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Deland on Estates and Elder Law

Monday, June 02, 2014

Trustees and Bank Accounts

Do you want to be in charge of your own bank account?  If your answer is a resounding "yes!" then you need to have your bank account titled into your Life Trust.  If your bank account is in your own name alone, then, as soon as you get sick and can't go to the bank, or get confused and can't balance your account, you're in trouble.  The banker will tell you: "just put someone else's name on the account!"  But doing so without the protection of your Life Trust is giving your money away.  Your bank account becomes the property of that other person.   That other person would have to come into the bank in order for you to remove them from the account.

Even if the other person is your husband or wife, the same rule applies - by all means have both names on the account. But use the Life Trust, for flexibility and control.  If you were both sick, your Life Trust can name another trustee to take over.  After you're gone, your Trustee can settle the account with the rest of your estate, instead of having to disentangle it from someone else's property first.can 


Monday, May 26, 2014

5 reasons why you might need a will

There are lots of reasons why a will is one of the documents that every person should have.  Here are 5 of them:

1)  You own real estate.  A will can make your heirs' lives easier by avoiding the necessity of a "license to sell" from the court, if selling turns out to be necessary.

2)  You own anything in your own name.  A will can specify what is done with anything you die owning in your own name.

3) You own everything jointly with another person.  A will can specify what happens to the property if that person dies, and then you do.

4) You own everything in a trust.  The trust only governs property that has the trust's name on it.  If you receive an inheritance, or if you die owning something (like a car, perhaps) that is not in the name of the trust, a will can provide your instructions.

5) You want your body to be cremated.  Otherwise, all next of kin will have to approve cremation.

 

 

 

Of course, there are a lot of other reasons why people do wills.   Let me know what I left out, in the comments here , or on Facebook.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Documents Should Every Adult Have?

What documents do you really need?  This post lists the Four basic documents which every adult should have.


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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sign here, please.

"Sign here, please."   We are all confronted with this casual request fairly frequently - at the bank, at the doctor's office,  at the pharmacy.  Do we always know what we are signing?  Often, we are not even given an opportunity to read what we are agreeing to.


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Monday, January 07, 2013

An Often-Overlooked Medicaid Planning Strategy

A little known but very effective tool can allow you to set up a trust to protect your assets from Medicaid after you die.  By integrating it with your existing planning, a very favorable result can be obtained with little extra trouble.


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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Why Settle?

Settlement is what you do when someone dies.  All too often, clients come to me to plan for their own estates, and, as we explore the estate - what accounts are there?  what property do you have?   We learn that some of their property is actually still titled to people who are dead.


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Sunday, December 02, 2012

There is no such thing as "Digital Estate Planning"

Should you do "Digital Estate Planning?"  It sounds like the modern, up-to-date thing to do.  I explain that there is no such thing, and what you should do instead.


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Friday, November 09, 2012

Should You Worry About the Estate Tax?

Should you be worried about the estate tax?  The exemption amount for the federal estate tax may be about to drop steeply.  See if you should be concerned.


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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The American Nightmare

Are you living the American Dream, or the American Nightmare?  I explain the difference between MediCare and MediAid, and how you can prevent the American Dream from becoming the American Nightmare by using an irrevocable trust to protect your assets from the cost of a nursing home if you ever need one.


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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crummey Provisions - Solution in Search of a Problem?

 

This post is for people who need to reduce their estates below the Massachusetts "exemption" of $1 million, and especially for those who risk incurring the federal estate tax on estates in excess of $5 million. Find out whether "Crummey" trust powers are a solution to your problem.


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Sunday, February 05, 2012

"Double Decker" Estate Planning

In "Double Decker" estate planning, the children are involved with the process of planning the parent's estate.  This can be useful, but it is not without it's hazards, when the Elder Law attorney becomes a lightening-rod for family conflict.


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Jennifer A. Deland, Counselor-at-Law advises clients in all areas of estate planning, including wealth transmission planning, disability planning, special needs, pet trusts, Medicaid/Masshealth and related aspects of probate law. Her office is convenient for clients throughout the Metrowest area, including Holliston, Hopkinton, Milford, Medway, Medfield, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Sherborn, Dover, Southborough, Sudbury and Westborough.

Proud Member of ElderCareMatters.com - America’s National Directory of Elder Care / Senior Care Resources for Families.



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1660 Washington Street, Holliston, MA 01746
| Phone: (508)429-8888

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