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With the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and the rate of COVID deaths dropping in New York, it’s a good idea to be optimistic about what the future holds and to take some time to review your estate plan. While some people need to start from the beginning, others simply need to revise some terms in their estate plan. This article reviews some of the essential estate planning documents that you should make sure you have written. Remember, however, not all 

What Critical Estate Planning Documents You Should Make Sure to Write

Some of the vital estate planning documents that you should make sure to write include:

New retirees are well served to pay close attention to various financial considerations, which are commonly overlooked at the time of retirement. This article reviews some of the most critical estate planning issues that you should make to address either on or before when you retire.

# 1 – The Restructuring of Assets

At the time of retirement, people have spent decades accumulating a variety of assets. One goal of retirement should be to reduce the time and care necessary to maintain what you own. This will not only reduce the costs and length of probate for your estate but will also leave your loved ones with as few challenges as possible. During the restructuring, you might also decide to limit problematic assets.

Data shows that a troublingly large number of Americans do not have estate plans. Besides the challenge presented by not having an estate plan, many more Americans are failing to learn even the basic details about how estate plans function. In the hopes of clarifying some of the most dangerous myths about estate plans and how they operate.

# 1 – Estate Plans Aren’t Necessary If You Let Your Wishes Be Known

In reality, just because you would like your estate handled in a certain manner, there is no guarantee that your goals will be achieved. Even though your loved ones might know and remember your preference, they might find subtle ways to subvert them for their advantage. The best way to make sure that you achieve your goals is to work with an estate planning attorney who can make sure that you write legally recognized documents that uphold your wishes.

One of the most important elder law decisions is picking the best nursing home. While this decision is often financially motivated, it’s also critical to find a facility that offers the best possible care to fit your needs. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are capable of meeting everyone’s needs. To help process best, Medicare has implemented a five-star rating system.

The Separate Nursing Home Ratings

Not all nursing homes meet Medicare standards. After an in-depth review of a nursing home, Medicare assigns facilities with a rating based on a one to five scale with one being the worst and five being the best. Five-star ratings for nursing homes are based on the following separate categories:

Following the passage of President Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill, the administration began to focus on what tax changes to implement to help pay for this support measure. These tax changes are anticipated to be wide-ranging and significant. This article reviews just some of the most substantial of these likely changes and how they will impact estate plans.

The Potential Timing of These Changes

Both House and Senate committees are working on both budget and tax proposals that will become part of a second budget reconciliation measure. Congressional committees are currently at work on proposals that will be included in the second budget reconciliation bill. The House and the Senate will create and approve a budget resolution to function as a means for the reconciliation process. 

Many people associate estate planning with the extremely wealthy, but in reality, most people benefit from creating a strategy for how their assets should be handled. Anyone who has anything to leave behind needs to create an estate because an estate plan will function as a guidebook for how anything you leave behind should be handled. 

This article reviews some of the most critical reasons why people should consider engaging in the estate planning process.

# 1 – Estate Planning Can Include Documents of Varying Purposes

As Bill Gates prepares to navigate the divorce process, divorce has again entered the public consciousness and caused many people to question the nature of how marriages dissolves and how it impacts various aspects of our lives. One often overlooked aspect of divorce is how it can impact overall plans for the future. 

To minimize the potential impact that divorce has on their lives, many high-power couples including Bill and Melinda Gates enter into settlement agreements. Even ordinary couples, however, discover that divorce has the potential to impact their estate plans. This article discusses some of the most important issues that couples should consider about how divorce can impact estate plans as well as what you can do to make sure that your estate plan continues to achieve your goals.

Life Insurance

For many business owners, it’s a critical issue to make sure that business organizations including LLCs are properly structured. While many business owners have created revocable living trusts to articulate how their assets should be managed and to avoid probate, it’s a good idea that LLC interests are not put into the trust. This means that even if everything else with an estate plan is done correctly, a family would still likely need to undergo the probate process to both access and manage LLC interests. This, however, is not the best situation and there are more preferable options.

Placing an LLC interest into a trust is often a simple and affordable option. While it might be possible to simply file paperwork if an LLC involves a single member, it might be necessary to articulate such arrangements in an operating agreement. Many times, there are provisions in operating agreements that allow individuals to make these transfers. If no such provision exists however or there is not an operating agreement, the consent of the other LLC members is often required to perform such a transfer. 

The Advantages of Utilizing an LLC for Estate Planning

The crisis brought by COVID has served as a stress test for many of the laws and regulations effecting our nation’s seniors.  The power of attorney, a document that gives one person, the agent, the legal power to act for another, the principal, fills a dire need to put control over their health and resources in trusted hands in the event of incapacity, especially in times of crisis.  Patients in nursing home facilities, for example, need quick and durable responses to the crisis.  And guarantees that the courts, and third parties such as banks, will respect their decisions.  

In 1948, the “Short Form” POA was created to simplify the process for New York citizens.  Since then, it’s become anything but.  A new law rectifies this.  

New Power of Attorney Bill Comes into Effect June 13, 2021 

A Court of Appeals in California recently affirmed a trial court’s award of attorney fees to a trust. This decision came after the trust tried to enforce a conservation easement. The defendants in the case owned land and were accused of intentionally violating an easement. This case raises an important lesson about the role that conservation easements can play concerning trusts.

How the Case Arose

A conservation agreement refers to a voluntary arrangement between a landowner and either a land trust or government agency that limits land use to protect a property’s condition. When an entity violates a conservation agreement, courts are permitted to award injunctive relief as well as financial compensation. 

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