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March 2017 Archives

Estate planning issues: Powers of attorney are for everyone

When most Delaware residents think about a time in their lives when they will not be able to make decisions for themselves, they imagine being elderly. However, a debilitating illness or injury does not discriminate. Even young adults could end up needing a trusted family member or friend to make decisions on their behalf, even temporarily. That is why most estate planning includes the execution of durable powers of attorney.

Using a life estate as part of estate planning

Delaware law allows a number of ways to leave real estate to loved ones after death. When conducting estate planning, all of the options should be explored in order to ensure that the transfer is accomplished in the best way possible, according to family circumstances. One of those options could be the use of a life estate.

When title disputes cast a cloud on your closing

A host of unknowns often tempers the excitement of buying a new home. Often, secrets about a house and property are not evident on walk-throughs or even inspections. You may be living in your home for months or years before you realize that the roof leaks or the plumbing is deteriorating.

Elder law issues: Keeping your aging loved one's finances secure

The financial resources of an elderly loved one are often limited. Even so, another family member or someone who claims to be a friend might still attempt to take advantage of an aging Delaware resident's kindness or compromised mental state for personal financial gain. Elder law does provide ways to help protect his or her assets and income from those who would prey on a vulnerable individual.

Plan now for a time when you might need Medicaid

Understanding how eligibility works for government programs such as Medicaid might feel like trying to read the tax code. The word "confusing" just doesn't cover it. Someone might tell you that your eligibility depends on your medical need, income and level of assets, but what that actually means for you probably doesn't make it any clearer.

Watch for these mistakes in real estate transactions

Buying and selling property happens every day here in Delaware. The fact that it happens so often might imply that real estate transactions go off without a hitch, but that is not always the case. If certain mistakes are made during the process, the buyer and/or the seller could end up with a complex and frustrating problem.

Estate planning to avoid family conflicts

Probate is not the dirty word that many Delaware residents envision it to be. People are encouraged to engage in estate planning in order to avoid going through the probate process, but the fact is that nearly every estate goes through some form of probate. How an individual structures his or her estate plan determines the remainder of the process, including whether it is designed to avoid family conflicts.

Estate planning isn't just for baby boomers

Delaware's baby boomers are not the only ones who need to get their affairs in order to ensure their families are taken care of after their deaths. No one knows what the future holds, and it pays to be prepared. That means that even millennials could benefit from estate planning, especially if they have families of their own.

Making the most of estate planning with a revocable living trust

Not every Delaware resident should receive an inheritance outright or is old enough to inherit property. In order to make the most of estate planning, it may be beneficial to consider using a revocable living trust. This type of trust is created during an individual's life and can be changed, altered or modified until his or her death, at which time no further changes can be made to it.

Consider each child's needs in estate planning

Delaware parents strive to provide for their children both before and after death. During estate planning, many parents struggle with ensuring that they treat each child fairly, and for many people, fair means equal. Unfortunately, equal does not always adequately provide for every child.

Review estate planning documents at the beginning of the year

Many Delaware residents use the beginning of the year to reevaluate their lives and life choices. This is also a good time to review any estate planning done previously. Keeping these documents up to date can prevent issues for surviving family members when the time comes.

Are there benefits to avoiding probate in Delaware?

The death of a loved one is almost always a difficult time for a family. Oftentimes, family members would rather dedicate their time and energy toward grieving and supporting each other through a trying time than dedicating that same time and energy toward legal matters.

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