Category: Estate Planning

What is Long-Term Care?…And Why Should We Plan for It?

I am often asked why we should worry about planning for long term care. It is a good question, but I think before we can talk about why we should talk about what. What is long term care? We hear that phrase all over the place, so what does it actually mean? Long term care …

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Detecting Elder Abuse

For years, Maine has been the oldest state in the nation. Our median age has risen to 44.9, and 21.2 percent of the state population is 65 or older. The exploitation of older Mainers is prevalent and especially difficult to detect because these individuals often are reluctant or unable to report abuse, whether financial or …

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What to Do with Stimulus Checks Received by Estates

You may have been seeing, reading, or hearing on your favorite source of media that stimulus checks are being delivered to some of our deceased relatives. Personal Representatives of estates have been asking what to do if they receive a direct deposit or a check in the mail with this stimulus payment. Can the estate …

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Achieving Better Life Experience

Do I have to spend down my entire settlement or inheritance to be able to keep my Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? No! There is a new savings tool available to individuals with disabilities called the ABLE account. ABLE stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. This Act was passed in December 2014, and it allows …

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6 Estate Planning Facts You Need To Know

While estate planning is a personalized process that is impacted by each individual’s unique family and financial circumstances, there are some questions that estate planners are asked, again and again, by a majority of our clients. Here are some of the questions I hear most often: Will my estate need to go through probate after …

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When a Family Member Dies Without Assets

My Uncle Spike had two claims to fame. He was a nationally recognized ghost hunter, and he was the Yukon Cornelius of the Penobscot River, prospecting for gold and regaling the locals and passers-through with his tales of adventure and fortune. I am not making this up. A millionaire, however, he was not. Bless his …

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Does All Property Go Through Probate?

The purpose of a Last Will and Testament is to control the distribution of property in your probate estate after your death. But what property makes up your probate estate? Not all of it! Anything that is not part of your probate estate is not controlled by your Will and therefore will not be distributed …

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Medicaid Estate Recovery: Will the State Take my House?

There is a lot of misinformation and confusion surrounding estate recovery and the Maine Medicaid (MaineCare) long-term care benefit. One of the biggest fears we hear from aging Mainers is, “I don’t want the State to take my house.” That only happens in the context of a process called estate recovery. Estate recovery can only …

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The Forgotten Step in Estate Planning: Beneficiary Designations

Individuals often believe that a last will and testament is sufficient estate planning. However, a complete estate plan includes a last will and testament and planning for incapacity with a financial power of attorney and an advance health care directive. In some cases, a revocable living trust will also be included in the estate plan. …

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Avoid Capital Gains Tax by Rethinking the Credit Shelter Trust

Estate planning attorneys have traditionally employed a number of strategies designed to minimize or eliminate estate tax liability for their clients. While many of these strategies increased capital gains tax liability by forfeiting a basis step-up, with federal estate tax rates of up to 40%, capital gains tax was the preferable tax to pay. Changes …

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