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Denver Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

How to talk to aging parents about their estate plan

Few people are eager to talk about estate planning with their loved ones, particularly aging parents. These are undeniably difficult conversations, fraught with emotion.

They are also, however, incredibly beneficial. It’s an opportunity for you to speak openly with your parent about what they want, what they hope for and what would make them happy. So how do you actually broach the subject without seeming insensitive?

Holidays and a new year: Time to think about estate plans

Creating safety nets and directing your affairs after death are not always top of list. But in this season of togetherness with family and evaluating who and what is important in your life, estate planning really is a logical focus. If you have avoided futures planning, the new year can be a time to direct attention to your long-term affairs and consult an attorney about your estate planning needs

Above the Law just published a creative article about estate planning issues to talk about with relatives and friends on each of the eight nights of Chanukah. But whatever holiday you celebrate or if you do not observe a religious celebration, the new year of 2020 is an opportunity to establish a comprehensive estate plan (or do a thorough review of your existing plan) with an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer.

Should you get a trust in 2020? 3 FAQs to help you decide.

Estate planning is intimidating. Once you start an initial conversation about putting together a plan you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the options to consider. Should you just get a will, or should you consider having a trust, too? What exactly is a trust anyway?

A trust is, in its most basic form, a legal tool that can help you better control your money. The following will help answer some of the more common questions about trusts and help you determine if this legal tool is right to help you meet your estate planning goals.

The 2 basic types of special needs trusts

There are many potential benefits to creating a special needs trust for a loved one with disabilities. Not only can it provide funds to ensure that person lives comfortably, it can also help the beneficiary meet eligibility requirements for certain government programs, such as Medicaid.

Of course, achieving these two key objectives requires thorough preparation plus a well-written, customized plan. And it starts with understanding the two main types of special needs trusts.

Trump administration proposes rule change to disability benefits

Many people with disabilities rely on Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, federal benefit programs that the Social Security Administration (SSA) administers. SSDI and SSI are financial lifelines for many people unable to work because of their disabilities.

About 8 million people get SSI, while approximately 8.5 million receive SSDI, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Why Medicaid planning needs to happen well in advance

About 1.2 million Coloradans were enrolled in Health First Colorado, the state’s overarching Medicaid program, as of November, 2019. It’s a figure that speaks to the importance of the program for many people, particularly older individuals that may need long-term health care services or support.

Ensuring an older loved one is eligible for Medicaid, however, is much easier said than done. In most cases it will require some proactive planning and strategic spending decisions.

How to recognize – and manage – caregiver stress

Being a caregiver is often a 24/7 responsibility. The loved one you’re helping to look after may need assistance at any time of day, no matter what you’re doing or how you’re feeling. The responsibility – even if you would never think of giving it up – can be utterly draining.

It is of little surprise so many people in this position experience caregiver stress, even if they don’t recognize it in the moment. So what should you watch out for? And how can you relieve some pressure before you end up burnt out and dealing with your own poor health?

Fraud can be the basis of a Colorado will contest

It is a safe assumption that most wills filed with probate courts are authentic. This is the conclusion of law professor Mark Glover of the University of Wyoming College of Law in an article in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform.

How to defuse sibling conflict over an elderly parent’s care

Taking on the responsibility of caring for an aging parent is often a family undertaking. If you have any siblings, you may need to come together to do what’s best for mom or dad. Sometimes that’s much easier said than done.

There are a number of smart legal options that can help families prepare for the future, defining siblings’ roles and responsibilities in order to avoid conflict later. But no matter how prepared a family is, disputes can bubble up between siblings as they try to simultaneously answer the question: What’s best for our loved one?

Who makes medical decisions if there is no advance directive?

Health problems are not always predictable. Issues can crop up with little warning, impacting both the individual and their loved ones. Sometimes these ailments are quite serious and leave a person unable to communicate for themselves.

In these situations, an advance medical directive often guides the decision making for the incapacitated person. But what happens if they never signed an advance medical directive?

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