Estate Planning, Part 3 – Finding a Caring Environment for Elderly Parents

For families who are approaching that point in life when elderly parents are less and less able to care for themselves and increasingly in need of help, the task of deciding what to do and when to do it can produce wildly conflicted emotions—if not outright conflict—on all sides. But it need not. Confronting the need for new living arrangements forthrightly with all parties involved and at an early point in the aging process can help alleviate many of these issues, but the decisions can still be difficult, for the parents and for their adult children. To ease the potential for trauma—and drama—there are some things you can do. Continue reading “Estate Planning, Part 3 – Finding a Caring Environment for Elderly Parents”

Estate Planning Part 2 – Helping Your Parents Get Their Affairs in Order

One of the hardest tasks the adult children of elderly parents may have to do is to involve themselves in the legal and financial affairs of the parents. Issues of privacy, independence and judgment can quickly bubble to the surface and make a difficult situation worse. But it is important for everyone involved that these issues be clarified, especially if a parents’ memory and/or physical capacity are in decline. The financial and emotional well-being of the parents, the children, and the grand-children are often at stake. Continue reading “Estate Planning Part 2 – Helping Your Parents Get Their Affairs in Order”

Estate Planning – Creating a Trust for the Family Home [Part 1 of 3]

Putting one’s home into a trust is an increasingly popular strategy for aging homeowners and their families who want to ensure that the parents’ home is transferred to their survivors with a minimum of fuss and the fewest possible tax liabilities. It’s an excellent way both to preserve the value of what is often one’s chief asset for one’s heirs and to avoid the complexities and potential risks that can come with a traditional inheritance scenario. Unlike a will, the contents of which are part of the public record, the terms of a trust are private. And unlike a will, a trust is not subject to the review and possible challenge to the extent to which wills that are going probate are exposed. Nor will the heirs have to bear the burden of probate fees which can eat up to 7 percent of the home’s value – or wait for the process to end to gain ownership of the property. Continue reading “Estate Planning – Creating a Trust for the Family Home [Part 1 of 3]”