When people, family members, become quite elderly or ill, they also become susceptible to manipulation from those who will defraud or steal. Often, family members do not find out about a change in estate plan until after their loved one has died. Most often, a manipulator will seek to keep last-minute changes of inheritance quiet.
The amount of Social Security benefits a surviving spouse receives depends, in part, on when their deceased spouse began claiming benefits. However, husbands usually don’t take survivor’s benefits into account when claiming benefits, according to a recent study, meaning that many widows will needlessly experience a significant drop in income.
If there is a possibility that a loved one might need Medicaid assistance in the foreseeable future, that person should not be giving gifts. This can be sad if that person gets joy out of generosity. But gifts in that situation can turn out to be very, very expensive.
Under current estate planning law, when one spouse dies, the other can inherit all the decedent’s assets with no tax. Changes proposed by the current administration could have a devastating efffect on this kind of planning. Read about steps to take to protect spousal inheritances….
Individuals often seek the comfort that a comprehensive estate plan provides. The ability to prevent heated family disputes by carefully making plans centered on the distribution of assets, wealth and responsibility through wills, trusts and powers of attorney is...
Parents and other family members who want to pass on assets during their lifetimes may be tempted to gift the assets. Although setting up an irrevocable trust lacks the simplicity of giving a gift, it may be a better way to preserve assets for the future.