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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Grandparents Investments in 529s


With college costs and the associated debt graduates find themselves in after finishing school increasing at an alarming rate, students are more and more trying to connect with a new alternative source for funding – their grandparents.

And grandparents – feeling that familial obligation – are coming through when they can.

An average year’s college tuition ranges from $17,000 to $60,000 a year, and that’s without any of the extra associated costs. As a result, a recent survey by Fidelity Investments indicates more than 50% of grandparents are saving or plan to save their money to help pay for college for their grandchildren.

If you are in that group, one of the best ways to accomplish this is through a 529 plan – a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Working Past Retirement Improves Health


People often dream about the day they hit retirement, officially marking the end of their workdays. It’s then they can relax, enjoy life and get to that bucket list.

But more and more people are starting to put off the R word – and with good reason. Recent studies are showing that working beyond 65 can bring a person social, economic and health benefits. Evidence shows that there’s a strong correlation between health and working longer.
Read more . . .


Monday, June 20, 2016

Dying Without a Will


While the recent deaths of several celebrities – most notably Prince – have brought much media attention to the problems that occur when someone passes away without a will, the issue is not limited to people of great wealth.

Commonly known as dying intestate, when someone passes away without a will, it becomes the responsibility of the court to determine what to do with that person’s estate.

In Florida that usually means your assets go to your closest relatives. There are very specific guidelines. For example, if there are children but no spouse, the children get everything.
Read more . . .


Monday, June 13, 2016

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


It is certainly unfortunate that we have to stop and put a date on a calendar to remind us about the misfortunes of elder abuse. But we do, and this year it is this Wednesday, June 15.

         World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was started by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations.

Elder abuse is considered a violation of human rights and a major cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation and despair, according to the WHO. In the United States alone, as many as 5 million people annually are victims of elder abuse.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Being a Caregiver Includes Financial Responsibilities


We have all heard and understand that it is often the case that as our parents age, we become the parents. We are often tasked with making medical decisions and other life-related decisions. Even something as simple as when mom or dad stops driving often becomes a decision for us to make.

All of it takes an emotional toll both on us as caregivers and on our older loved ones who often fight against giving up that control.

One of those areas in which we may have to step in is financial.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Retirement Sabotage


There’s a huge difference between wanting a successful retirement plan and obtaining a successful retirement plan. We tend to blame external factors as the reason we don’t plan successfully, when in reality, it is all on our plate. An individual’s future financial plan is crucial and without extensive preparation, it will be difficult to achieve. If you find yourself falling into any of the situations below, you can be harming your retirement.

 1.
Read more . . .


Monday, May 23, 2016

The Elder Financial Abuse Epidemic


Elder financial abuse has been prevalent for a many years and it unfortunately continues to grow as time passes. Seniors have been experiencing more fraud due to their increased use of the Internet and technology. Individuals target older people because elders tend to have money sitting in the bank, they tend to be more gullible and they tend to be more kind and friendly individuals. Recent research reports that seniors lost around $36 billion dollars each year due to financial abuse and up to 44 million Americans were victims of these scams. Common fraud types include telemarketing fraud, identity theft, health care/health insurance fraud, and Internet scams.
Read more . . .


Monday, May 16, 2016

Who Should You Select as Your Executor?


When you consider your executor, or as is commonly known in Florida your personal representative, it is likely the last person you will ever ask to do something for you. Studies show that most people name a family member or friend as the executor of their will. But is that the right choice?

 Florida has very specific rules about who can serve in this role as an estate goes through probate, debts and taxes are paid and the balance gets transferred to the people entitled to it under your will.

 Florida statutes say your personal representative must be at least 18 years old and mentally and physically capable of serving – that is, not judged incapacitated by a court. Like many other states, Florida prohibits people who have felony convictions from serving as an executor.
Read more . . .


Monday, May 9, 2016

National Elder Law Month and Our Involvement


 

May is National Elder Law Month. It’s fine to make such a proclamation, but what does it mean?

Originally created through a declaration by Pres. John F. Kennedy in 1963, when it was referred to as Senior Citizens Month, the name was changed by Pres. Jimmy Carter in 1980 to Older Americans Month.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Can My Ex Take My Social Security Benefits?


There are some circumstances in which your ex-spouse is entitled to your social security benefits. Many people are not aware of this fact and are then surprised when they are faced with this situation. Learn how your ex-spouse can use these benefits so it does not come as a surprise later on.

Most rules depend on the length of your marriage. For example, if you and your ex were married for more than 10 years, it is likely that they qualify for your spousal and survivor benefits.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Cost of Elder Hoarding


Despite what is portrayed in the media, hoarding is no laughing matter. It can pose a serious danger to your loved ones and even to your wallets. When your family member hoards, dangerous materials are piling up such as old food scraps, dirt and even sometimes animals such as rats and roaches get lost in the piles. Unfortunately to hire a professional to clean everything up can be cost prohibitive. It is important to avoid the cost and danger before the damage escalates.
Read more . . .


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