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Richardson Elder Law And Estate Planning Blog

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

Dementia Costly On Many Fronts

Caring for an elderly loved one can be emotionally and financially exhausting no matter the circumstances. For those with loved ones with dementia, the costs of care can be even more taxing. From the financial costs of care and potential lost income to the emotional toll caring for someone with dementia can take, the journey is not an easy one.

Financial challenges

The costs of professional care for a family member with dementia can be overwhelming, especially considering that many dementia patients require care over a long period of time. In 2016, average costs ranged from $1,517 a month for adult day care to $8,121 per month for a private room in a nursing home. Those attempting to sidestep those costs by providing in-care home often lost income from missed work, reduced hours or reduced Social Security or retirement benefits. So how do families pay for these costs? Medicare doesn't cover nursing home care. Medicaid does, but you have to have spent almost all your money to qualify for the program. Long-term care insurance can provide help--if you have it. But the insurance is pricey and not everybody has it.

Who Pays When Parents Die With Debt?

Some people worry that if their parent dies with debt, that they will be responsible for paying it off. In most cases, this is not true. In the probate process, when a person dies, their assets become part of the estate, and it's the value of the estate that pays for any debt the person who has died still owes. Whatever is left after the debts are paid then gets distributed to designated beneficiaries. In situations where debt exceeds the value of the estate, children may not end up inheriting anything. But unless children are joint owners of the debt, it's the estate that will pay, and not the children themselves.

Let's take a look at how three types of debt are handled in probate when a parent dies.

Three Alternatives To Long-Term Care Insurance

If you think paying a mortgage seems expensive, compare it to the cost of a stay in a nursing home, the median price of which is $6,000. for a private institution. Ideally, everyone would have their own long-term care insurance to help shoulder the burden of these costs. But long-term care insurance is beyond the means of many Americans. Furthermore, the policies are becoming harder to find, as insurers drop such policies in the face of rising costs. 

Reality check

Proposed Medicaid Cuts Would Affect Nursing Home Care

As a part of the effort to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Republicans have proposed major cuts to Medicaid that could significantly affect access to nursing home care. The proposal would cap the amount that the federal government pays to states per Medicaid enrollee to 2016 levels.

The end of Medicaid as we know it?

Need A Nursing Home? Don’t Count On Medicare.

Approximately seventy percent of the Americans over the age of 65 will require long-time care at some point of their lives. But long-term care costs thousands of dollars a month, and not everybody has long-term care insurance. Many citizens assume that Medicare, the federal health insurance program for citizens aged 65 and above, will cater for these costs, but the truth is it does not.

Does Medicare pay for anything?

Welcome to the Blog for The Johnson Firm, P.C.

As a business owner, you may be looking for ways to protect your business from unforeseen circumstances. When you work with The Johnson Firm, P.C., you can rest assured that your business and your future will be in good hands. We are strong advocates for family's legacies and want to help you ensure your financial security and desire to protect your loved ones. Your family business is your investment and your life and it deserves respected representation. This blog will be updated periodically to assist you in obtaining valuable information regarding business and estate planning laws in Texas, so make sure to check back soon! In the meantime, our firm encourages you to contact our team right away to speak with an experienced representative. 

Finding in-home care for veterans

If you or a loved one was once a veteran, you might be eligible for in-home care financial assistance in the form of Aid & Attendance benefits or Housebound benefits. These benefits provide extra payment for eligible veterans who require the assistance of another person in the home, or for those who are housebound because of a medical condition. The VA pays veterans who are eligible to receive a pension either Aid & Attendance or Housebound benefits, but not both.  Who is eligible for VA benefits? Veterans are eligible if they have served for at least 90 days of active duty, including at least a day during wartime. Veterans must also have received an honorable discharge to receive benefits. 

What is Aid & Attendance? (AA)

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  • Richard P. Johnson is Board certified Texas Board of Legal Specialization Estate Planning And Probate
  • Wealth Counsel
  • The College of the State Bar Of Texas Professionalism Through Education
  • Dallas Bar Association
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  • Marcie Johnson
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