As our lives change, our estate plans should also adapt. Like a home, a car, or even your health, an estate plan needs regular checkups to see if it requires any updates. Ideally, you should review your estate plan every three years or whenever a major milestone occurs. While you're still capable, around the start or end of every year is a good time to consider if it needs to reflect changes in the law, your life, or your legacy.
The gift of an estate plan lasts a lifetime and beyond. In case of an unexpected event, like an accident, an illness, or death, your loved ones can feel comfortable knowing that your final wishes are in place. During a crisis, an estate plan removes the guesswork surrounding your end-of-life care, what will happen if you become incapacitated, who gets your assets, and how to honor your memory. It gives those closest to you guidance so they don't need to make important decisions while they grieve.
The recent closing of long-term care facilities in the Pine Tree State has highlighted concerns about what's happening to the industry. If you or a loved one need care now or later, you may wonder what to do and where to go. Knowing what's in-store for long-term care in Maine and nationwide can help you explore your options.
What will happen to a mentally or physically disabled loved one when you're gone? Who will support them? Depending on their situation, the options for securing their future include setting up a supplemental care or special needs trust (SNT) or an ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) account. In some cases, you can do both. Parents, grandparents, or anyone else with the legal authority to support someone with a disability may create them.
The need for in-home care can arise when someone is ill or can't take care of themself and support from friends and family is limited. Before you or a loved one decide on in-home care, some things to think about include your budget, the services you want, and whether the need is temporary or long-term.
What you should know about the probate process: “Probate” is the process under which the assets of a deceased person are distributed. Maine has a streamlined probate system. In most cases, no judge is involved, unless there are complicating factors.
Can you make decisions for your young adult child if they have an accident or become seriously ill? When a child has reached the legal age of adulthood (in Maine, that's 18 and older), parents have fewer rights over them than they do over minors. An advance directive and a durable power of attorney authorize you to act on behalf of your child. If you haven't made any incapacity plans yet, you can both secure your futures together, and you'll feel better that you're protecting your rights and your child's needs.
Whether you "summer" at a home away from home that you bought recently or has been in your family for generations, have you considered what will happen to it later? Over time, it might increase in value. Including it in an estate plan will ensure it goes to the heirs you choose while you limit potential conflicts and protect it for the future.
The Medicare and Medicaid health-care programs may seem similar, but there are some key differences between them. We explore each program, including their coverage offerings and eligibility requirements.
If you want to talk to a loved one about an advance health-care directive, you may not know where to begin. Here is some advice on how to plan the conversation, how to broach the topic, and what to say.
Memory care options for dementia patients include supervision, personal and medical support, recreation, and cognitive therapy to keep people with these conditions active. This article covers the types of residential care facilities available and the factors to consider in deciding which one is best for you or a loved one.
COVID-19 Vaccination Update: Governor Janet Mills announced February 26 that Maine would be moving to an “aged-based” eligibility formula for prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination.
Sadly, coronavirus case counts have skyrocketed recently. The risk of catching the disease can make caregiving more challenging.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) estate planning can be convenient and save you money. However, it can fail to cover every circumstance. In the long run, any mistakes you make may be costly.
The astronomical expense of long-term nursing care is no longer news. Costs can run around $7,000.00 or more per month, depending on location. Hundreds of thousands of people need that kind of care and the numbers are rising.
Most parents choose to treat their children equally when it comes to inheriting property or money. Sometimes, parents intentionally choose not to leave anything to a child, and the reasons for doing so may vary.
Congress has passed a bipartisan appropriations bill. In the contents of this spending bill is a piece of legislation known as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE), the first significant change in retirement legislation since the Pension Protection Act in 2006. T...
You have the right to decide what kind of medical treatment you want to receive from doctors and health-care providers, but in case you lose the ability to communicate, you should prepare "advance health-care directives."
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) are gaining in popularity across the United States. Sometimes referred to as life plan communities, the goal is to provide a long-term care option for older residents.
An inheritance can be the source of costly mistakes related to Medicaid eligibility - mistakes that should be avoided. When a person is drawing Medicaid benefits and inherits money or property, that inheritance can jeopardizes their benefits. The inheritance must be handled carefully to minimize expensive penalties.
The US Social Security Administrations funding trusts are known as the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund.
There has been an explosion in the numbers of Americans rushing to make their will online. Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic has created the scramble to set up wills and end-of-life-directives. However, online do it yourself (DIY) wills are often deemed invalid as they do not comply with local laws.
Whom should you trust to manage your financial well being when you are no longer able to do so? An agent under power of attorney (POA) has the legal authority to make financial decisions on your behalf.
Many parents are uncomfortable talking to their kids about their wealth. Talking about how much money or property you have is usually viewed as taboo. Asking someone else about what they have is often considered impolite. But failing to talk to kids about how much they may inherit could leave t...
You should check your estate planning documents every so often, to make sure they're still good, especially with big life changes like births, marriages, divorces, and moving to another state. Children grow up, marriages dissolve, property gets sold, residences change - life happens!