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Articles

The Durable Power of Attorney: Your Most Important Estate Planning Document

For most people, the durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available -- even more useful than a will. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint -- your "attorney-in-fact" or “agent” -- to act in place of you – the “principal” -- for financial purposes when and if

You Can Stretch the Gift Tax Limit by Paying for Education or Health Care

If you want to make a gift to family members but have exceeded the annual gifting limit, there is another way. Payments for a family member’s education or health care expenses are exempt from the gift tax. The annual gift tax exclusion for 2020 and 2021 is $15,000. This means that any person who

Long-Term Care Benefits for Veterans and Surviving Spouses

Long-term care costs can add up quickly. For veterans and the surviving spouses of veterans who need in-home care or are in a nursing home, help may be available. The Veterans Administration (VA) has an underused pension benefit called Aid and Attendance that provides money to those who need assistance performing everyday tasks. Even

What Are the House Ownership Options When Parents and Adult Children Live Together?

Increasingly, several generations of American families are living together. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data, 64 million Americans, or 20 percent of the population, live in households containing two adult generations. These multi-generational living arrangements present legal and financial challenges around home ownership. Multi-generational households may include "boomerang" children who

What is Long-Term Care and Who Provides It?

Long-term care is the care you need if you can’t perform daily activities on your own for an extended period of time. There are a number of different ways that long-term care can be provided. Most long-term care involves assisting with basic personal needs rather than providing medical care. You are usually determined to

Congress Fixes Some, But Not All, Medicare Enrollment Problems

Tucked in the federal spending bill that passed at the end of December 2020 are some changes aimed at simplifying Medicare enrollment and addressing coverage gaps. But Congress chose not to deal with the biggest problem. Currently, Medicare enrollment begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday and continues for three months after your birthday month (for