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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Caregiver, Take Care of Yourself


Caregiving is hard.  Whether you are helping your spouse through a long-term illness or a child coming to terms with the fact that your mom and dad are aging, you are probably dealing with the mental, emotional, and physical side effects of caring for another person.

Often when we meet with caregivers, we are focused on finances and care arrangements and all the practical tasks involved in qualifying for Medicaid or making a move to a nursing home.  While our end goal is to provide peace of mind for families dealing with difficult transitions, the process is often full of to-do lists and deadlines.  We remind our caregiving clients, though, that it’s important to take care of yourself.
Read more . . .


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Planning Your Funeral


Thinking about your funeral may not be fun, but planning ahead can be exceedingly helpful for your family. It both lets them know your wishes and assists them during a stressful time. The following are steps you can take to plan ahead:

  • Name who is in charge. The first step is to designate someone to make funeral arrangements for you.  Under Indiana law, you must execute a Funeral Planning Declaration that complies with the requirements of I.
    Read more . . .


Thursday, July 11, 2019

What Is the Difference Between a Living Will and a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order?


It is a very good idea to create advance directives in order to plan for the possibility that you may one day be unable to make your own medical decisions. In doing so, there can be confusion about the difference between a living will and a "do-not-resuscitate" order (DNR). While both these documents are advance medical directives, they serve different purposes.

A living will is a document that you can use to give instructions regarding treatment if you become terminally ill or are in a persistent vegetative state and unable to communicate your instructions. The living will states under what conditions life-sustaining treatment should be terminated.
Read more . . .


Friday, May 31, 2019

Why Would I Want an Irrevocable Trust?


A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about irrevocable trusts.  Typically, once you put an asset into an irrevocable trust, you no longer have control over that asset – you lose your ability to use that asset as you wish.

 Why, you may ask, would I ever want to give up control of my own assets?  I’ve worked my entire life to pay off the mortgage on my house and to build up my investments.
Read more . . .


Friday, May 10, 2019

What is an irrevocable trust?


As an estate planning attorney, I sometimes find that words I use in everyday conversation sound like legalese to the rest of the world.  It’s important that I remember to translate those words that roll so easily out of my mouth into language that makes sense to a non-lawyer!

One such term that might require some explanation is “irrevocable trust.”  We use both revocable and irrevocable trusts regularly in our practice to meet our clients’ goals.  To explain it at its most basic level, once an irrevocable trust has been established, it cannot be changed. 

Here are some examples of what it means to say that you can’t change an irrevocable trust:

  1. The terms of the trust cannot be changed.
    Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Using a Donor-Advised Fund May Be a Way to Get a Charitable Tax Break Under the New Tax Law


Donor-advised funds are a growing trend in giving that may get more popular due to the new tax law. These funds allow you to donate money, receive a charitable tax deduction, and continue to grow the money until you are ready to distribute it to a charity or charities of your choice. 

A donor-advised fund is established through a charity or nonprofit. The way the fund works is that you donate assets (it can be cash, stocks, or real estate) to the fund. The gift is irrevocable – the nonprofit controls the assets and you cannot get the assets back.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 25, 2019

Death and taxes


I’m sure you’ve heard the adage about nothing in life being certain except death and taxes.  However, if you are settling the affairs of a loved one who has died, you may not be so certain about dealing with your responsibilities regarding taxes. 

Many people have heard about estate or inheritance taxes, but for the vast majority of people in Indiana, inheritance tax is not an issue under current law.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Power of Words: Elderspeak


As an elder law attorney, I am fortunate to work with people who range in age from younger than I am to almost as old as my grandmother, who was 101¾ when she died!  One of my favorite parts of my job is getting the chance to hear stories from people who were adults before I was even born – I am always learning something new or gaining a new perspective. 

I also work with many people who have had to step into the role of caregiver for their elderly parents or relatives, and I helped my mother and her sisters as they cared for my grandmother in her home.  We often took note of the difficult role reversal everyone experienced as my grandma’s children and grandchildren began to take care of her as she took care of us when we were young.  My grandmother was hard of hearing, and as she aged she lost her vision.  In the last decade or so of her life, she needed help eating, dressing, keeping her house clean, and moving around.


Read more . . .


Friday, January 4, 2019

Taking against the will: your Last Will and Testament may not be the last word on your probate estate


Most people are confident that their Last Will and Testament is the last word on how their probate estate will be distributed after they have died, and in most cases, they are probably right.  However, if you are married, Indiana law dictates how much of your estate your spouse is entitled to receive upon your death, regardless of what your Last Will and Testament says.  It is important for people who are married (and for people who are planning to get married) to understand how this law works and what they can do to ensure that their wishes can be carried out.

Here’s a basic overview of the law.  Read more . . .


Friday, November 23, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! A great time to talk to your family about estate planning.


It's the Friday after Thanksgiving.  You have probably hit the point at which you are recovering from your Black Friday shopping, debating whether ordering pizza is preferable to eating yet another leftover turkey sandwich, or consulting the TV guide to find out when the next football game is on.

 Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for many families to talk about estate planning.
Read more . . .


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Veterans Day


As a daughter of a retired Army Veteran and a sister of two retired Air Force Veterans, it is no wonder that I have a soft spot for our men and women who serve in our military.  This Sunday, November 11th is Veterans Day and for this week’s blog I thought I would provide a little history on Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is the day in which we thank and show our appreciation to the men and women who serve or have served in the military whether in war time or peace time. 

Veterans Day evolved from Armistice Day which was established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, in recognition to the end of World War One on November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am.   In 1954 President Eisenhower made November 11th the official observance of Veterans Day which would recognize all wars and not just World War One.
Read more . . .


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