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Having Trouble Talking Estate Plan with Your Family?

For most people, they recognize that relationships that they’ve built over the course of their life are more important than anything else. However, no matter how good of a saver, planner or investor you consider yourself to be, other people are almost always impacted by your actions and decisions including your failures and your successes. Those people are often the same ones you care the most about.

  • ThinkstockPhotos-610966362      What is in the will?
  •       What others need to know about your end of life choices?
  •       Who is empowered to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so?
  •       Are you currently living within your means?

A good introduction to a crucial family conversation is about values. This is because it is much easy for people to approach the subject talking about values than money. Relationships matter more than money and more than things and establishing your values gives you preliminary opener to talk about your long-term goals that you hope to achieve. Spouses and partners should also be prepared to openly discuss their savings, their retirement dreams and their plans.

Family values should be discussed with younger family members as well. Money related talks can be difficult to broach but can be extremely important for establishing a conversation that allows your loved ones to know your intentions. Finding the right estate planning lawyer in Virginia Beach can help you with your own decision-making.

 

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Consumers and Loved Ones Frustrated with Lack of Transparency in Senior Housing

If you have done any research to identify the right place for your loved one to live as you grow older, you’ve probably been frustrated that although you can learn everything about the facility on the website, there is a lack of transparency with regard to pricing.ThinkstockPhotos-670054130

According to the Genworth Cost of Care study, most recently completed in 2016, a private room for a nursing home was above $92,000 in a median annual cost and the median annual cost for assisted living was just over $43,000.

A research director at a company consulting in the 50 plus market states that they have been researching since 2010 and have been unable to find clear pricing information for seniors looking for alternative living options. Advocates argue that clarity is extremely important for people to be able to make informed decisions about what is best for their loved ones so that they know whether or not the facilities fit in their budget and the true cost of care provided to their loved ones.

Consumer Reports argues that price and quality information should be transparent as one of the six protections that consumers need in the elderly housing market. According to the National Center for Assisted Living guiding principles, assisted living communities should be prepared to explain their policies regarding deposits, fees, and other costs associated with moving a loved one into the facility. The facilities responding to these calls for greater transparency believe that it is impossible to quote cost because the situation is different for every resident.

The right professionals can help you navigate the typical challenges faced by someone planning their estate- schedule a meeting today.

 

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Kinds of Elder Fraud to Be Aware of

Whether you’re concerned about yourself or whether you’re an adult child thinking about your elderly loved one in Virginia Beach, it’s natural to think about the potential impact of fraud. Sadly, elderly individuals are often more vulnerable to fraud because people engaged in scams target this age category due to perceived assets held by a senior citizen.ThinkstockPhotos-122486570

If your elderly loved one has substantial assets, he or she probably spent their entire life accumulating those assets. It can be devastating, therefore, if those assets are suddenly lost because of a scam artist. Watching out for potential warning signs of financial fraud can help you spot a problem before it gets too serious, and it’s also worth having a conversation with your family member about the increased risks they face for this kind of behavior.

Many of the most common financial scams seems legitimate on their face value- a honest-seeming person showing up at your loved one’s doorstep may even be able to convince your family member that the opportunity is a great one. However, far too many elderly people find out too late that they’ve been taken by a fraudster.

Scams come in all shapes and sizes, but some of the most common financial scams targeting the elderly include:

  • Health insurance and Medicare programs that seem too good to be true
  • Counterfeit prescription meds
  • Cemetery scams
  • Fraudulent anti-aging/health scams
  • Investment schemes
  • Internet fraud

Ensure that your loved one has a plan in place to protect the assets and wealth they have worked so hard to build. Talk to a VA Beach estate planning lawyer today to learn more.

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Virginia Beach Police Department Offers Support to the Elderly with Operation Lookout Expanded

This program is managed and sponsored by the Virginia Beach Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit, Home Depot of Virginia Beach, the Virginal Department of Criminal Justice Services, Sentara Home Care Services, and the Virginia Beach Sherriff’s Office.

Operation Lookout Expanded is a grant that provides assistance for the installation and purchase of large view peepholes. Unfortunately, senior citizens are often targets for crime because of their perceived vulnerability. Making it easier for the elderly in Virginia BThinkstockPhotos-79166712each to see who may be at their door could cut down on fraud and other crimes and enhance safety throughout the city overall.

Anyone who is age 50 or older who lives in the city of Virginia Beach is eligible to participate in the program and there is no cost to sign up. A home security assessment needs to be completed by a Virginia Beach police officer. A large view peephole will be installed in the front door of the residence and 3″ screws will be added to the strike plates of the rear and front exterior doors. the purpose of Operation Lookout Expanded is to make Virginia Beach elderly residents feel safer in their homes.

To learn more about whether or not you are eligible for the program or to schedule a Virginia Beach police officer to come to your home to conduct a security assessment, contact the Virginia Beach Sherriff’s Office or the Virginia Beach Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit.

Stay tuned to this blog for more information about estate planning and other key issues affecting senior citizens.

 

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Planning Ahead to Live a More Purposeful Life

Planning ahead is not always an easy proposition, but taking the care to consider critical questions about your future and the future of your estate empowers your loved ones. It’s an act of care to take the time to consider how to protect your family members in the future.ThinkstockPhotos-516849552 (1)

By thinking about your wishes for your end of your life care, you not only leave behind a very powerful gift for your loved ones but you also gain greater clarity about how you plan to live your best life and to identify your purpose. There is a gift that you can give yourself as well as your loved ones by scheduling a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Most people avoid this topic or scheduling the meeting because it is a scary and difficult topic for people to discuss. However, if you allow yourself to face the inevitable, that someday you may become unable to make decisions for yourself, or pass away suddenly, you will be able to make decisions that empower your loved ones well into the future.

You can live your dreams, make the necessary changes in your life and connect more deeply with others from the current time. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney is often the first step for many people who are contemplating how to handle their future. Identifying your unique needs and determining what strategies or documents you may already have in place as well as those that may not be serving you any longer is extremely important for clarifying your expectations. Furthermore, this decreases the chances that your loved ones will end up in conflict in the future because you did not take the necessary steps to plan ahead. A Virginia estate planning lawyer can help.

 

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The Best Estate Plans Can Be Created When You Know Your Goals

There are plenty of different opportunities to put off estate planning. Some people do it because they assume their estate isn’t big enough, others avoid talking to an estate planning lawyer because they assume that nothing will ever happen to them.ThinkstockPhotos-103579366

Others are not sure what they want to accomplish. This last one is one of the most crucial reasons why it’s important to have a sit-down conversation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to discuss opportunities.

Clients who do the exercise of identifying their priorities and goals are in the best position to obtain relevant legal advice from an estate planning attorney. Financial and family information being laid out on paper can help to clarify the assets you have and what you want to happen to them after you pass away.

Talking with an estate planning lawyer can also help to clarify your goals, beliefs, risk aversion, fears, risk tolerance and dreams. Based on this information, your experienced estate planning attorney may be able to draft together a strategy and appropriate tools that can help you to accomplish these goals. Identifying your goals in advance before scheduling a consultation with an attorney is extremely important because your lawyer can tell you more about the different tips that you can use in order to achieve these goals. He or she must be knowledgeable about your individual situation but there’s work that must be done in advance for you to consider the most appropriate ways to accomplish your estate planning goals.  

 

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New Study Shows That Failing to Identify Smells Could Be a Sign of Developing Alzheimer’s

Being aware of your elderly loved one’s propensity to develop Alzheimer’s is something that many people in the sandwich generation are concerned about. There are many different symptoms that indicate that your loved one could be experiencing cognitive decline and your ability to react quickly could get them the medical treatment they need to help make their life easier.ThinkstockPhotos-514854280

It can be extremely challenging to notice an elderly loved one who is suddenly unable to care for himself or herself but this is why it is so critical that your loved one have estate planning documents in place such that he or she has the potential to protect his or her interests and carry out his or her wishes.

It can be extremely difficult for adult children to realize that a loved one is developing Alzheimer’s but being aware of the potential symptoms can alert you to a problem and allow you to get medical treatment sooner rather than later. Alzheimers’ is affecting a growing proportion of the population across the country today and it makes it all the more important to handle situations like this with care.

If you think that you have a family member developing Alzheimers’, getting help from an experienced lawyer should be your first course of action. Getting legal documents in place now with the help of an estate planning attorney can protect your loved one if the situation starts to get worse.

 

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Getting a Durable Power of Attorney to Work in Your Estate Plan

Many people are at least familiar with the potential cost of long-term care. Many individuals in sandwich generation are responsible for taking care of their parents who are aging while also caring for children. This can be an overwhelming experience that prompts people to think about planning for their own future.ThinkstockPhotos-155416217

Although estate planning has traditionally been associated with how you will pass on your assets and putting together basic documents such as a trust or a will, durable powers of attorney can also be extremely crucial for managing things while you’re still alive.

What would happen to you, your assets, or your healthcare decisions if you were suddenly unable to make decisions for yourself? An unexpected consequence from living a longer life is that it is now possible for your body to outlive your mind. Becoming incapacitated could present numerous challenges for you and your family members. Durable powers of attorney can be used as a protection layer if you are unable to make good decisions for yourself or handle your affairs competently.

You can name a principle to handle legal and financial matters on your behalf. This prevents the need for an expensive and lengthy court proceeding to stipulate such a person after an incident has already occurred. You may name a durable power of attorney for asset management or a durable power of attorney for healthcare.

 

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Be Aware of the Risks of Online Estate Planning

Given that so much business and personal tasks can be accomplished online today, it might seem simple to use online estate planning sites to put together your power of attorney, your trust or your will. It’s appealing for those individuals who don’t want to or can’t afford to shell out money for an estate planning attorney, or for those who need the paperwork settled very quickly. However, there are dangerous aspects of handling your estate planning this way.ThinkstockPhotos-122584470

DIY estate planning can work for people who have a relatively uncomplicated estate that doesn’t require tax or trust planning. It’s also potentially economical for making tweaks to an existing estate plan. However, your relative knowledge level and what you are intending to accomplish should both be factored into the decision on whether or not to use DIY estate planning. Mistakes made can be extremely costly for your family members.

Anyone who has more complicated assets, complex family situations or out of the ordinary circumstances, such as a disabled child, needs to consult directly with an experienced estate planning attorney about the best way to approach things. Making mistakes in this process may seem easily fixed, however often the person who has put together these materials is not in the position to clarify his or her intentions and this can lead to conflict and problems for surviving family members. Talk to a Virginia estate planning attorney.

 

 

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How to Find the Right Trustee for Your Estate

Understanding the steps that you can take to protect yourself can give you a great deal of peace of mind about approaching the estate planning process. If you have established a trust to protect a substantial estate as well as your beneficiaries from the downsides of probate, this is a crucial planning step that far too many people ignore. One of the best benefits to approaching the estate trustee process is identifying a fiduciary who has a moral and a legal obligation to put the interests of the client first.

ThinkstockPhotos-491393258Not every advisor would classify themselves as a fiduciary which could leave them exposed to conflicts of interest. For example, someone could move a client’s assets into funds that ultimately pay the advisor a commission but are not generally suited to the client’s individual needs. This is why it is important to identify someone who has a personal interest in protecting your interest and rights.

A trustee will be called upon to make critical decisions about how to manage assets within a trust and they need to have the necessary background to make informed decisions. Estate trustees ideally will have a tax and investment background to help with these crucial decisions. Furthermore, bear in mind that you need to select somebody who can assist your family directly. Your family will be going through the emotional challenges of having just lost you when the trustee takes control. This means that if the person doesn’t get along with your beneficiaries or is insensitive, your family members could be the ones paying the price. Talk to a VA estate planning lawyer now.

 

 

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