Estate Planning with Step Families

Four of every ten Americans have at least one step-relative in their family – either a stepparent, a step or half sibling or a stepchild — according to the Pew Research Center. The National Center for Family and Marriage Research estimates that about one-third of all weddings in America create stepfamilies. With that in mind, it may be necessary to …

What is the Nature of a Trust?

Trusts are useful for many purposes, including avoiding probate, reducing or eliminating federal estate taxes, and managing property for a beneficiary when direct ownership by the beneficiary is not desired. Trusts also can be very useful for asset protection if the creditors of the beneficiary are prevented from reaching trust assets. A trust can be an effective way to place …

How DHS and CAO view your Medicaid Planning

Medicaid is the primary funding source for nursing home care. Medicare and health insurance do not cover this cost on a long term basis. Long term care insurance can but it is very expensive to purchase, many individuals do not qualify and number of insurance companies providing this coverage has dwindled in the past few years. Individuals who did in …

Proceed with caution following an inherited IRA

A recent Supreme Court decision may allow creditors to access an inherited IRA to satisfy debt in the event of bankruptcy. In the case of Clark v. Rameker, the Supreme Court unanimously decided against the Heidi Heffron-Clark and Brandon C. Clark, finding that an IRA that Mrs. Clark inherited from her mother in 2000 was not eligible for protection from …