Category Archives: Legal

Incorporating financial planning into the divorce decree

Gray divorces, that is divorce between retirement age spouses with long-lasting marriages requires careful consideration and planning by both spouses.  Generally, older couples aren’t worried about custody of the kid or kids but instead they need to worry about things like pensions.  Roughly 1 in 4 divorces in 2010 occurred to people 50 and older…

My aunt helped me with the purchase price of my home. Will that hurt her ability to get benefits?

This is a recent question from Elder Law Answers. My aunt lives with me and contributes to paying for bills, maintenance etc.  She gave me $35,000 to help me buy the house initially.  How do I protect her from losing benefits if she needs help with services and care down the road? Annie As long…

Family fighting can make even the most well-thought out estate plan a failure

Robin Williams’ full estate was left to a trust for his three children and as part of his trust, he set up another trust to support his wife in the event of his death.  So, why are they all in court?  Because families fight.  And sometimes they fight over the ridiculous.  And maybe it’s not…

Pennsylvannia may repeal filial support laws

I’ve written about this a couple of times so I wanted to follow up.  Pennsylvania has some filial support laws on the books that can cause the adult children to be held responsible for their parent’s care costs.  The law has been used recently to sue children for the cost of care in a nursing…

New Delaware law may make digital assets more available for beneficiaries

Delaware passed a law last summer that allowed executors access to online accounts without a court order unless the deceased has instructed otherwise.  Several states are considering similar legislation (to date only a few states have addressed this issue in any degree).  As it stands now, estate executors often have to seek a court order…

Protecting your individual and property rights: when you decide to live with someone

Disclaimer: This information should not be substituted for legal advice.  It’s important that if you are considering creating any of these agreements that you see a lawyer who can craft a document honoring your commitment to each other but looking at your unique needs and circumstances.  All of these agreement can be complicated and an…

Do unlicensed law practitioners create an unnecessary burden on family members?

Last week the Florida Supreme Court ruled that individuals engaging in some Medicaid planning activities were practicing unlicensed law.  The ruling supported an advisory opinion of the Florida Bar (No. SC14-211) that proposed that persons engaging in: drafting personal service contracts, preparing and executing qualified income trusts, or rendering legal advice as regards Florida state…

Should you have a family conversation about what’s in the Will ahead of time

My family lives a long time.  Three of my four grandparents lived into their 90s.  Most of my maternal grandmother’s 12 brothers and sisters either lived into their 90s or will live into their 90s as did most of my maternal grandfather’s family.  My dad’s family exhibits much of the same life span.  The result…

Understanding Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney (POAs) are essential legal documents but they can be confusing for the layman not least because many people don’t understand that there are two main types of POAs and they function quite different from each other. A healthcare POA allows someone you trust such as a family member or friend to make…

Have you changed your mind about what is an acceptable life?

Just put me on an ice floe and let me float away.  That’s what I’ve heard people say when they talk about a time when they become infirm.  Of course finding an ice floe might soon become so difficult as to make the statement nearly incomprehensible but for now the implication is clear.  Most healthy,…