Estate Planning for a Loved One with Substance Abuse Issues

Estate Planning for a Loved One with Substance Abuse Issues An estimated two million people in the United States are struggling with a substance abuse disorder related to prescription opioid pain medications, and 591,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These are shocking statistics and constitute only a portion of society dealing with drug abuse. If you have a child or spouse who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the last thing you want to do is provide them with a hefty inheritance that they could potentially use to feed their destructive behavior. Fortunately, inheritance for loved ones with substance abuse problems can be dealt with through thoughtful careful estate planning. Creating a Trust That Takes Your [...]

2021-01-19T10:48:32-05:00January 18th, 2021|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Estate Planning for a Loved One with Substance Abuse Issues

Unmarried and No Children? You Still Need an Estate Plan

Estate Plan for Single with no Kids   If you are unmarried and have no children, you are probably not financially responsible for anyone else. Does this mean you are exempt from having an estate plan? The answer is a resounding no. You still need to have a plan in place to ensure your wishes are followed both before and after you pass on. Even simply having a Last Will and Testament drafted puts you ahead of the game. Studies have shown that the majority of Americans fail to put in place even the most fundamental and basic estate plan document - a will. For example, a 2016 study conducted by Harris Poll revealed that 64 percent of Americans lacked a written will, according to CNBC.com. [...]

2021-01-19T12:14:14-05:00December 29th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Unmarried and No Children? You Still Need an Estate Plan

Special Needs Trust – Important Info You Need to Know

Special Needs Trust – Important Info You Need to Know If you are a caretaker for a loved one with special needs, you may be concerned about what will happen to them if you were to suddenly become incapacitated or pass on. This concern is perfectly understandable. You want to make sure that your loved one is taken care of and receives the benefits they rightly deserve. Enter the Special Needs Trust (also known as a Supplemental Needs Trust). This is an estate planning mechanism that can prove invaluable when caring for a loved one with special needs. Each state, including Missouri, has its own set of laws regarding the establishment and use of a special needs trust. Creating a special needs trust may seem a bit [...]

2021-01-19T12:19:43-05:00November 16th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Special Needs Trust – Important Info You Need to Know

Do I Need a Power of Attorney?

Do I Need a Power of Attorney?   Imagine that you become incapable of handling your own finances and affairs because you are diagnosed with a mental disability.  Imagine that you get into a car accident and cannot leave your house to go to the bank.  Imagine that you are on vacation or a business trip and need your spouse to sign on your behalf because you want to sell your house or buy a new house.  What would you do? Many have heard of a power of attorney.  It is a tremendous tool if it’s used correctly, and if the right person is named.  But it often is the most misused legal document and can be incredibly dangerous if it ends up in the [...]

2021-01-19T10:55:47-05:00October 17th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Do I Need a Power of Attorney?

What is Crisis Medicaid Planning?

What is Crisis Medicaid Planning? I recently met with a client whose husband had to be admitted to the hospital because of a fall.  The husband had been diagnosed a couple of years earlier with early onset dementia, and unfortunately, they had not planned in advance for what might happen if the husband could no longer live at home. After the fall, the husband could not return home, even with rehabilitation, because his dementia had gotten so bad that his wife could no longer care for him.  He was admitted to a skilled nursing facility, where he had been getting good care.  The problem was that the wife was told that she was going to need to pay for his care at the facility, at [...]

2021-01-19T11:19:07-05:00September 19th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What is Crisis Medicaid Planning?

Estate Planning for Disability

Estate Planning for Disability Ask yourself – what will happen to me if I become disabled?  What does that look like?  Who makes that decision?  Who will care for me?  These are all questions that everyone has to consider.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11.2% of Americans aged 45 and older are living with cognitive impairment.  Among Americans living alone, that number is higher. When most people think about estate planning, the first thought that comes to their mind is how do I make things easier on my family after death.  The more pressing question for most people, and the one that will most acutely affect them is what does their life look like if they become disabled. We have reviewed hundreds of [...]

2021-01-19T10:58:34-05:00August 10th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Estate Planning for Disability

What is Estate Planning

What is Estate Planning?   Estate planning is, at its simplest form making decisions in advance on whom to leave your property and assets to at your death.  The simple definition is not what estate planning really is, nor what we want it to be though.  Estate planning is much more.  In fact, estate planning composes more than most people even realize it can. Estate Planning Definition So, what does estate planning really mean?  A more accurate definition for our clients is that we want them to: Control their property while they’re alive and well, Plan for themselves and their loved ones if they become disabled, Then give what they have to whom they want, when they want, in the way that they want, All [...]

2021-01-19T10:59:57-05:00July 27th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What is Estate Planning

What is a Medical Power of Attorney and Do I Need One?

What is a Medical Power of Attorney and Do I need one?   A medical power of attorney is perhaps the most important tool in your personal estate planning arsenal.  A medical power of attorney is a document that you create to name someone to make medical and health care decisions for you when you cannot.  Without it, no one has the legal authority to make those decisions when it becomes necessary.   How Does It Work This legal document allows you to name an agent and gives them authority to make the medical decisions that you cannot.  The agent has broad powers under Missouri law to make decisions on your behalf, so you need to ensure that your agent is someone that you trust [...]

2021-01-19T11:38:42-05:00July 20th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What is a Medical Power of Attorney and Do I Need One?

Americans Increasingly Avoiding Medical Care

Medical Care is being avoided on an increased rate Despite the fact there are increased numbers of insured Americans, fewer are going to the doctor’s office. Why is this happening? The answer is lack of affordability. Even with the benefits of health insurance, many are struggling to afford medical costs. Kaiser Health Foundation polls since 2015 show continued rising costs.  37% of those polled report having trouble paying their health insurance premiums, 43% had trouble paying their deductibles and 31% had trouble affording co-pays for doctor visits and prescription drugs. According to another survey by the West Health Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago between a third and a half of people aged 45 – 59 and a quarter of those 60 or [...]

2021-01-19T11:43:04-05:00April 9th, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Americans Increasingly Avoiding Medical Care

When Should You Take Social Security Benefits?

The Social Security Administration has changed the formularies for benefit payouts. Seniors and near seniors need to understand what these changes are in order to optimize their benefit. If you are sixty years of age or more, you are in the forefront of a big change in social security. The full retirement age (FRA), when you can collect your entire earned benefit, has been changed from66 to 67. The implementation of this change will occur in two-month increments over the next six years. While you are still able to begin your social security benefit payments at 62, delaying it until later years, up until the age of 70, will still ensure you receive a larger check for each month you opt to postpone payouts. However, [...]

2020-04-02T08:56:32-05:00April 2nd, 2020|Uncategorized|Comments Off on When Should You Take Social Security Benefits?