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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

Do I Really Need A Healthcare P.O.A?

Justin, someone told me that I need a healthcare power of attorney so my wife can make medical decisions for me if I’m unconscious. Don’t the doctors always let the family members decide what to do? 

What Is The Most Common Problem With An Old Trust Plan?

Justin, My name is Mike, and I am a long-time resident of Hot Springs Village. Before retiring, I had my attorney in Jonesboro setup a Revocable Living Trust for me. I had to go through probate court when my father died, and I wanted to ensure my children avoided that. I think my legal affairs are in order, but I need a specialist’s opinion for peace of mind. What is the most common problem you see with old trust plans?   Should I be worried?

How Can We Afford This Nursing Home?

Justin, My mom is currently in rehab at a nursing home, and her insurance is covering all the charges. But her care team told us yesterday that she will need to transfer to the long-term care unit soon. My dad still lives at home, and they don’t have enough to cover the nursing home costs and meet his expenses. I was told that Medicaid could help, but they would have to get down below $2,000. My dad will be broke! Do we have any other options?

Why Was My Mother Denied Medicaid For Owning A Home?

Justin, after waiting four months for a decision my mother was recently denied Medicaid for being over-resourced. The nursing home said before they could apply for Medicaid she had to spend all her savings to below $2,000, but she would be able to keep her house.