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Single? You Still Need an Estate Plan

Many people believe that if they are single, they don't need a will or other estate planning documents. But estate planning is just as important for single people as it is for couples and families. Estate planning allows you to ensure that your property will go to the people you want, in the way you want,

Understanding the Common Types of Trusts

A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a "trustee," holds legal title to property for another person, called a "beneficiary." Trusts fall into two basic categories: testamentary and inter vivos. A testamentary trust is one created by your will, and it

Medicare Open Enrollment Starts October 15: Is It Time to Change Plans?

Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, during which you can freely enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7. Now is the time to start shopping around to see whether your current choices are still the best ones for you. During this period you may enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug)

The Ins and Outs of Guardianship and Conservatorship

Every adult is assumed to be capable of making his or her own decisions unless a court determines otherwise. If an adult becomes incapable of making responsible decisions, the court will appoint a substitute decision maker, usually called a "guardian," but called a "conservator" or another term in some states. Guardianship is a legal relationship

How Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Social Security?

The coronavirus pandemic is having a profound effect on the current U.S. economy, and it may have a detrimental effect on Social Security’s long-term financial situation. High unemployment rates mean Social Security shortfalls could begin earlier than projected. Social Security retirement benefits are financed primarily through dedicated payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers, with employees

Reverse Mortgages: A Way to Remain at Home Longer

Under our "system" of paying for long-term care, you may be able to qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care, but in most states there's little public assistance for home care. Most people want to stay at home as long as possible, but few can afford the high cost of home care for

Which Nursing Home Rating System Should You Trust?

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is a difficult decision and it can only be made more confusing by the various rating systems. A recent study found that using both Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare site and user reviews can help with the decision making. The official Medicare website includes a nursing home rating

Can You Transfer Your Medicare and Medicaid Plans When You Move to Another State?

If you plan to move states, can you take your Medicare or Medicaid plans with you? The answer depends on whether you have original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or Medicaid. Medicare If you have original Medicare (Plans A and B), you can move anywhere in the country and you should still be covered. Medicare is a

Caregiver Contracts: How to Pay a Family Member for Care

What are family caregiver contracts? Although people are willing to voluntarily care for a parent or loved one without any promise of compensation, entering into a caregiver contract (also called personal service or personal care agreement) with a family member can have many benefits. It rewards the family member doing the work. It can help

Five Topics to Discuss With Your Spouse Before You Retire

Planning to retire? You may have a vision for your retirement, but does your spouse share that vision? Spouses often disagree about many key retirement details. It is important to work together to come up with a plan you both can accept. Many husbands and wives are not in accord about retirement. For example, a