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Redlands Veterans' Affairs Law Blog

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.

Consumer Reports Weighs in on DIY Estate Planning

Any time you are looking for solid and unbiased consumer information you know that you can find it in Consumer Reports magazine. The folks there do a fine job of analyzing products and services in a very fair and balanced way. They then pass along their findings to the public so that we can proceed with a foundation of useful information before parting with any of our hard-earned money.

Taxes and Inheriting an IRA

It is possible to will one's IRA to a family member or other chosen beneficiary. On receiving the IRA, the beneficiary is able to make withdrawals right away, but there are considerable tax implications for doing so. In fact, those who take money out of an IRA they have inherited will face similar tax issues to those they would face for taking money from their own retirement accounts.

Fees You Can Expect to Pay for a Trust-Based Estate Planning Service

As with all professional services, there are fees associated with creating a trust-based estate plan. Many people with assets will have to use a more comprehensive estate plan that includes a trust. This is because a trust will protect the individual's assets, prevent excessive estate tax and offer a wide variety of strategies for distributing the estate.

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