Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Things You Should Know About Elder Abuse Law in NH

Did you know that you have a duty to report elder abuse?

Any person who suspects or believes that an incapacitated person may be the subject of exploitation is required under NH law to file a report with NH Bureau of Elderly and Adult Service (BEAS).  

However, the requirement to report extends to incapacitated adults only. Phone number for BEAS is 1-800-949-0470. The report to BEAS is confidential.

Additional facts:
  • According to a 2011 MetLife study of elder financial abuse, as much as $2.9 billion per year is stolen from seniors.
  • NH is the 4th oldest state in the U.S.
  • Population of NH residents age 65+ is expected to double by 2025

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Rest of the Story... To Fund or Not To Fund - Are You "All Set?"

As a follow-up to our "tongue-in-cheek" April Fool's Day post, here's an example of an estate planning attorney who drafted a trust, but didn’t assist with any of the funding. The client thought he and his family were "all set" because they had a trust. 

Unfortunately, an unexpected heart attack claimed the client's life, and as it turned out, everything was not "all set." There was nothing in his trust and all of his assets went through probate. His probate estate incurred $20,000.00+ in legal fees to go through the probate process. 

Without funding your trust with assets, your trust will not accomplish your goal of avoiding probate and of making it easier and less expensive for your loved ones and beneficiaries down the road.

Friday, April 1, 2016

To Fund or Not to Fund? (April Fools!)

Instead of telling you how to avoid probate, in honor of April Fools Day, we decided to provide you with a list of how to guarantee that your assets will go through the probate process when you pass away. 

  • Own everything in your name only
  • Fail to name beneficiaries on all of your accounts, no transfer on death designations either
  • Don’t own anything jointly, and if you do own real estate jointly, have it owned as tenants in common (note that only sometimes does owning real estate as tenants in common make sense)
  • Create a trust, but don’t put anything in it. We lawyers call it “the funding of your trust.” If you don’t put anything in your trust, there is nothing for your successor Trustee to distribute and then the assets go through probate. Your estate planning attorney should assist you with the funding of your trust.