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Multigenerational Family

Ways The Sandwich Generation Can Plan For The Future

Nov 16, 2023

Anyone experiencing the struggle of simultaneously caring for children and aging parents is part of the sandwich generation. Although “generation” is part of the phrase, it does not refer to people born at a specific time. Typically, these family caregivers will be in the 30- to 40-year-old age range, providing for their families and balancing care duties between the needs of children and parents. Trends That Led to an Increasing Sandwich Generation The rise in the numbers in the sandwich generation is a byproduct of two influential trends: Women are giving birth later in life, and the senior population is…

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An ABLE account offers an individual with a disability a way to accumulate savings

ABLE Accounts: Financial Independence for Managing Money

Oct 31, 2023

The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE) accounts offer people with disabilities a great, tax-free way to accumulate money without jeopardizing their qualifications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other means-tested programs. Withdrawals are tax-free as long as the money is used for “qualified disability expenses.” For families who have dependents with disabilities, ABLE accounts provide a way to set aside savings money, tax-free, for their loved one. The arguments for starting and maintaining such funds are overwhelming, not least of which is the wide variety of things on which the money can be spent. To build…

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LGBTQ+ Estate Planning

6 Facets of Estate Planning That LGBTQ+ Couples Should Know

Sep 13, 2023

Estate planning is an important consideration for all couples. However, for LGBTQ+ couples (or former couples), it may be more important than they realize to review their circumstances and see whether they have an estate plan that accurately reflects their wishes. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all states and have their marriage recognized by other states. This case also invalidated state laws that excluded same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples. Before this ruling, LGBTQ+ couples could provide for their…

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Medicaid gov website

What to Do If You Lose Your Medicaid Coverage

Aug 30, 2023

During the COVID-19 pandemic, states could not take away Medicaid coverage from any residents enrolled in this program. In recent months, this has changed due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 and the end of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration. Because the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency lasted several years, some Medicaid enrollees have not undergone eligibility review since prior to 2020. Others, who may have joined Medicaid during the pandemic, have never been through the renewal process. If you are on Medicaid, be sure to take some time to understand whether your coverage may be at risk.…

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What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

Jul 19, 2023

Last Will and Testaments determine who gets an individual’s assets upon death. Generally, people can use wills to pass their estate to whomever they wish. Although state laws impose some restrictions, such as preventing married people from disinheriting their spouses without consent, testators can distribute their assets to chosen individuals, such as family, friends, stepchildren, and godchildren, as well as to charities. Those who die without a will — in other words, who die intestate — cannot distribute their money and possessions according to their unique wishes. When this happens, state laws take effect to determine who receives the estate.…

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Last Will And Testament

Are Wills Public Record?: Estate Planning Q&A

Jul 19, 2023

Wills contain important information about who receives money, possessions, and property upon a person’s death. Who can view this information, and is it a public record? Once your will goes through probate, it becomes a public record. The probate court must maintain the will so that the public can access it. Anyone can visit the probate court to view the will, regardless of whether they are an heir or beneficiary. For a fee, they can obtain a copy. In some counties, wills are also available online. Why Are Wills Public Records? Numerous individuals could have a right to receive assets…

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ADLs and the Need for Long Term Care

Activities of Daily Living and the Need for Long-Term Care

Jul 6, 2023

Most long-term care involves assisting with basic personal needs rather than providing medical care. The long-term care community measures personal needs by looking at whether an individual requires help with basic activities. ADL Meaning ADLs, or activities of daily living, are six basic activities that most people do every day without assistance. ADLs are important to understand because they are used to gauge an individual’s level of functioning. This, in turn, determines whether the individual qualifies for assistance like Medicaid or has triggered long-term care insurance coverage. What Are the 6 ADLs? The six ADLs are generally recognized as: Bathing.…

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Nursing Home Level of Care

What It Means to Need ‘Nursing Home Level of Care’ for Medicaid Eligibility

Jul 6, 2023

When applying for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage, in addition to the strict income and asset limits, you must demonstrate that you need a level of care typically provided in a nursing home. Whether you are applying for nursing home coverage or through a Medicaid waiver program for coverage at home, you must meet the level-of-care requirement set by the state. Each state has its own criteria for determining if you meet the mandated level of care, and the criteria is not always clear. The state looks at an applicant’s functional, medical, and cognitive abilities to determine if care in a…

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Estate Planning Documents

Does Your Child’s Special Needs Trust Need a Tune-Up? Probably.

May 24, 2023

Remember how satisfying it was setting up a trust for your child with special needs? You named a trustee and a successor trustee, signed the paperwork, and paid the legal bills, and then you rested easy at night knowing you had put a plan in place for your child. Done! Well, not exactly. Because things always change, whether over time or suddenly. It’s easy to throw your new special needs trust into a drawer and forget about it, especially if you are not planning on funding it until you pass away. Likewise, if your loved one with special needs has…

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Planning for your special needs child's future

Consider Writing a Letter of Intent for Your Child

May 24, 2023

If we have learned anything these past few years, it’s that life is fleeting. For families with children with disabilities, worrying about their loved one’s life in the years ahead is ever-present. Special needs planning allows you to provide for your children upon your death and name a trusted person to step in as a legal guardian. After choosing a guardian, drafting a Letter of Intent is critical to safeguarding your child’s future. What Does a Letter of Intent Do? If a guardian ever needs to take responsibility for your child, a Letter of Intent — also known as a…

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