The Elrod Firm

Ask The Pros

Relevant answers to the most common questions about estate planning and elder law.

Asset Protection

Can A Trust Protect Assets?

Justin, My mom and dad created a trust about twelve years ago. Almost everything they own is titled in the name of that trust. That should mean their assets are safe even if they need long-term care one day, right?

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Asset Protection

How Can I Prepare For Long-term Care?

Melissa, I just read an article that says 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point. That’s a little bit terrifying to me. What can I do to be ready so I don’t lose everything trying to pay for it?

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Probate

How Do I Protect My IRA?

Justin, I have already listed my wife as the death beneficiary on my IRA, but my financial advisor says I also need to consider adding a contingent beneficiary. What do you think?

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Estate Planning

Why Not Deed The House To The Kids?

Justin, my wife and I want to make sure our home goes to our children when we die. I want to deed it to them now because that seems to be the cheapest option. I also figure that will keep the home safe if one of us ever needs a nursing home. My wife is hesitant. Is there any reason we shouldn’t go ahead with a deed now?

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Tax Considerations

How Can I Get Around The Gift Tax?

Justin, I want to give some money to my grandson to help him with college, but I heard that I have to keep it under $14,000 or he’ll have to pay taxes on that money. Is there any way around that?

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Estate Planning

Why The Difference In Cost?

Justin, I met with two different attorneys in the past couple of weeks to discuss estate planning, and both recommended that I create a trust to avoid probate court. However, one of the attorneys quoted me a price that was double what the other attorney quoted. Can you explain why there would be so much difference in cost from one attorney to the next?

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Asset Protection

Isn’t My Will Enough?

Justin, My daughter keeps telling me that I need to see an attorney to make sure my “affairs are in order” and I’m getting sick of it. Several years ago I signed a last will and testament. Shouldn’t that be enough to get her off my back?

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Probate

Is Probate Really A Big Deal?

Justin, I keep hearing that I need to do everything I can right now to make sure my estate doesn’t wind up in probate court when I die. Is probate really that big of a deal? How much effort should I put into this?

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Asset Protection

Should I Use A Trust Department?

Justin, I heard you should name a trust department to serve as the trustee of your trust to wrap things up when you die. Isn’t that just added expense when my kids could do it for free?

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Long-Term Care Planning

Are There Programs To Help With Home Care?

Justin, My name is Pam and I am a long-time reader of your column. I am writing about my mother, Geraldine. She lives at home and is in decent health. Over the last two years since my father’s passing, her health has declined. She stopped driving and reluctantly hired in-home care for a few hours per day as recommended by her doctor. She is concerned that she will be forced into a nursing home one day when she can no longer afford to pay for home care. Mom owns her home, some savings, and is the widow of a Vietnam veteran.   Do any programs exist to help her?

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