Shoring Up Spousal Protection from Impoverishment

Federal spousal impoverishment protections were set to lapse in March 2019. Two bills were proposed to deal with that issue. H.R. 1343 is still sitting in the House, but H.R. 3253 was enacted on August 6, 2019. H.R. 1343, or the Protecting Married Seniors from Impoverishment Act, would have made certain impoverishment protections permanent. It was introduced on February 25th and referred to the Subcommittee on Health the next day, but no further action has been taken on it. However, H.R. 3253 has been enacted. This bill, also known as the Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access, and Strengthening Accountability Act of 2019, temporarily extends the applicability of Medicaid eligibility criteria that protect against spousal impoverishment for recipients of home and community-based services. The extension will run [...]

2020-03-18T09:50:02-05:00March 18th, 2020|Blog, Estate Planning|0 Comments

How to Know When You Need a Trust

This is a common question we hear. Read on for information to help figure out whether you need a trust and, if so, what kind fits your specific situation. For example, maybe you have a disabled child and you want a trust to permit that child to inherit without losing government benefits. Maybe your own or your spouse’s health is heading into difficulties, and you can foresee eventually needing long-term care benefits. Trusts can avoid an expensive, public, and lengthy probate process before your beneficiaries can inherit after you pass. Or, you might be in the classic “trust fund” situation, where you’re concerned that your children won’t be able to manage money wisely. All these are excellent reasons to consider a trust. But what kind [...]

2020-02-07T10:19:13-05:00February 7th, 2020|Blog, Estate Planning|Comments Off on How to Know When You Need a Trust

6 Things to Consider in Retirement Planning

Most people dream of the day they can retire. The problem is that many do not move beyond dreaming to planning. Planning can be done no matter what your age, but experts encourage people to start as early as possible. Retirement planning can seem like a daunting endeavor for many people as they focus on day-to-day financial obligations. Many people have no idea where to start. A few simple questions can help people of any age plan for retirement. What does retirement look like to you? This is an essential question to ask when beginning to plan for retirement. A good starting place is to start jotting down your ideas and, if married, your spouse’s ideas for retirement. Maybe travel is in your plan. If [...]

2019-10-23T09:12:20-05:00October 23rd, 2019|Blog, Estate Planning, Estate Planning Info|Comments Off on 6 Things to Consider in Retirement Planning

Six Essential Tips for Effectively Planning Your Estate

“Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours.” ~ Marcus Aurelius Drafting a Last Will and Testament, in addition to reviewing your assets and liabilities for a comprehensive estate plan, can be an uncomfortable experience because it is reminder that your time on this earth is finite. Many people mistakenly put off planning their estates thinking that it’s something “old people have to do.”   Wrong.   If you need a reason why estate planning is so important, look at pop icon Prince. He died at the age of 57 and left an estate valued at nearly $300 million, but with no will. As a result, [...]

2018-10-24T21:05:28-05:00January 23rd, 2019|Blog, Estate Planning|Comments Off on Six Essential Tips for Effectively Planning Your Estate

If You are a New Parent, You Need an Estate Plan

The birth of a child is an incredible, joyous moment in the lives of most parents. It is also an inflection point allowing you to take stock of your estate and plan properly to protect your spouse and your newborn child.  Yes, you will likely be strapped for time worrying about purchasing the safest car seat, meeting with a pediatrician, and assessing your day care options, but estate planning is just as important and necessary.   Estate Plan Allows You to Select Someone You Trust to Raise Your Child if You are No Longer With Us   When you create a Last Will and Testament, you can name a guardian who will have the responsibility to take care of your children until they reach the age [...]

2020-01-16T10:41:31-05:00January 2nd, 2019|Blog, Estate Planning|Comments Off on If You are a New Parent, You Need an Estate Plan

Steps on How to Establish a Revocable Living Trust in Missouri

One of the primary benefits of creating an estate plan is taking a level of control over your future and how your assets will be distributed to your loved ones. An effective estate planning strategy for creating this type of control is a revocable living trust (also known as an inter vivos trust). You create the trust during your lifetime and you have the right to amend, alter or revoke the trust while you are still alive. When you pass on, the living trust enables your family to avoid the expense and delay of going through the probate process. This is accomplished by the fact that your assets are transferred to the trust and titled to ensure the assets are owned by the trust. Therefore, when you pass [...]

2018-10-24T21:03:13-05:00December 26th, 2018|Blog, Estate Planning|Comments Off on Steps on How to Establish a Revocable Living Trust in Missouri

How To Protect Your Estate Plan Post-Divorce

It is a common scenario couples find themselves in - you and your spouse create an estate plan leaving everything to each other and then to your minor children. A few years pass and you wind up getting a divorce. You begin to wonder if your estate plan is still valid post-divorce. The answer is yes, your plan remains valid. However, you need to take proactive steps to update your estate plan to ensure your assets are protected for the benefit of your children. How Divorce Effects a Last Will and TestamentIn Missouri, when a divorce is finalized, any provisions in your Will pertaining to your ex-spouse are effectively nullified and your ex-spouse is treated as if they predeceased you. This means that alternate beneficiaries will [...]

2020-01-16T10:47:47-05:00December 12th, 2018|Blog, Estate Planning|Comments Off on How To Protect Your Estate Plan Post-Divorce

New Law Establishes More Flexibility in Creating a Special Needs Trust

In 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law. This sweeping piece of legislation was drafted to help address a myriad of issues in medical research, the advancement of experimental medications, and mental health protocols. The law provides $4.8 billion in additional funding for the National Institutes of Health, along with $500 million in new funding for the Food and Drug Administration and $1 billion in grants to help states deal with opioid abuse, according to the Washington Post. One provision in the new law that is not getting as much publicity, but makes a big impact in the field of estate and special needs planning is § 5007. This Section is called the “Fairness in Medicaid Supplemental Needs Trusts” and it amends [...]

2018-10-24T20:48:53-05:00November 21st, 2018|Blog, Estate Planning|Comments Off on New Law Establishes More Flexibility in Creating a Special Needs Trust

Six Medicaid Planning Mistakes You Must Avoid

You’ve worked hard your entire life saving up, paying down your mortgage and other liabilities, and building a sizable retirement fund. You did all of this expecting to live off those savings while you bask in the proverbial glow of retirement’s “golden years.” However, life throws a wrench in your plans and you suddenly suffer a stroke at the age of 72 and require full-time care in a nursing home. This presents the daunting prospect of having to spend through your life’s savings just to cover the nursing home costs. In the St. Louis area, depending on the extent of care you need, the cost of a nursing home is between $65,000 and $120,000 per year. Many Americans pay for nursing home care [...]

2018-10-24T20:47:27-05:00November 14th, 2018|Blog, Estate Planning|Comments Off on Six Medicaid Planning Mistakes You Must Avoid