Curt Benson, an attorney in our Grand Rapids office, hosts a popular syndicated radio program, The Lawyers, which airs on Newsradio WOOD 1300 and 106.9 FM. On the program, Mr. Benson interviews professors, judges, lawyers and lawmakers on legal issues in the news. He recently sat down with Gene Richards, a partner in our Livonia office, to discuss a variety of estate planning and elder law issues, legal updates, and cost-effective solutions. Please click here to listen to the informative radio program.
Mr. Richards helps clients safely navigate life’s transitions through the skillful, practical, and compassionate application of comprehensive elder law and estate planning services. He guides senior clients in planning for their future care needs, including maximizing financial resources to pay for the cost of long-term care. He takes the time to understand his clients’ needs and goals and designs practical, customized solutions for them.
Gene Richards may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual currency may not show up in portfolios of many senior adults, but it shouldn’t be overlooked when putting together wills, trusts and powers of attorney. Not surprisingly, a national survey on consumer use of virtual currencies found that among those 65 or older, 75 percent said they were “very unlikely” to purchase Bitcoins. However, some seniors are trendy and tech savvy and might have a virtual currency “wallet.” Here’s a well written blog article on the importance of addressing bitcoin and other virtual currencies in the estate planning process. I’ll add that it is also critical to identify all assets and resources when trying to qualify for Medicaid and VA assistance to pay for long-term care. Without adequate planning a legal representative, whether agent under power of attorney, personal representative (a/k/a executor) of a will, or trustee of a trust will have difficulty dealing with unique property, such as virtual currency, if the owner is incapacitated or has died.
The elder law and estate planning attorneys at Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, P.L.C. (CMDA) regularly assist clients in planning with unique assets, such as virtual currency. Even if it is too late to plan, the CMDA attorneys can still help by petitioning for the appointment a conservator in the local probate courts. Gene Richards may be reached at (734) 261-2400 or email@example.com.
Advocacy is an important need of older adults as they strive to preserve their independence and protect their interests. For example, strong advocacy is needed to: protect life savings, deal with incapacity, find quality long-term care (whether at home, in assisted living or a nursing home), and qualify for government benefits to pay for long-term care (such as Medicaid and VA benefits). Elder Law attorneys use specialized legal tools and strategies to augment the “advocacy power” of older adults facing these situations. Read more
Individuals in Michigan seeking to protect assets from creditors no longer have to transfer their assets to Delaware, Nevada or Alaska. Effective February 5, 2017, the Qualified Dispositions in Trust Act, Domestic Asset Protection Trusts, Public Act 330 of 2016, will allow the owner of trust assets to retain and protect his or her assets from creditors, while still retaining the power to direct investment decisions, the power to veto distribution
Estate planning is a continuous process and estate plan documents should be reviewed at least every decade and upon any major changes in lifestyle or family structure.
A basic estate plan includes a Will, a Medical Power of Attorney, and a Durable General Power of Attorney for financial matters.
A Will addresses the distribution of assets, paying debts and taxes, and providing guardians and conservators for any minor children.