Blogs

Can An Agent Make a Gift Under Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is one of the most fundamentally important estate planning tools. A power of attorney created when you are of sound mind allows you to name someone who will act as your agent. If the power of attorney is “durable”, the person you name as your agent can make important decisions about […]

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Special Needs Trust: Protecting an Inheritance without Losing Government Benefits

Many government benefits including Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are means-tested. In other words, eligibility for these benefit programs is restricted on the basis of both assets and income.  In addition to other requirements, a person may not have more than $2,000 in countable assets and a couple may not have more than $3,000 […]

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What is Guardianship and How Does it Work?

A guardian is someone appointed by the court to control a ward’s assets and make decisions on behalf of the ward. The ward must be declared as incapacitated by the court to be unable to handle his/her own affairs. People who suffer from mental disabilities, including people with dementia and other conditions of old age, […]

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Estate Planning Advice: Should My Parents Give Me Their Home?

Long-term care can be very costly and it can quickly deplete a person’s life savings. Medicaid can help cover the costs of a nursing home, but only if the person going into care has limited resources. When someone owns a home, it is thus natural to be concerned about whether the house will be lost if […]

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What is a Power of Attorney and When Does it Become Effective?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal instrument that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf.  The person granting that power (the “principal”) grants the right to act on his/her behalf to the agent, who is also referred to as the attorney-in-fact. The language of the POA determines what powers are […]

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What is the significance of national elder law attorney organizations?

When you are looking for an elder law attorney, it is important that you have an experienced legal professional representing you. An attorney’s membership in a national organization of elder law attorneys shows a commitment to staying up-to-date on legal issues affecting seniors. An attorney who is a member of a certifying elder law professional […]

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I just moved to Florida; is my Will still valid?

A Will executed in another state, sometimes referred to as a “foreign will”, could be valid if it was validly executed under the laws of the other state (Fl. Stat. 732.502(2)). Therefore, the answer to this question could be partially dependent on the state in which you previously lived. One exception is a holographic Will, […]

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How Long Does Probate Take?

It is reasonable to expect that a simple probate estate will take approximately five or six months to properly handle. Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries. Probate is necessary to pass […]

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Reminder – Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

The Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) is currently open. The deadline is Sunday, December 7, 2014, if you are interested in any of the following: Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan; Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare; Switch from […]

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On Behalf of My Parent, Should I Act as Guardian or Attorney-In-Fact?

If your aging parent becomes incapacitated and needs someone to make decisions on his/her behalf, including decisions regarding medical treatments, financial issues, or living arrangements, you have a choice between serving as an attorney-in-fact (agent) if your parent has executed a valid Durable Power of Attorney (POA) appointing you as such, or pursuing a guardianship. […]

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