Planning

Let’s Go Crazy – Estate Planning a la Prince

In 1984, Prince released what was arguably his penultimate album – the soundtrack to his semiautobiographical film, Purple Rain.  This classic filled compilation was ignited by its initial track, “Let’s Go Crazy”.  A phenomenal song with a phenomenal title.  Yet it appears it is regrettably the theme for his estate plan – or apparently lack […]

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Challenges to the Caregiver Exemption

By Brittany A. Verga, Esq. The child caregiver exemption is an important exception to the five year lookback rule in Medicaid planning. For many years, it has allowed children to retain the homes of parents for whom they have provided long-term care. However, the ability to qualify for this exemption is being severely limited. The […]

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Pre-Nuptial Agreements: Not Just For Divorces Anymore

Pre-nuptial agreements have been around for many years.  Historically, they have rightly been viewed as a creation to provide assurance to individuals about to enter marriage that their assets would be protected in a manner they deemed fit in the event of a divorce.  To some extent, there has often been attention provided to the […]

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It’s Not Just A Deed – The Possible Pitfalls Of Transferring The Home To The Children

As parents age and become acutely aware of the potential specter of long term care costs, there is a strong desire to preserve the assets which they have accumulated over the years. The most significant of these assets for many of them is the family home. More often than not, many parents believe that the […]

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Life Insurance Beneficiaries Must Be Designated, Not Assumed

In July 2012, Michael G. Fox got married, and looked forward to many happy years with his new wife, Evanisa.  Unfortunately, Michael died tragically in a work-related car accident just four months later.  Evanisa assumed that she was entitled to the death benefit from his life insurance policy. In attempting to file her claim, Evanisa […]

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Planning for the Smooth Transition of a Decedent’s Home

In the early years of Saturday Night Live, there was a skit called “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.”  It dealt with John Belushi playing a dinner guest that refused to leave his hosts’ home.  A very funny sketch, but one that is often re-enacted without the humor in real life by children who reside with […]

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Rewriting a Will After Death

Dave and Molly have been married for many years.  They have an estate worth $1.5 million which includes their home, bank and brokerage accounts and life insurance.  They have three adult children: Manny, Moe and Jack.  Manny and Moe are successful businessmen who are financially secure.  Jack, though, was born with Down’s Syndrome and is […]

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Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs Part III

Choosing the Right Fiduciary Arguably, the single most important task for parents who are planning for the care of a child with special needs after their passing is to ensure that they pick the right trustee to manage the trust established on behalf of such child.  The temptation is to make a sentimental choice of […]

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Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs Part II

For the Children Parents who have a child with special needs often undertake estate planning to insure that any inheritance left for that child will be preserved for his or her benefit.  Proper planning will preserve eligibility for needs based government programs such as SSI and Medicaid while allowing the child’s inheritance to flow into […]

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The Perils of Joint Accounts

Joint Tenancy With a Right of Survivorship (JTWROS) is a manner by which many of us hold bank and other financial accounts with others.  It is a traditional method of account ownership that has many benefits.  It commonly reflects the unity between spouses.  It avoids probate when one party dies.  It can be used for […]

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