generally used for large value assets, but not always. It can also be an effective means to keep certain assets away from creditors of both born and unborn family members. If you want a long-term method to provide for family members, a dynasty trust may be a good ... Read More

How Do You Decide Who Gets What Assets When Doing Estate Planning?

Deciding who should inherit your assets is an extremely personal decision. Ultimately, no one can make these critical decisions but you. Some people do not think much about how they will divide their assets, but developing who gets what under your estate plan is extremely important to both your family and to your legacy.The Who: Who Should Receive Assets?When most people create an estate plan, their spouses, ... Read More

Nursing Home Costs Rise Sharply in 2017

From Elder Law AnswersThe median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased to $97,455 a year, up 5.5 percent from 2016, according to Genworth's 2017 Cost of Care survey, which the insurer conducts annually. Genworth reports that the median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $85,775, up 4.44 percent from 2016. The rise in prices is much larger than the 1.24 percent and ... Read More