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....
Read More
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...
Read More
Make A Living Will!

Make A Living Will!

You have probably heard the pious sounding advice that “everyone should have a living will.” In this case, the pious advice is absolutely correct! If any group of people is in a position to know the truth of this, it is emergency room physicians. They are on the front line in dealing with the unforeseen accidents and medical emergencies that can render a person unable to express his or her wishes. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, in 2014, only a quarter (26%) of Americans had a living will. Other studies have placed the percentage as “high” as 36%, but that still leaves most people unprepared to deal with life’s most important decisions. Despite its name, a living will is not a way of leaving property to your family or loved ones. A living will or advanced medical directive tells medical personnel what your wishes are if you are not able to speak for yourself. It is a legal...
Read More

The FAL Senior Transition Pro Team has attorneys who specialize in elder law

“Elder Law” is a legal specialty that covers a number of issues relating to senior citizens, their caretakers and family members. The Senior Transition Pro Team includes attorneys who specialize in elder law and are board certified by the Florida Bar Association. You can read about one such attorney, Ms. Wendy A. Maura, who practices in the Ormond Beach and Volusia-Flagler Counties area. Simply click on Mrs. Wendy A. Mara....
Read More

Prenuptial / Premarital Agreements

You have met a wonderful person later in life, and you fall in love. While talking about your exciting life together, you or maybe even your loved one mentions a prenuptial or premarital agreement. The realities of your financial situation weigh on your mind. You own many valuable assets - assets you would like to protect in case things don't go as planned. You have children from a previous marriage whom you would like to include in your estate planning. You certainly don't want to be a "killjoy," and you certainly don't want your intended to think your assets and your children are more important than your beloved. However, you need to address your concerns. Although you love your intended and believe your relationship will stand the test of time, you are a realist and know that despite your intention to make this marriage work, statistically it may fail. So, what do you do? First, you should be honest...
Read More

What is a healthcare surrogate?

A healthcare surrogate, sometimes called an “agent”, is a person appointed by you to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are not able to make or communicate them yourself. The healthcare surrogate is one form of an advance health care directive, a statement of your wishes in case you are not able to express them. Advance healthcare directives, including the healthcare surrogate, are governed by state laws so it may be wise to consult a local attorney if you have any questions. The law recognizes the right of every competent adult to make his or her own decisions about healthcare matters; this includes the right to refuse medical treatment when it is no longer wanted. As long as a person is alive, competent and able to communicate their wishes, they have the sole power to continue or stop medical treatment.  Unfortunately, there are cases in which the ill or injured person is not able to make decisions or to...
Read More