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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

New Vatican Ruling on Cremation and Remains Could Impact Catholic Families


 

We have heard many stories of families who choose to cremate loved ones, and then keep those remains in a place of honor in their home. There have even been circumstances when those cremated remains are divided among family members.

But a new ruling issued by the Vatican late last month will put Catholics who choose one of these options in opposition to church doctrine.

The Catholic Church only permitted burial for most of its 2,000-year history, arguing that it best expressed the Christian hope in resurrection. That changed in 1963 when the Vatican allowed cremation as long as it didn't suggest a denial of faith about resurrection.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 31, 2016

Social Security Changes Coming in 2017


There are six changes coming to Social Security in 2017, the most significant being a slight increase in payments.

Social Security payments will increase by 0.3 percent staring in January. The result of this cost-of-living adjustment is an estimated beneficiary increase of $5 a month, making the average monthly payment for retired workers $1,360 in 2017. Retired couples will receive an average of $2,260 per month, up from $2,254 in 2016.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 24, 2016

Annual Medicare Open Enrollment


 

Medicare’s annual enrollment period has started and runs through Dec. 7. If you are on Medicare, this is the period of time when you should review your plan. That’s true even if you were satisfied with your 2016 plan.

You should be looking at several things, including options regarding traditional Medicare, Part D prescription drug plans and Part C Medicare Advantage plans.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 17, 2016

New Medicare ID Numbers on the Way


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is preparing for federally mandated changes in how it identifies Medicare patients.

The change, scheduled to go into effect April 2018, will result in replacing the current ID numbers for Medicare beneficiaries – approximately 60 million people. The plan calls for CMS to begin issuing new identification cards. ID numbers on the current cards, which include Social Security numbers, will be replaced with an 11-digit alpha-numeric code – a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI).

The change is a result of a provision in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).
Read more . . .


Monday, October 10, 2016

Does Inheritance Need to be Divided Equally?


When trying to determine how to divide an estate among several children, there’s no rule that says it must be divided equally. There could be several reasons why you may want to divide unequally and possibly even leave someone out of the inheritance.

If all things are equal in terms of each child’s personal life, you may need to look at who would benefit more from the additional assets. If one child is financially successful, and another can use some help, it may be wise to think about how you’re dividing your estate.

But if one child is irresponsible, it may not be in his or her best interests to receive a sudden influx of money.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Protecting a Vacation Home With Your Estate Plan


 

Family members may have fond memories of the vacation home you spent time in during the summer while growing up. But is that home protected for those children and grandchildren in an estate plan, or can it be lost when you pass away.

There may be a challenging financial problem to preserving that second home in the face of federal, state and local taxes. There may be additional obstacles as well to keeping that second home in the family. You have to consider where different family members live.
Read more . . .


Monday, September 26, 2016

Reviewing Your Estate Plan


When was the last time you reviewed your estate plan. If the answer is you don’t remember or when you first created it with your attorney, you are just like thousands of other people. But reviewing your plan on a regular basis is vital.

There are a number of reasons why you must review your estate plan. Here are a few: laws change, there are major life events like birth, marriage, divorce or death.
Read more . . .


Monday, September 26, 2016

Caring for the Caregiver


Caregivers play a vital role in all families, especially those with aging parents. There are many cases I see where there are a number of adult children but only one living in the same community as their older parents.

While all of them want to help with the caregiving role, it is clearly more difficult for those who live hundreds of miles away to be active on a day-to-day basis. That often leaves the bulk of the very physical and emotional challenges to only one of the adult children.

It is often the case that the caregiver role was not one they expected or intended to play.
Read more . . .


Monday, September 19, 2016

World Alzheimer’s Day


This Wednesday, Sept. 21 is the day that is recognized across the globe as World Alzheimer’s Day. Alzheimer’s organizations around the world use the day to concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. As we know, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

This is a group of diseases that strikes often and with devastating results.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Asset Titles May Impact your Legal Documents


We are always reminding people of the importance of having an up-to-date Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, Living Will and the rest. But that may only be step one in the process of making sure your documents are in order.

The next step is to examine your assets to see how they are titled. You need to also examine your beneficiary designations for life insurance and retirement funds. Until you do that, your estate plan is not complete.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It’s Never Too Early to Discuss Financial Preparations


Being young often gives people the feeling that they don’t have to plan for the future. And in some cases, while they may be smart enough to plan for retirement, they do not think about what happens to their estate if they die suddenly.

Often they assume they don’t have enough of an estate to worry about it, or they have no dependents yet, so why bother.

But there are several valid reasons for doing this early planning, not the least of which is taking away the burden for those you leave behind of having to track down your financial accounts or deal with any debt you may have.

The sad reality is people can die young.
Read more . . .


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