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Many people have homes in two states. Legally, you do not need separate estate planning documents for each state, but it may make sense from a practical perspective.

The Constitution of the United States requires that states give “full faith and credit” to the laws of other states. This means that your will, trust, durable power of attorney, and health care proxy executed in New York (Just to pick one state) should be honored in the state where you have a second home. That’s the law.

By Peter J. Strauss, Esq.

My mother named her financial adviser and his children as beneficiaries in her will. Is it legal for her attorney to allow this?

ANSWER: 

I have seen many cases where a client wants to leave money to a professional adviser –  lawyer, accountant, financial adviser, physician – and in many cases there may have been overreaching, or perhaps more.   

A person can leave her or his property to anyone under the terms of a will, trust or “beneficiary designation.” You can do whatever you want with your money: give it to a family member, a neighbor, friend, lover, your church, your lawyer, accountant or financial adviser, or the society for the protection of beetles. You can do this during your lifetime or have it take effect after your death. 

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document filing

Creating and executing an estate plan is a process that requires thought and consideration. You must identify the beneficiaries who are going to inherit the assets that you worked a lifetime to acquire, how your beneficiaries are going to receive those assets, and whom to entrust to make decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacity. Once your estate planning documents are created and executed, many clients believe the estate planning process is completed. But, what is often overlooked is where your estate planning documents should be stored.

by Louis W. Pierro, Esq.

As the coronavirus spreads across the United States, nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable to the disease. How do you try to ensure that your loved one stays healthy? 

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The Coronavirus health emergency is a reminder that life is unpredictable, and it makes sense to be prepared. Threats to life and finances posed by the pandemic offer ample reason to reevaluate your estate plan — or create one if you haven’t already.

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As baby boomers age, more and more millennials are becoming caregivers. Many are taking on this role while just getting started in their own lives, leading to difficult decisions about priorities. Proper planning can help them navigate this terrain.

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Congress has passed and sent to the President a spending bill that contains major changes to retirement plans. The bipartisan legislation is designed to provide more incentives to save for retirement, but it may require workers to rethink some of their planning. 

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act changes the law surrounding retirement plans in several ways:

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2020 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance.

Premiums for “qualified” long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of the insured’s adjusted gross income.

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Making sure your end-of-life wishes are followed no matter where you happen to be is important. If you move to a different state or split your time between one or more states, you should make sure your advance directive is valid in all the states you frequent.

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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.

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