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Heritage Law Office Blog

Making Sure Your Estate Plan Reflects Your Wishes

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | May 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

Jack and Doris wanted to divide their property equally between their three children. The house should to go to daughter Mary who loved it, and the rest of their estate should be apportioned equally between sons Bob and Francis. Jack and Doris's attorney drafted a will distributing the modest...

Execute a Power of Attorney Before It's Too Late

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

A durable power of attorney is an extremely important estate planning tool, even more important than a will in many cases.  This crucial document allows a person you appoint -- your attorney-in-fact or agent -- to act in place of you -- the principal -- for financial purposes when and if yo...

How to Pass Your Home to Your Children Tax-Free

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Giving your house to your children can have tax consequences, but there are ways to accomplish it tax-free. The best method to use will depend on your individual circumstances and needs. Leave the house in your will The simplest way to give your house to your children may be to leave it to them...

Use Your Will to Dictate How to Pay Your Debts

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

The main purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go after you die, but it can also be used to instruct your heirs how to pay your debts. While generally heirs cannot inherit debt, debt can reduce what they receive. Spelling out how debt should be paid can help your heirs. If someon...

You Can Give Away More Tax Free in 2018

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

After staying the same for five years, the amount you can give away to any one individual in a particular year without reporting the gift will increase in 2018.  The annual gift tax exclusion for 2018 is rising from $14,000 to $15,000. This means that any person who gives away $15,000 or less to...

Always Put Caregiver Contracts in Writing

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

When hiring a caregiver, it is important to put the contract in writing. Courts can be especially strict about requiring contracts when caregivers are relatives, but a formal agreement is still necessary even if the caregiver is not a relative.  A recent Michigan court ruling illustrates how fail...

New Federal Law Puts Focus on Preventing Elder Abuse

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

A new federal law is designed to address the growing problem of elder abuse. The law supports efforts to better understand, prevent, and combat both financial and physical elder abuse. The prevalence of elder abuse is hard to calculate because it is underreported, but according to the National C...

What Is a Supplemental Needs Trust?

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Americans are living longer than they did in years past, including those with disabilities. Planning by parents can make all the difference in the life of a child with a disability, as well as that of his or her siblings who may be left with the responsibility for caretaking (on top of their own ...

Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI)

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

Disability benefits are available to qualified recipients under two programs, Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).   SSI is a means-tested program for people with disabilities who have very limited means, but SSDI is an insurance program that is available to ...

Advanced Care Directives: Are They Necessary?

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 09, 2018 | 0 Comments

Most of us dont like to think about the possibility of something harmful happening to us or a loved one. Because of this, we rarely think about how to protect ourselves and our loved ones if the worst were to happen. However, just as it is important to buy home insurance to protect your home and...

Alzheimer’s 101 – Understanding the Basics

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 08, 2018 | 0 Comments

What is Alzheimers Disease? Alzheimers disease is defined as an irreversible, progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age. It is the most common form of dementia. What causes Alzheimers Disease? Alzheimers disease is caused by a generalized deterioration of the b...

What to Consider in Retirement Planning

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 07, 2018 | 0 Comments

What does retirement look like to you? This is an essential question to ask when beginning to plan for retirement. A good starting place is to start jotting down your ideas and, if married, your spouses ideas for retirement. Maybe travel is in your plan. If not travel, then how do you plan to s...

Medicare and Medicaid: Unlocking the Mystery

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 06, 2018 | 0 Comments

Medicare and Medicaid have long been a mystery to many consumers. In fact, it can baffle and confuse even some of the smartest citizens. Like me, you might have thought, “I dont need to worry about this right now.” However, it is never too early to gain a little understanding and awareness that ...

What Happens to Your Debts When You Die?

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 03, 2018 | 0 Comments

When you die, your debts do not expire with you. Most debt still needs to be paid off, if possible, although who is responsible for paying the debt depends on the type of debt, and some assets are protected from being used to satisfy a debt. Outstanding debt may include mortgages, credit card bi...

5 Things to Include in an Estate Plan

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

Estate planning is important for people of all ages, but as we age, the need for planning becomes even more critical. Many people avoid estate planning, because they do not want to think about the end of life, failing health or disability. Others believe that an estate plan is only for rich peopl...

Selling The Family Home - Come See Us First

Posted by Brad Sarkauskas | Apr 01, 2018 | 0 Comments

After Marias husband died, Marias daughter Debby persuaded her to sell the family home and move into Debbys mother-in-law  cottage.  That  way  they  could  stay  close, and  Maria  could  invest  the money  from  the  sale  so that she  could  live comfortably. The house sold for a handsome s...

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