Maybe you’re looking to relocate to a state you’ve always dreamed about living in. Or perhaps you just want to downsize to a more manageable property. Whatever the reason, the decision whether to buy or rent a home in retirement is a difficult one. A recent article in Consumer Reports Magazine offers some helpful advice on making this decision.
Why is a will not enough for most estate plans? We discuss this and more in our latest blog post.
While Social Security is a crucial component of many Americans’ retirement income, it is particularly important to women. According to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, 48 percent of elderly unmarried women relied on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their total income in 2017. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has written a booklet detailing what women should know about Social Security. Santa Barbara Estate Planning has summarized the highlights here.
The VA Aid and Attendance Pension Program Can Help Eligible Veterans Pay for the Cost of Long-Term Care | SB Elder Law
The Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit provides eligible veterans with tax-free pension income payments. This benefit also extends to surviving spouses of eligible wartime veterans. A married veteran can receive up to $2,903 per month to help with the cost of long-term care while a surviving spouse can receive nearly $1,176 per month. We at Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law can help you to determine whether you qualify for this benefit.
What If You and Your Child's Other Parent Cannot Agree on A Guardian for Your Minor Children? | SB Estate Planning
It goes without saying that you and your child’s other parent should name the same guardian for your children. But what if you are divorced, or for whatever reason you and your spouse cannot agree on the most suitable guardian? Naming different guardians will lead to a battle in court should you and the children’s other parent pass away while your children are still minors. How can you prevent this from happening? Learn more by reading today's blog post.
With Premiums Rising Dramatically, Should You Keep Your Long-Term Care Insurance? | SB Estate Planning
When clients ask us whether it is right for them, we consider their overall plan and unique situation. Sometimes we recommend long-term care insurance, sometimes we don’t, depending on the client’s needs and goals. If you would like to learn more about what your options are, please read our latest blog post.
One-half of all Americans who reside in nursing homes receive assistance from Medicaid to pay for their care. This is not surprising, given the extraordinarily high cost of long-term care. The real surprise is that half of all Americans don’t seek Medicaid assistance to cover nursing home costs. There are several reasons for this, but one of the most common can be summed up in a single word: hearsay.
What is a HIPAA release and why do you need one? We discuss this and more in our latest blog post.
How to Inspect a Nursing Home to Make Sure It’s Right for You or Your Loved One | SB Estate Planning
An article by AARP discusses several factors to consider when choosing a nursing home. Here is a brief synopsis. If you need advice, the team at Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law can help you figure out how to pay for nursing home care, if that is the option that is right for you. Please call (805)946-1550 to make an Elder Care/Law consultation appointment today.
Aggressive Moves You Can Make In Your Forties To Reach Your Long-Term Financial Goals | SB Elder Law
If you are in your 30s or 40s, it's a really good idea to start thinking seriously about your retirement. Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law's latest blog post discusses how to get started.
One of the Most Valuable Benefits Available to Veterans Is Also One of the Least Utilized | SB Estate Planning and Elder Law
Millions of our nation’s greatest heroes—veterans and their families who sacrificed so much in defense of our country—are eligible for government benefits but do not receive them. One benefit in particular, the Aid and Attendance Pension Program, can dramatically improve the lives of eligible veterans and their families.
Aid and Attendance can help an eligible veteran or widowed spouse live at home for as long as possible while still receiving the care he or she needs and protecting hard-earned assets. Unfortunately, recent changes to the law have made it more difficult for eligible veterans and their widowed spouses to qualify for this valuable benefit. The changes took effect on October 18th, 2018. They are extensive, comprising some 136 pages. We summarize those changes here.
Here’s What Can Happen If You Don’t Have an Estate Plan of Your Own | SB Estate Planning and Elder Law
We often discuss the benefits of estate planning. However, a discussion of what can happen when a person fails to plan is perhaps a more powerful way to stress the importance of proper planning, which Santa Barbara Estate Planning can help you with. Let’s look at a few potential consequences of not having a plan of your own.
How to Avoid Taxes on Social Security | Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law
Challenges to wills and trusts are more common than you might think. These disputes can turn very ugly, very quickly. Resentment between family members can last a lifetime, and the financial consequences can be devastating for all parties involved. Here are several ways to prevent potential disputes from arising in the first place, avoid estate litigation, and help ensure your wishes are carried out.
An IRA Trust can help you control distributions after you pass away and restrict access to beneficiaries who might squander the funds of your IRA. How does an IRA Trust accomplish this?
If you’re searching for a special gift that demonstrates just how deeply you love your spouse, significant other, kids, or family members this Valentine’s Day… then consider going “outside the box” and giving your family the gift of estate planning, which provides peace of mind knowing that all of your assets and everyone you love would be protected in the event of illness, disability, incapacity, or even death.
Are You Predisposed to Alzheimer’s Disease? What to Consider Before Taking a Genetic Test | SB Estate Planning and Elder Law
It is now easy and relatively inexpensive for consumers to take tests that reveal basic information about their genetic health and ancestry. The market for such tests is booming, a trend that will likely continue following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent streamlining of the approval process for bringing tests to market. Genetic counselors warn you should think long and hard about how you would react to knowing you have a predisposition for Alzheimer’s or other diseases. Learn more by reading our latest blog post.
For many families with a child who has special needs (which can be any range of issues), a special needs trust is one of the most important components of the family’s overall estate plan. A properly designed and implemented special needs trust can provide a number of important benefits. Santa Barbara Estate Planning can help you customize one in a way that will work for you and your family.
If you or a loved one is facing a Medicaid Crisis, try to remain calm. Much of the information we hear about Medicaid from friends, relatives, nursing home staff, caregivers, and many others is outdated or incorrect. A qualified elder law attorney can help you obtain assistance from Medicaid if you must enter a nursing home next month, next week, or tomorrow. In fact, it is possible to get Medicaid assistance even if you are already in a nursing home. And if you have applied for Medicaid assistance in the past but you have been rejected, it is entirely possible that a qualified elder law attorney can still obtain the financial assistance you need. Please give us a call at (805)946-1550 to set up a consultation.
Approximately 20 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have been victimized by some form of financial abuse, with the average loss per victim exceeding $120,000. While financial abuse is sometimes perpetrated by family members or “friends,” it is often the result of organized online and telephone scams. According to a recent study by Wells Fargo, nearly half of all seniors report that they know someone who has fallen victim to a scam. If you are concerned about a family member falling for a financial scam, Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law can help you find resources to prevent this.
If something terrible happened to you and your spouse, what would become of your children? It’s not something anyone wants to think about, but think about it we must. By naming a guardian for your minor children, you can help ensure they will be raised according to your wishes. The question is, how do you choose the proper guardian? Santa Barbara Estate Planning can help you with this decision.
Charitable giving allows you to assist the people and organizations that have come to mean the most to you over the course of your life. It represents a thoughtful expression of your values and can ensure your legacy for generations to come. If done properly, it can also be an excellent way to significantly lower taxes, so that the greatest possible amount of your gift is available for the recipients of your generosity, and at the same time, more of your hard-earned wealth is preserved for you and your loved ones. Santa Barbara Estate Planning can provide advice on the best choices for you and your family. Please give us a call at (805)946-1550.
An article on kiplinger.com offers some strategies to avoid, or at least mitigate, taxes on Social Security benefits. Check our latest blog post to learn more.