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What IS a Revocable Living Trust? - Ask The Attorney

revocable living trust Sep 01, 2016

Q: What Is a Revocable Living Trust?

A: To explain revocable living trusts, or RLT’s, I like to use an analogy. Let’s say you’re a child, and have a little red wagon. You take your Barbies, your G.I. Joes, your toy cars, and you put all of them in your wagon. If you’re walking along the sidewalk and trip and fall, what happens? Well, you trip and fall...but your toys stay in your wagon. The wagon serves a purpose. It keeps things together, so that if something happens, the handle can be picked up by someone else and they can just keep walking. The RLT is the same. Like the wagon, it is a vessel, meant to hold your items in a way that provides the easiest transfer upon disability or death. However, just like the wagon, if you don’t put your “toys” (accounts, real estate, etc.) inside your trust, it doesn’t work in the way it was intended. Also, the trust, just like the wagon, doesn’t change your things. If I put my Barbie inside...

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Elder Law or Estate Planning? (What's The Difference?)

elder law estate planning Jun 29, 2016

When new clients come to see us, they often focus on wills and trusts. They say something like, “I want to make sure my assets pass to my heirs with as little as possible in taxes and other expenses.”

That’s typical traditional Estate Planning.

elder law

But for seniors and leading edge Baby Boomers (retired or nearing retirement), you need to know the difference between Elder Law and Estate Planning.

Elder Law Incorporates Estate Planning, But Takes Care Issues Into Account

Understanding the difference between “estate planning” and “elder law” is essential for everyone. Elder law attorneys provide tools and strategies that most estate planning attorneys simply don’t. At the end of the day, what makes sense in an estate planning sense may prove financially catastrophic when viewed from an elder law standpoint.

Estate Planning = Death Planning

An estate plan helps someone who is worried about “what happens when I die.” It...

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Last Will and Testament - The Facts

This article regarding a last will and testament by Michigan lawyer Nicole Wipp and the Family & Aging Law Center PLLC is not, and should not be construed as, legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. To better understand how this legal concept can be applied to you, consult with an attorney.

Last Will and Testament - What Do You Really Need to Know?

When it comes to wills, people tend to have a lot of misconceptions.  What, then, are the facts when it comes to a last will and testament?

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT -

The Facts...

If you own assets in your name alone, they may pass from you to the people you love, as long as you leave a Will. Without a Will, your assets pass according to the State’s rules, also known as intestacy. The State may not pass your assets to the people you care about. You should be sure.

Also, you should know that...last will and testament

  •  A Will must go through probate! Basically, a Will is your ticket into probate court. (Many...
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Wills and Trusts - What You Think You Know (But Probably Don't)

This article regarding wills and trusts by Michigan lawyer Nicole Wipp and the Family & Aging Law Center PLLC is not, and should not be construed as, legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. To better understand how this legal concept can be applied to you, consult with an attorney.

Clients often come to me with ideas about wills and trusts that they learned from friends, neighbors, and the internet.  I’ve come to realize that a lot of people think they know about wills & trusts - but they don’t

Unfortunately, most people don’t ever find out they don’t know, because by the time it comes to light, it’s simply too late.  Here are some frequently misunderstood facts about wills and trusts:

Wills: Your Ticket Into Probate Court

Listen and Learn! Nicole's Podcast Episode About Wills (click the orange arrow to listen):

 

  • A will is, essentially, your ticket into probate court. Many people think that if they...
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Estate Planning Checklist - Do You Need Estate Planning?

Here Are Eighteen Estate Planning Checklist Questions to Help You Learn Whether YOU Need Estate Planning

Many people have mistaken ideas about what estate planning is, or what it can do for you - and more importantly, for those you love. (These cover the most common concerns/concepts related to estate planning.)

  1. Do you have minor children or are you the legal guardian of a child under the age of 18?  Yes___ No__
  2. If your financial situation or finances become public knowledge, do you have concerns that predators might take advantage of loved ones in their time of grief or stress?  Yes____ No___
  3. If you got sick or injured, would you want to ensure that the person(s) that YOU say get to make your medical decisions if you can't do it for yourself? (And that a judge, or someone else, doesn't get to say who makes these decisions??)  Yes____ No___
  4. If you got sick or injured, would you want to ensure that the person(s) that YOU say get to make...
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Elderly Care - 5 Things Every Adult Child of Aging Parents Needs to Know Now

This article about elderly care by Michigan estate planning and elder law attorney Nicole Wipp and the Family and Aging Law Center is not legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. For legal advice on your situation, consult with a qualified elder law attorney.

As our population ages, there’s no question: adult children are increasingly needed to assist parents in times of medical crisis or just simply during the normal aging process. Whether you are a parent reading this, or a child of an aging parent, here are FIVE things that every adult child of an aging parent needs to know – RIGHT NOW:elderly care

  1. The Cost of Long Term Care Is Rising. Right now, if a parent needs nursing home care, you are looking at an approximate monthly cost of $8,000 OR MORE each month. Over the next 5 years, this number is expected to increase 15%...and over the next 15 years, FORTY percent.
  2. Basic Estate Planning Isn’t Enough. Garden variety estate planning, such as revocable living...
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An Inherited IRA Is NOT Protected From Creditors in Bankruptcy!

For several years, there has been a divide among the courts nationwide as to whether or not IRAs that were inherited are protected from creditors or bankruptcy.

 As of June 12, 2014, we definitively know the answer – and it isn’t an answer most of you will like.  The answer,  according to the U.S. Supreme Court in Clark v. Rameker is…NO, an inherited IRA is NOT protected from creditors  in bankruptcy.

 What are inherited IRAs?  Here, we are talking all tax-deferred assets that are transferred to another person after  death – except to a spouse.  When I say “all tax deferred assets,” I mean IRA, 401k, 403b, IRA annuities, etc.  A  spouse doesn’t fall under this category because a spouse the one person entitled to actually directly roll over the other  spouses IRA into their own (no, contrary to what you believe, your children are NOT allowed to do this!  Children must  set up...

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