Monday, April 30, 2012

A Fundamental of Estate Planning

A fundamental of estate planning has to do with the portability of the estate tax exemption. This means that if the first spouse dies and doesn't use all of his or her federal exemption for estate taxes that the surviving spouse can add the unused estate tax exemption of the deceased spouse to their own exemption, allowing spouses together to transfer up to $10 million tax free.

However, it is important to note that portability is not automatic. To get it, the executor of the first spouse who died must file an estate tax return, even if no estate taxes are due. The safest course for most people is to review their situation with an attorney to make sure portability options are maximized.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Elder Law?

People sometimes ask about the fundamentals associated with the practice of elder law. Simply stated, when people become concerned about long term care planning for themselves as they age or for their aging parents, they often find solutions through the advice provided by an elder law firm. 

The issues may vary. Many fear losing all their assets to a nursing home,  and others need assistance with navigating through the complicated legal waters of Medicaid. 

Additional services may include:
  • Protecting the at-home spouse’s assets and income
  • Representation at elderly services and going to court for increased benefits for at-home spouse
  • Long term care planning
  • Addressing concerns about the high cost of nursing home care
  • Reviewing long term care insurance plans
  • Medicaid planning or assistance with the completion of the Medicaid application
  • Helping loved ones stay at home with home care assistance and caregiver help
  • Planning for disabled individuals