that you've heard of the Power of Attorney (POA). Most people have. We
generally assume it's a way for someone else to take control of our
assets if we become incapacitated or, as we often see in the movies, we
are ""declared incompetent."" This can be true, but there's a lot more
to it than that. The POA is a way for you (the principal) to give some
control of your assets or your medical care to another person (the
agent or attorney-in-fact).
One of the retirement account reform provisions contained in the Pension
Protection Act of 2006 permitted non-spouse beneficiaries to transfer their 401k funds into an
inherited IRA and take advantage of "stretch" distributions over their lifetimes instead of
being subject to 5 year payout rules. Unfortunately, the IRS issued a Notice which provided that this provision was permitted at the discretion of the plan administrators, but was not mandatory. Congress has stated that this optional treatment was not intended, and corrective legislation has been proposed. The IRS has now reversed its position, and stated that, beginning with 2008, non-spousal rollover will be required as an option.
Nobody likes to face the prospect that they may one day become unable to handle their own affairs, but with people living longer than ever before, many people are simply outliving the ability to care for themselves. Without proper planning, that care will fall on the shoulders of family members, who may not be equipped to care for their loved one properly. They may, for instance, be forced to obtain a court order, with costly annual reporting to the court, to do something as simple as pay their loved one’s bills. With proper planning, this burden can be significantly reduced. This blog entry will discuss the most basic of planning considerations, including pre-paid funerals, powers of attorney, long term care insurance, and healthcare documents.
This article addresses a topic that is
important to clients and all wealth planning professionals - trusts. When used properly, trusts can provide significant
advantages to clients and to the advisors who recommend them. Given the numerous types of trusts, this newsletter explores
the general advantages of trusts as well as some of the most common types of trusts.
Senior centers sometimes host presentations by sales agents offering
free seminars or lunches that purportedly provide attendees with
valuable information relating to estate planning. But these
presentations often turn out to be unscrupulous efforts to persuade the
elderly to purchase financial products they don't need. For example,
the presenters may be operating an annuity mill that targets
seniors as high pressure sales prospects for annuities that often do not mature until
after their buyer's death.
A U.S. district court holds that requiring a Medicaid applicant to
reside in-state for a period of time before her benefits are determined
is a violation of her fundamental right to interstate travel as
guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. Duffy, et al., v. Meconi, et al. (Del., C.A., No. 05-127, Sept. 11, 2007).