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Richardson Elder Law And Estate Planning Blog

Helpful Ways to Pay for Assisted Living Costs

Assisted living rent can vary from $2,000 to $5,000 monthly. Depending on what type of care your loved one needs, assisted living can be the most affordable solution when compared to a nursing home ($5,000 to $10,000 or more per month) or long-term in-home care. If closely monitored medical supervision is not necessary for your aging senior, assisted living might be the best financial choice.

Medicaid

Keeping your passwords safe for your estate

Online passwords are becoming increasingly necessary to include on wills and trusts. These passwords do not just link to your Facebook or email accounts, they can access your financial history if you chose to pay most of your bills and plan your estate online to avoid any hassle with paperwork.

After death, you need someone who can access your accounts to inform contacts of your passing and to access any important digital assets you want transferred to friends or family. Any slight misinformation or misspellings could make those assets uninheritable, so you must create a system to ensure that someone you trust can access these passwords.

Aid and Attendance benefit allowance for aging Veterans

According to data from the 2012 census, there are over 12 million Veterans age 65 and older. The Veterans Administration (VA) offers a long-term care benefit to help aging Veterans and their surviving spouses manage the financial challenges of aging and health concerns.

The VA bases benefits on need, meaning the countable household income and net worth cannot exceed an annual limit set by Congress. To be eligible for pension benefits the Veteran must have served 90 days of active duty during a wartime period and been honorably discharged. The Veteran must also be age 65 or older, permanently disabled, a patient in a nursing home or receiving income from either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income.

Nearly 60 percent of Americans haven't made a will

A 2017 study by Caring.com demonstrates how unprepared most Americans are for their end of life. Over half of all Americans reported no will or estate plan in place.

The number of people without a will increased the younger the population. Over 70 percent of millennials ages 18-36 have no plans in place. That number drops slightly to 64 percent of people ages 37-52.

Senior care staffing shortage could hurt the quality of care

While the Texas population has surged recently, the number of nursing graduates has not kept pace with this growth. According to the Texas Health Care Association, the turnover rate for nurses coupled with the of lack available staff means nursing homes are suffering from a shortage of staff that is at crisis level. Skilled Nursing News states there is a 97 percent rate of turnover for certified nursing assistants and a 90 percent turnover for other important caregiver positions.

Texas nursing homes provide care for more than 92,000 people daily. A shortage of staff has lead the Texas long term care industry to fall below national averages in terms of survey, quality, and staffing measurements. For elderly patients, the consequences can be serious.

What will happen to the family business?

For many, the idea of a family business conjures up images of quaint store fronts straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. However, family businesses account for an astonishing 50 percent of the national gross domestic product and businesses controlled by families make up 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

Even more surprising is the fact that more than half of small business owners are 50 and older and considering retirement, but less than 30 percent have a written succession plan. Lack of a formal succession plan leaves the future success of the business fraught with uncertainty.

Five easy ways to avoid a probate headache

While probate can be a complicated, expensive, and time-consuming process, it doesn't always have to be. By taking steps to reduce the amount of property going through probate, you can save your beneficiaries months of waiting and potentially thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Here are five ways to facilitate probate-free property transfer:

  • Joint ownership of property. Joint tenancy with right of survivorship, tenancy by the entirety, and community property with right of survivorship are three methods of setting up joint ownership of your property. This allows you to avoid probate completely.

Student Loans Can Follow You Beyond The Grave

When a person dies with debt, creditors can tap the value of the estate to recoup their money in the probate process, whether for credit card debt, a car loan, a mortgage or a personal loan. But does this also apply to student loan debt? That depends on the source of the debt.

Forgiven loans are taxable

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