The new rules are an effort to strengthen the federal Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, which insures almost all reverse mortgages and which has seen default rates rise.
The probate process includes filing a will and appointing an executor or administrator, collecting assets, paying bills, filing taxes, distributing property to heirs, and filing a final account. This can be a costly and time-consuming process, which is why some people try to avoid probate by having only non-probate assets.
It is common knowledge that husbands and wives are entitled to collect Social Security benefits on their spouses’ work records. Less well known is that this benefit applies to divorced spouses as long as the spouse has not remarried. Divorced spouses are even entitled to survivor benefits in certain circumstances.
Once a loved one passes, several tasks come to hand for the family. The majority of these tasks involve expenses and they quickly add up. First and foremost is the task of laying your loved one to rest. The average cost of a funeral is between $8,000 – $12,000. Perhaps the loved one set up a pre-paid funeral arrangement or had a life insurance policy that could cover these expenses and outstanding debts. Probate is the process to collect assets, pay bills and issue distribution to the beneficiaries. Please enjoy this article provided to us from Elder Law Answers on paying debt from an Estate.
Probate occurs when…
Probate will be required when the Decedent leaves assets over $100,000 to be collected that does not name a beneficiary, a joint tenant or co-owner. Probate begins any time following death and will last for a minimum of six months. Probate can extend for many years based on the parties and the issues involved.
While you read this you may think you don’t have an “estate” but if you have any combination of bank accounts, investments, real estate, business interests, life insurance policies, personal property, jewelry and collections of any sort, you will want to protect these things that really do matter. The cost of long term care without a plan could cost you and your loved ones. Simply put, a will isn’t enough!
How will programs that seniors rely on be affected? The good news is that big chunks of the budget are exempt from the sequester’s cuts, including Social Security, Medicaid, and veterans’ programs. But while there should be no change in benefits for these programs, the federal workforce that administers them would be slashed, leading to delays and frustration.
As an estate planner, we have been telling clients for decades that once the scheduled changes took place, we would need to revisit their plan to ensure it still does what the clients wants it to do. Now the changes are resolved and are as permanent as they could be at this moment.
Asset collection is very different now because many of these treasured items that used to have a physical presence are contained within computers or virtual archives in the cloud. In our mobile society, it can be very difficult to locate an asset, or once located, to gain access without a password. This data is known as a “Digital Asset.”