Frequently Asked Questions
What is Long Term Care Insurance
What is Asset Care
Asset care is an alternative to traditional
What is Probate and How Can I Avoid Probate
Probate is a court proceeding to handle things when someone passes away or becomes incompetent or incapacitated. The probate court handles matters like guardianships and conservatorships for those who need someone to manage them and their money if they become incompetent. The probate court also administers estates when someone passes away. If you have no will, it is called an estate administration. If you do have a Will, probate is designed to insure that the assets you own in your name at death pass correctly to your heirs. It is subject to court rules and procedures and of course costs time and money. Often, it can be a troublesome process depending on family dynamics and the complexity of the estate. Probate can be avoided entirely by using
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else authority to act legally on your behalf. A durable power of attorney means that the authority for the other person to act is still valid even if you later become incompetent or incapacitated. The power of attorney authorizes the other person to do anything you authorize them to do including cash checks, pay bills, sell property among other things. It is a a very important part of even the most basic estate plan. Watch this video to learn more.
What is an Advanded Directive for Heathcare?
An advanced directive for healthcare is a legal document that gives directions on what to do regarding your end of life decisions if you are not able to make those decisions. The document typically contains a living will and a medical power of attorney. In the living will, you state your wishes regarding end of life medical decisions like whether you want to be on a respirator or feeding tube if you are permanently unconscious or terminally ill. The medical power of attorney authorizes someone else to make medical decisions and carry out your wishes if you are not able to do so. For example, you may be physically healthy but suffering from dementia and not able to make decisions regarding you healthcare. Your medical power of attorney would be authorizied to make those decisions for you.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that spells out your final wishes including what to do with your property when you pass away. A will only governs what you own in your own name when you pass away. All property that passes through your will must go through the probate court. If you do not have a will, the State of Alabama decides what happens to your property when you die. A will does not go into effect until you pass away.
The Three Ways to Pay for Long Term Care
There are only 3 ways to pay for
Can I Protect my Home/Savings/Property from the nursing Home?
Unless you have an adequate amount of
What is the Medicaid Look Back Period?
When you apply for Medicaid to pay the nursing home, they will look back 60 months from the date you file the application to see what assets you had during that time. You will have to show Medicaid what you did with those assets if you no longer have them. If you disposed of any of those assets for less than fair market value or gave them away, Medicaid will penalize you. The penalty period depends on the amount of assets you gave away. The
Should I Put My Kids Names on my Bank Accounts?
Many people put their children’s names on their bank accounts so they can access the money if necessary. The problem is that when you make someone else, including your kids, a co-owner of your accounts, your money is at risk to their creditors. For example, if your son is on your account and he later divorces, your money could be lost in the divorce. Your assets are also at risk to lawsuits, bankruptcies, tax liens and other creditors. It is usually very risky and not advisable to put your kid’s names on your bank accounts.
How Do I Qualify for Medicaid to Pay for my Nursing Home Care?
Medicaid is a
Can I Protect My Assets if I Am Already in a Nursing Home?
Yes. We have clients who were already in the nursing home private paying for care when their families hired us. We can help you protect much more if you preplan. However, even if you are already in the nursing home, in most cases we can still help you protect some of your life savings instead of losing it all to
Will I Lose my Home if my Spouse Goes In a Nursing Home?
If you are married and your spouse goes into a nursing home, you will not lose your home if you apply for Medicaid. Your home is an exempt asset as long as your spouse is living there. However, if your spouse later dies or if you are single when you go into a nursing home, Medicaid will put a lien on the home so your kids/grandkids may not inherit it. There are ways to protect your home in case you have to go into a nursing home.
How Can a Trust Help Me Protect My Assets From Long Term Care Costs?
A trust can help you protect your assets if you have to go into a nursing home. A trust is a separate legal entity so when you transfer assets into a trust, you no longer own the assets. In order to provide asset protection, the trust must be irrevocable. If the trust is revocable, you can move the asset in and out whenever you choose. Because you can get the assets whenever you want, there is no protection from creditors including the nursing home. However, if the trust is irrevocable, the assets owned by the trust are protected from creditors including nursing home.
How Can I Insure the Family Cabin/Lakehouse remains In The Family
Should I Deed my Home To My Children
This is seldom the best approach for a number of reasons. First, you give up control You know longer can decide to sell or borrow against the home without there consent and participation. Secondly, the tax consequences to the recipient child or children
What is a Revocable Living Trust
First a trust is an entity you create in which to own and manage your money and assets. There are different types and the revocable is a popular alternate to will planning since it does not require Probate to distribute your assets at death. It also has great flexibility in that you can contribute or remove assets at your discretion or shut it down entirely if you were to decide to do so. It also provides privacy and allows you to distribute without filing a court proceeding that is public record.
What is the Penalty Period for Medicaid
When applying for Medicaid there is a lookback period of your finances to check for uncompensated transfers or gifts of assets. If these occurred within 60 months of applying, Medicaid has a formula to determine, if you are otherwise qualified, how many months you must pay before Medicaid benefits will begin. This is commonly called the penalty period. The length of time is dependent on the amount transferred. There are strategies to provide for payment through this period while saving a substantial portion of your assets in an asset protection trust.
How Long Does it Take to Probate a Will in Alabama?
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