It’s time to have that difficult conversation with your older parents

It’s time to have that difficult conversation with your older parents

| Written by Laurie Taylor | I moved away from my parents' home before I turned 18 years old. Whenever I would go back to visit, my mom would tell me "All our important papers are in that file cabinet." I would nod but I never walked over to that file cabinet and opened the drawer to see what she thought was important. That file cabinet represented an event that I did not want to face; that my mom would no longer be able to handle her affairs. I also never asked her any questions, such as "Where are your bank accounts? Do you have any investment accounts? Life insurance? A safety deposit box? Are your estate documents current? What are your wishes for your funeral?" It felt awkward, like I was excitedly anticipating her impending demise. However, death is inevitable and denying its existence will not stop it from occurring. Sometimes, before death occurs, there may be a period of incapacitation....
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New law allows seniors to establish IRAs after 70

New law allows seniors to establish IRAs after 70

| Written by Linda D. Carley, Attorney and Former Judge for Spring 2020 Edition of OurSeniors.net Magazine | A new federal law has expanded the ways seniors may contribute and withdraw monies from their retirement accounts. Under the SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) just signed by President Trump and effective January 1, 2020, Americans in their seventies will have greater access and flexibility for retirement planning. The new law also extends the age for seniors to begin to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) by two years, and may require seniors to review how monies in a living trust are distributed to beneficiaries after the grantor’s death. Repeal of Age restriction for IRAs Prior to SECURE, seniors were restricted from establishing traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) after the age of 70. The new law, which is the broadest retirement reform in 13 years, repeals the age restriction for the establishment of traditional IRAs for tax years 2020 and beyond. It allows...
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Estate planning for heirs with special needs

Estate planning for heirs with special needs

| Written by Andrew C. Grant | We all know the cast of characters that make up our families can be as varied as the shells that wash up on the beach. Sometimes that cast includes persons with special needs; needs that prevent them from being able to take care of themselves; needs that prevent them from wisely managing significant sums of money. For such heirs, there are estate planning tools available to help them manage an inheritance without excluding them from the estate. The most severe special needs include those who rely on government services for their health and well-being, including social security-disability and Medicaid. For those beneficiaries, a significant inheritance could mean the end of government benefits. To avoid such a disastrous result it would be better to leave the inheritance to a special needs trust; a trust which exists solely to supplement their lifestyle, as the trustee sees fit, to fill in the gaps where other benefit programs fall...
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Amazing Senior: Tom Yarbrough

Amazing Senior: Tom Yarbrough

Tom Yarbrough is not exactly your typical 85-year-old retiree. Tom still enjoys riding his classic Ducati motorcycle, a sleek machine that comes all the way from Bologna, Italy. When asked if he was still an active rider, Tom seemed amused by the question and replied, “I’m still young enough to ride!” Born 85 years ago in Gadsden Alabama, Tom attributes his continued youth, good health and ability to ride a motorcycle to a life time of hard work.  At a young age, Tom moved to Coral Gables, Florida where he went to school. He had his first job at age 13, a paper delivery route for the Miami Herald.  After school, he would help his uncle in a shoe store on Coral Gables’ famous Miracle Mile shopping strip. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he spent 25 years in America’s service. During that career, he saw a lot of the world, including spending 3 years...
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These are the basic legal issues that arise when someone loses a partner

These are the basic legal issues that arise when someone loses a partner

| Written by Andrew Grant | Many things happen all at once when the first of a married couple dies, and the survivor is left to deal with matters that may be unfamiliar and intimidating. Among the most intimidating issues the surviving spouse faces are the legal issues; how to transfer the house, what to do about taxes, or whether a probate proceeding is needed. This article will attempt to offer some basic guidance on these matters. After making the necessary arrangements for saying goodbye to the deceased, the next step is to put the surviving spouse into position to carry on with his or her life. This usually involves moving assets to the surviving spouse’s sole name. Many assets, like jointly-held accounts or those that are payable-on-death (retirement accounts, insurance, or bank accounts), can transfer with a copy of the death certificate. The DMV will also usually transfer title to a vehicle that way. Transferring title to real property, however, can...
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