Who Needs Estate Planning?

Why estate planning is so important, and not just for the rich.

You have an estate.
It doesn’t matter how limited (or unlimited) your means may be, and it doesn’t matter if you own a mansion or a motor home.

 

Rich or poor, when you die, you leave behind an estate.
For some, this can mean real property, cash, an investment portfolio and more. For others, it could be as straightforward as the $10 bill in their wallet and the clothes on their back. Either way, what you leave behind when you die is considered to be your “estate”.

 

“But, I don’t need estate planning … do I?”
Let’s think about that. If the estate is small, should you still plan? Well, even if you’re just leaving behind the $10 bill in your wallet, who will inherit it? Do you have a spouse? Children? Is it theirs? Should it go to just one of them, or be split between them? If you don’t decide, you could potentially be leaving behind a legacy of legal headaches to your survivors. This, quite simply, is what estate planning is all about – deciding how what you have now (money and assets) will be distributed after your lifetime.

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Care Management: What it is and how we help

Geriatric Care Managers, also known as Care Consultants, Care Coordinators or Elder Care Managers are professionals who specialize in working with seniors and their families to coordinate their care needs. A Geriatric Care Manager may be a nurse, social worker, counselor, psychologist or gerontologist who has training and experience specifically in working with older people.  Geriatric Care Managers help with short-term projects or can be involved in a more on-going relationship. Geriatric Care Managers offer a large variety of services to assist older people and their families in meeting their care needs.

Geriatric Care Managers can:

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A “New” Power of Attorney on the Way

(Will it Save the Day?)

Financial exploitation stories appear all over the news. Money is swindled from an elderly or disabled person by a family member or professional they should have been able to trust. Often, the power to take the money was given freely to the offender by the victim in a Power of Attorney. The theft is still theft, but the Power of Attorney (sometimes dubbed a “license to steal”) made it easy.

A new Minnesota Law will make it a little harder for Attorneys-in-Fact (that’s what we call the person given the power on the Power of Attorney) to inadvertently or on purpose abuse their duties.

What is a Power of Attorney? | A Power of Attorney is a document where one person (called the “Principal”) gives another person the authority to manage some or all of the Principal’s financial affairs. It’s a way to have someone ready to pay bills, cancel cell phone service, adjust investments or sell the house when the Principal becomes mentally incapable of doing these things himself or herself.

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Medical Assistance Changes Transfer Rules

Submitted by Jeffrey W Schmidt, Schmitz & Schmidt

Medicaid is the government program designed as a safety net to pay for medical care when an individual or a family can no longer afford that care on their own. The program is a cooperative effort between the state and federal governments. In Minnesota, this program is called Medical Assistance.

With Medicare available to cover basic acute care for individuals over the age of 65 and individuals with disabilities, Medical Assistance is used primarily to pay for long term care. Long term care can include the custodial care people need when they can no longer manage their own activities of daily living, whether that care is provided in their own home, an assisted living facility or a nursing home.

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Do You have your Power of Attorney Yet?

Submitted by Jeffrey W Schmidt, Schmitz & Schmidt

Signing a Power of Attorney is critical to manage the possibility that you might become incapacitated.  Horror stories are everywhere, but in most cases the Power of Attorney is not abused.  In most cases, the Power of Attorney proves to be an invaluable tool when disability strikes.

A Power of Attorney is a private agreement signed by the “Principal” who shares financial authority to the “Attorney-in-Fact.”  Often this is a trusted loved-one who always acts in the Principal’s best interests.  The law not only requires the Attorney-in-Fact to act in the Principal’s best interests but gives the Principal power to revoke the Power of Attorney at any time.  Without a Power of Attorney, a Court names a Conservator through an expensive, time consuming and public process.

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