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Manchester New Hampshire Estate Planning Blog

Two powers of attorney vital to an estate plan

A well drafted estate plan gives the owner a unique peace of mind as they make their way through life. The plan holder knows that they will not leave any questions for their friends and family regarding their affairs, their wishes and their assets. Trusts and wills are generally two of the first things individuals think of when they consider estate planning, but powers of attorney are equally as important.

In an earlier blog we discussed the value of health care directives in an estate plan. Here we will go over how power of attorney ties into that matter, though it does not have to, and how power of attorney can be used to manage your financial affairs.

More older Americans are filing for bankruptcy

A recent study found people aged 65 and older are filing for bankruptcy at three times the rate as they were in 1991. The New York Times states of the people from ages 65 to 74, 3.6 out of 1000 file for bankruptcy. The study suggests this increase is due to changes like moving from pensions to 401(k)s, more spending on health care and having to wait for full Social Security benefits.

Why Medicaid planning and eligibility is an important process

Medicaid planning for an elderly loved one includes first determining eligibility status for the many services they may need. The planning process will help pave the way for a tailored plan that meets the healthcare needs of the individual. The process may include gathering important documents, submitting required paperwork and financial information of the potential Medicaid recipient.

Family members of an elderly loved one are encouraged to participate in the Medicaid planning process. Long-term care is often too costly for families and Medicaid offers a more affordable alternative solution.

Long-term care in retirement planning

The facts can be quite sobering. It’s estimated that 70 percent of Americans will require long-term care of some kind in their lives. If you become part of that group, your long-term care cost could be roughly $138,000 over your lifetime. And if you’re like most people, you haven’t done any long-term care planning.

Planning for long-term care as part of your retirement planning can bring you peace of mind. No one wants to consider the possibility of having an injury or debilitating illness that would necessitate long-term care, but having a plan—just in case—can help ensure you will be well cared for.

Caring for a parent who has dementia comes with many legal issues

Children rarely anticipate that they will one day need to care for their elderly parents. Still, this is inevitable for many families--especially for adult children whose parents have Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or another disease that induces dementia. If your parent has one of these illnesses, it may soon be time to step in as their caretaker.

Many people find this overwhelming, particularly because of the numerous legal decisions that inevitably occur. One way to make these issues easier to handle is to prepare for them in advance. If you are caring for an adult who has dementia, you may want to learn about some of the legal issues that you and your parent could face in the future.

Don’t allow elder abuse to happen

It’s a sad story that plays out far too often these days. Someone takes advantage of a senior, draining bank accounts, spending the very money they offered to manage. Often, these cases of financial exploitation involve family members or caregivers.

Financial exploitation of seniors is a rising problem throughout the country and is a large focus of law enforcement. New Hampshire, with its growing senior population, will have a mounting problem, as 1 in 20 seniors report some sort of financial exploitation.

Health care directives: An important part of your estate plan

A heart attack on the way to a second job, a stroke while checking Facebook in bed or a car crash that results in a coma, these traumatic events can come at almost any time. It is impossible to know the when, but it is possible to have a plan.

A neighbor was shocked into making lifestyle changes after suffering a heart attack at age 40. A healthy and active parent in her 70s was incapacitated by a blood clot while on a dinner cruise. These stories are reminders of the importance health care directives play in an estate plan. And how proper planning can ensure that bills get paid and avoid the need for a guardianship hearing.

Estate plans are not just for the rich and famous

You've seen it in the movies. After the funeral, the wealthy family in black sits down in the parlor and the executor of the estate reads the last will and testament.

The scene usually has some dramatic surprises, there are usually some disgruntled relatives who had been hoping for the family fortune but instead got teaspoons. It's all well and good for Hollywood to depict wills in this overly dramatic fashion, but in reality, there is a lot more to the story.


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