Elder Law & Estate Planning Blogs
While we understand it can be tempting for people to write their own estate plan documents, this simply isn’t enough to make sure your assets and properties are distributed according to your final wishes.
A MiABLE account allows you to save money without disqualifying yourself from certain government benefits and assistance programs. If you or a loved one is interested in applying for a MiABLE account, we recommend contacting an Grand Rapids elder law attorney.
If you die without creating a will (a legal circumstance called intestate), your assets will be divided according to Michigan’s inheritance law. Your estate can also be held up in probate as the court system records assets, pays debts, identifies heirs, and distributes what’s left of your estate.
Have questions about estate planning? Keep reading to learn how an elder law attorney can help you make a will and other legal documents to protect you and your family. While we understand our clients don’t like to confront their own mortality, it’s important to make your estate plan while you are of sound mind.
If you or a loved one needs the level of care available at a nursing home, we recommend you look into the Michigan Choice Waiver Program. The Medicaid Waiver Program allows people who are elderly or disabled to receive nursing home services while staying at home.
People with dementia often lose their money management skills. Unfortunately, this often means that they become victims of scams or otherwise lose their hard-earned retirement money. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with early dementia, we recommend you consult with an elder law attorney.
Starting January 1, 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increased federal estate and gift tax exemptions to approximately $11 million. While the exemptions sunset on January 1, 2026, you can still benefit by making gifts up to $11 million while you are alive.
A death in the family is hard enough without family members getting into disputes over inheritance. The truth is that many family inheritance disputes can be prevented by asking an elder law attorney to help you plan your estate..
Emotions run high after people pass away, which is why it’s important you have an ironclad will that can stand up in court. Well-meaning, but dissatisfied, family members can challenge a will if there are inconsistencies or loopholes. You want your will and testament to be strong enough that it can’t be contested.
Have questions about retirement planning? We understand that it can be stressful planning for a future where you may not be able to make your own decisions. However, it is best to start long-term planning (like asset protection and long-term care) while you still have your mental faculties.
No one wants to think about their preferences for end-of-life care However, it’s important to outline how you want your finances and medical care handled in the event you are unable to advocate for yourself. An estate plan not only outlines end-of-life care, but can also list power of attorneys who can look out for your medical and financial well-being if you are incapacitated.
Many of our clients ask how to avoid probate so that their estate won’t be withheld from beneficiaries for months or even years while the last will and testament is verified by probate court. Attorney and court fees can also reduce how much estate is left for beneficiaries.
The cost of nursing home care in 2017 is $97,455 a year for a private room, according to a recent study by Genworth. While most Americans assume Medicaid and Medicare will pay for most of long-term care services, there are restrictions you may not be aware of without the help of an elder law attorney.
The holidays are a great time for catching up with loved ones and visiting family. If you have elderly parents, it can also be a time to watch for signs of decline in their health or living situation. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for when visiting your loved ones.
Republicans are trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with the Graham-Cassidy Bill. Under the Graham-Cassidy Bill, Michigan can expect to lose the Medicaid expansion funds it received under the ACA by 2020. Approximately 17 million Americans received insurance under the ACA expansion, including many between the ages of 55 and 64. In this blog post, we will explain how the Graham-Cassidy Bill would affect how Medicaid is distributed to seniors in Michigan.
The benefits of a highly detailed, comprehensive power of attorney are numerous. Unfortunately, many powers of attorney are more general in nature and can actually cause more problems than they solve, especially for our senior population.
Is your parent single and in need of nursing home care? Medicaid is the single largest payer of nursing home expenses in the United States. Unfortunately, in order to qualify for Medicaid, many people are forced to spend down the assets they have spent a lifetime to build.
When it comes to retirement and nursing home planning, there is a complicated set of laws governing how and when assets can be used. What can be even more frustrating is that these laws are always changing. In order to avoid having all your assets spent down for nursing home expenses or being penalized, it is best to consult with an experienced elder law attorney.
Everyone has a to-do list and at the very bottom of most everyone’s list is to make an estate plan.
In our first blog post about common estate plan myths we covered two important and problematic financial misconceptions that hold people back from making an estate plan, but sometimes the estate plan myths that are hardest to beat have to do with assumptions about time and relationships.
If your spouse or parent is facing the prospect of entering a nursing home, they do not have to lose all of their assets to become eligible for Medicaid.
Nearly everyone has an estate believe it or not. Your estate includes everything you currently own – your home, car, checking and savings accounts, investments, personal possessions, etc.
You and your family may have to confront the need for long-term care with limited funds to pay for it.
Everyone has assets, whether they are large ones like your house or car in your name, or the $10 bill in your pocket.
Family Law Blogs
While we understand why couples want to believe marriage lasts forever, it’s important to protect yourself financially if your happily-ever-after ends in divorce. Our family law attorneys can help you draft a prenuptial agreement that affects division of assets, responsibility for debt, alimony, and more.
Getting a divorce in Michigan? You may be eligible for spousal maintenance (alimony) if you are unable to support yourself and your children following divorce. Alimony payments continue until the recipient is able to recover financially or remarry.
Nearly every four years the Friend of the Court Bureau reviews and makes necessary changes to the child support guidelines which are used to calculate child support in the State of Michigan.
Caught in this crossfire are the innocents who do not have the emotional ability to protect themselves.
Many times, families realize far too late they haven’t properly set up a beneficiary plan with a family law attorney.
Family law mistakes can cost you money, time, and emotional stability, but you can avoid them with the right legal representation.
Hopefully you never have to go through a custody proceeding, but if you do, here are my top 5 most recent examples of why the other parent should have custody instead of you.
Whenever a child is born out of wedlock, an attempt is made to have the presumed father sign an affidavit of parentage, usually in the hours following birth in the hospital.
Separation and divorce often comes with overwhelming emotions, practical challenges, and complexities affecting numerous aspects of everyday life.
About 52% of Americans turning 65 today will need long-term care, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. While we don’t like to think about our health deteriorating to the extent that we need long-term care, it’s important that you plan for this possibility so you can avoid a Medicaid spend-down.
No one likes to think about the possibility of their own disability or the disability of a loved one. Unfortunately, disabilities arise in shocking numbers and there is often no way to prevent them. We should all plan for at least some type of disability during our lifetime.
The VA Aid and Attendance pension was created in 1951 by Congress and is a pension for non-service related disability. The program was designed to provide benefits to veterans and/or surviving spouses when they require the assistance of another person to perform activities of daily living, is blind or nearly so, or is a patient in a nursing home.
Medicaid is a major source of payment for long-term care in the United States. Unfortunately, many elderly people in nursing homes end up spending through their savings before they can become eligible for Medicaid.
Even though the veterans resources and VA support facilities in West Michigan have not seen problems like those in other parts of the country, we know it can still be a challenge to navigate the VA benefits system.
If you happened to read this recent Newsweek article about end of life care, it may be difficult not to have a strong reaction.
The United States, through various agencies such as the Veterans Administration (VA), have historically provided for wartime veterans, their spouses, and their families.
Too many veterans aren’t getting full access to their benefits.