Are your estate planning documents protecting your assets?
1. Should Mom and Dad give us the house as a gift now so that they don’t have to “give it to the government” later?
This is a common question that involves technical medical assistance rules. Generally, the best way to...more
Essential Estate Planning Documents -
Below is a list and brief overview of the documents most commonly identified as the “essential” estate planning documents. Please keep in mind that everyone’s situation is unique...more
Most estate plans focus on what happens after death — but a plan is incomplete if arrangements haven’t been made in the event of mental incapacity. If the plan doesn’t specify how these decisions will be made, and by whom, a...more
Pennsylvania recently passed Act 95 of 2014, which introduced sweeping changes to the law governing General Powers of Attorney. The changes fall into three main categories: (1) execution requirements, (2) powers that must be...more
Act 95 of 2014, signed July 2nd by Governor Tom Corbett, made significant modifications to the law governing Powers of Attorney (Chapter 56 of the Probate Estates and Fiduciaries Code, 20 Pa.C.S.A §5601, et. seq.). The...more
Using a Power of Attorney (“POA”) could soon be a lot more complicated. New legislation was passed in Pennsylvania in an effort to minimize the opportunities for abuse perpetrated using a POA and to provide clearer guidance...more
This week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week.
It is a common misconception that only the very wealthy need estate plans. This may explain why 55% of Americans do not have estate plans. However, the truth is...more
First and foremost, all adults need powers of attorney regardless of their age, their health or their wealth. There are two types of powers of attorney. A health care power of attorney allows you to name an agent to make...more
Like most states, North Carolina recognizes a person’s fundamental right to make his or her own health care decisions. Sometimes, however, it is not possible for a patient to make or communicate a health care decision. A...more
In a published decision, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Jones declared that a spouse involved in a divorce action must personally participate in the proceeding where the spouse is found to be mentally...more
There is no such thing as no liability, but as a result of recent sweeping changes to Pennsylvania's Power of Attorney statute, third parties should have a much higher level of comfort when taking direction from agents. If...more
The popular New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast has created a graphic memoir of coping with her parents’ final years, titled Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? The book has received widespread attention and critical...more
Last month I mentioned that every person should have a basic estate plan, including a medical directive. This directive is not only necessary for the elderly, but also for anyone who could find themselves incapacitated...more
Michigan law currently permits any resident to designate a "patient advocate" during his or her lifetime. The patient advocate is tasked with making health care decisions – often including the ability to withhold or withdraw...more
On April 24, 2014 the Supreme Court issued a decision resolving an unsettled issue with respect to the representation of a limited liability company: whether the grant of a power of attorney by the management board of a...more
End-of-life decisions are among the most difficult a family will ever face. Most people do not like to think about life support, ventilators, and artificial food and hydration. Young people, especially, believe that...more
On January 31, the Texas Supreme Court released a January 24 supplemental opinion clarifying a June 2013 opinion in which it invalidated state regulations that (i) defined “interest” with regard to home equity loans to...more
A financial power of attorney — sometimes called a “power of attorney for property” or a “general power of attorney” — can be a valuable planning tool. But it’s susceptible to abuse by scam artists, dishonest caretakers or...more
This is the final post in a four-part series about Digital Assets and estate planning. One would think that an executor, trustee, or agent under a Power of Attorney would have authority to obtain information about your...more
A new tool is now available for North Carolina citizens and health care providers that will help everyone understand end-of-life health care planning options and processes available under North Carolina law. The new website...more
A California court of appeal recently ruled that an agreement to arbitrate disputes between an elderly patient and a nursing facility was not enforceable. The arbitration agreement was signed by the daughter of the patient...more
On October 22, Fannie Mae issued Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2013-08, which updates policies regarding (i) the use of a power of attorney, (ii) DU Refi Plus and Refi Plus eligibility, and (iii) master or blanket insurance...more
A Power of Attorney ("POA") can be an important tool for anyone who is planning his or her future. It enables an individual to decide in advance who will help him/her make life's important decisions in the event of future...more
A recent criminal case, State of Iowa v. Rodney Lee Bean, Court of Appeals of Iowa, No. 3-494/11-1828 (September 5, 2013), shows us how elderly individuals can be easily abused, both physically and financially....more
FOLLOWING THE FIRST SET OF AMENDMENTS TO THE RUSSIAN CIVIL CODE WHICH WAS ADOPTED ON 30 DECEMBER 2012, THE SECOND AND THIRD SETS OF AMENDMENTS TO THE CIVIL CODE HAVE NOW ALSO BEEN SIGNED INTO LAW.
The second set of...more
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