Grandparents often are particularly generous to grandchildren as they see their family’s legacy continuing on to a new generation. In many cases, grandparents feel they have ample resources and their children or grandchildren may be struggling financially. Consider these six issues before writing those checks.
When you die, your debts do not expire with you. Most debt still needs to be paid off, if possible, although who is responsible for paying the debt depends on the type of debt, and some assets are protected from being used to satisfy a debt.
Many people, especially seniors, see joint ownership of investment and bank accounts as a cheap and easy way to avoid probate since joint property passes automatically to the joint owner at death. Consider these three potential drawbacks before signing on the dotted line.
Reverse mortgages can be a big help to seniors needing extra cash, but they can become a nightmare for their heirs. Heirs who don’t know their rights may be faced with large bills or threats of losing the house. Fortunately, there are some protections for heirs.
Here is an interesting point of view that most estate planning attorneys would agree with. We know it is easy to run to an office supply store or even grab forms from the internet that guide you on how to write your own will, but it really isn’t ever as “simple” as you imagine it to be. There are several issues that need to be thought of and addressed when preparing documents such as a will, powers of attorney, and a trust and you don’t want loop holes to cause trouble for the family that ends up in probate. The unexpected can be planned for and consider issues typically not thought of.
Many seniors consider transferring assets for estate and long-term care planning purposes, or just to help out children and grandchildren. Gifts and transfers to a trust often make a lot of sense. They can save money in taxes and long-term care expenditures, and they can help out family members in need and serve as expressions of love and caring. But some gifts can cause problems, for both the generous donor and the recipient.
On the one hand LTCI premiums are high, they may be raised in the future, and if you are purchasing policies in your 50s and 60s, the need is probably many decades in the future. On the other, many are saved by their LTCI, able to choose their own care setting rather than rely on what is covered by Medicaid in their state, more comfortable hiring necessary help if doing so doesn’t mean dipping in to their savings, and able to protect an inheritance for their children and grandchildren.
The irony is that using a boilerplate will form not only frustrated Ms. Aldrich’s testamentary intent, but ultimately cost her estate far, far more than a simple consultation with an estate planning or elder law attorney would have.