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Redlands Veterans' Affairs Law Blog

Celebrating Veterans' Caregivers with a High Five

When a veteran needs help, the first person he or she usually turns to is family. A spouse, children, or parents can play such big roles in the lives of veterans when life is difficult because of illness.

When do you review an estate plan?

Once your estate plan is created, how often are you supposed to review it? According to some estate planning professionals, you should review it annually or bi-annually. Though this is a common safeguard, you should also review your estate plan if you have any significant life changes that impact your estate plan's accuracy.

Expecting a New Arrival? Be Prepared with an Estate Plan

Expecting parents or even parents of a newborn will need to reconsider their estate. If you already have an estate plan in place, now is the time to amend that plan to meet your current life situation. If you do not have an estate plan, you might want to consider a few of these tips for getting started and ensuring your child's future if protected.

Do You Have Incapacitation Planning? WHO Estimates Dementia to Triple by 2050

Dementia is not an easy illness to manage. Family members are forced to care for and financially back their loved ones when they are no longer able to do so for themselves. In most cases, individuals do not have adequate estate planning for incapacitation, such as dementia, which means their families are left to foot the bill and make difficult medical decisions. According to the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), most families who care for dementia patients are on the brink of poverty due to the excessive costs associated with dementia care.

Do you qualify for Aid & Attendance?

Aid & Attendance is a special pension that offers veterans and their surviving spouses additional funding/assistance for another person to help with eating, dressing, bathing and other daily maintenance matters. Not all veterans will qualify for this special pension; therefore, if you are looking to apply it is best to meet with an estate planning attorney who has experience with the Aid & Attendance Pension (and accredited by the VA) to ensure you meet all requirements. Some of these requirements will include:

Do Americans Underestimate their Life Expectancy?

Though life expectancy tables can predict that individuals will live a certain number of years, the fact of the matter is that there is a large variety of factors that play into how long a person might live. Mortality tables and estimates do not account for these factors, which only promotes underestimating Americans' life expectancy. Most Americans assume that they will live past 65, which means they do not need to worry about an estate plan while they are only 25.

Prevent a Family Feud by Reviewing Your Estate Plans Regularly

There are many cases throughout the country where parents did not review their estate plans carefully and family members are now fighting over the estates. For example, if you as a parent say that you intend to leave a large portion of your estate to your children but you don't actually update your will to reflect that, the courts will either automatically revert to your previous Will or, if you did not leave a Will, give all your assets to your surviving spouse.

What Happens to Lingering Credit Card Debt after Death?

In most cases, if your estate has credit card debt the executor of your estate will need to use any funds left to pay those debts. There are different instances, however, where this is not the case.

Avoid the Three Major Estate Planning Errors

You are about to start your estate planning process, which is great, but even if you have a Will or Trust set up, there are major errors most individuals make during the estate planning process that can cost them (or their heirs) greatly in the end.

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