Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Monday, September 06, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Parents, grandparents and others wanting to benefit family members with special needs should act carefully in providing for lifetime gifts or testamentary gifts.
The primary options when it comes to planning for gifts with special needs children in Iowa include:
- Gift to Disabled child. The problem with a gift is the impact it may have on eligibility for public assistance benefits. It may even disqualify the child from getting those benefits until the funds from the gift are completely exhausted, at which time the child will need to reapply for benefits.
- Disinherit the disabled child. To avoid the issue of disqualification from public assistance, a simple route is to disinherit the special needs child altogether. There is no legal requirement that one must provide for a child under their estate plan.
- Distribute to a Another Person for Disabled Child's Benefit. Another option is to distribute the funds to someone (a sibling for example) for that person to manage and distribute the funds for the benefit of the special needs child. However, this can be risky as it the assets are exposed to the creditors of that person, ex-spouses, bankruptcy, and possibly gift taxes.
- Special Needs Trust. Distribution of the funds to a properly drafted supplemental needs trust can avoid all of issues addressed while providing for a little extra benefit and resources for the special needs child. Extreme care is necessary in preparing such a trust.
No matter the plan, you should seek the advice of experienced counsel in making the arrangements for a special needs child.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Apparently, individuals are focusing on their short-term needs as the economy continues to lag and job security continues to be an issue. While keeping food on the table is critical, putting your estate plan matters in place is also important. With young children, second marriages, children from prior marriages and beneficiaries with creditor problems, the lack of an estate plan can create significant emotional and financial hardship on a family.
When looking for an attorney to handle your estate planning when cost is an issue, look at attorneys that offer flexible payments or those that allow you to pay by credit card (not that increasing your credit card balance is good, but it does offer some ability to pay over time.) Hint: contact me.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Living Trusts (or revocable trusts or inter vivos trusts - all the same) can be an effective estate planning tool. The determination of whether it is an appropriate plan for you should be carefully considered after consultation with an attorney (not a salesman or telemarketer) who is familiar with estate planning. After the trust is established, it is also important that it be funded, otherwise many of the key benefits are lost.