In the context of estate planning, you might sometimes hear about “living trusts,” also called revocable trusts or inter vivos trusts. Living trusts are useful tools for anyone trying to plan for their future under certain circumstances, as they can allow you to fully marshal all assets of your estate prior to your death in lieu of having a last will and testament. Living trusts can create some security for you and your loved ones, since you direct how the trust will be managed and distributed according to your wishes even when you are not there to take care of your family anymore. Continue reading “What is a Living Trust, and Why Would You Want One?”
When a person dies with a last will and testament, it becomes the duty of someone (usually someone dictated within the will itself) to execute the will of the deceased. On the one hand, it is an honor to be trusted with carrying out someone else’s will. On the other hand, it comes with a lot of work and potential liabilities, and it can be helpful to know what you’re getting into, in case you or someone you know is making a decision about who they want to be the executor of their estate. Continue reading “The Fiduciary Duty of an Estate’s Executor”
For many elderly people, discussing and planning for end-of-life situations may be very difficult. However, if you are a child of a parent that has not yet discussed his or her wishes for end-of-life care, you may be able to ease them into the process. Here are some tips to remember: Continue reading “End-of-Life Conversations Can Be Difficult but Necessary”
Telephone and internet scams have been around for decades. Criminalistic hackers and con artists prey on the most vulnerable in an attempt to rob them of their fortune; the most vulnerable are our senior citizens. Senior citizens are often the main targets, as they spend most of their time in leisure, usually by the phone or on their computer. Hackers understand this trend in senior citizen behavior and attack when you least expect it. Continue reading “New Jersey’s FedUp Program Seeks to Help Seniors from Falling Victim to a Scam”
Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. In long-term care facilities across the U.S., elders are facing financial abuse in alarming numbers. Nursing home financial abuse is a growing issue in today’s society and is likely to increase as the elderly population continues to grow. As many as one in nine individuals over the age of 60 years old have reported being financially exploited within the last year, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. Elder financial abuse can cause serious harm to the senior and may result in depression, financial destitution, inability to support long-term care needs, among other effects. Continue reading “Nursing Home Financial Abuse”
An authorization for final disposition allows someone to designate an agent to make arrangements for their funeral, as well as take control of his or her body upon death. An authorization for final disposition can set forth instructions for the following:
- Flowers; and
- Cost, among other arrangements.
With technology becoming increasingly prominent in our every day lives, the risk of financial exploitation has increased as well. Those that are especially at risk include the elderly and adults with mental or physical impairments and scammers know to take advantage of them. Instances of financial exploitation commonly involve:
- Telephone scams requesting money for a loved one in trouble; financial information; donations; or claiming you are the winner of a lottery or sweepstakes
- Professional” scams where people are pressured into taking out loans or participating in investment schemes that promise unrealistic returns
- Misuse of a Power of Attorney or joint bank accounts by family members
Soon, nursing homes in New Jersey will be required to have employees notify the local police department within hours of a suspected claim of abuse. This law, also known as Peggy’s Law, was adopted to provide protection to residents of nursing homes who are being abused. The law was named after Peggy Marzolla, who died at 93 years of age, after sustaining injuries while in the care of a nursing home. In 2010, Ms. Marzolla was brought to the hospital where doctors discovered she had a broken jaw, eye socket, cheekbone, and wrist. She also had bruises on her elbows, welts on her back and a gash on her leg. Continue reading “Peggy’s Law”
While some people are pleased with the way a decedent allocated assets to his or her beneficiaries, others may not be. However, just because a person was not given what he or she felt they were entitled to, does not necessarily provide them with the grounds necessary to challenge a decedent’s will. An individual must determine whether challenging a decedent’s will is both valid and will succeed in the eyes of the law because the process is timely and expensive. It is worth mentioning that a decedent has a right to allocate his or her assets or other meaningful possessions to those of their choosing. This includes leaving assets or large sums of money to a charity or other institution. However, this does not preclude a beneficiary or heir from challenging the decedent’s will.
Regardless of how many assets you own, estate planning is an important component of your overall financial plan. A properly expected estate plan can help to secure a financial legacy for loved ones and express medical decisions if you are unable to do so. Estate planning can be complex, so it is important to consult the guidance of an experienced estate planning lawyer.