The Livens Law Firm

March 2016 Archives

Estate planning seeks to avoid conflict among the beneficiaries

Residents of Texas who choose to do estate planning are often concerned about whether their adult children will argue over the parents' choices in their wills for dividing the inheritance. One survey notes that over half of all Americans intend to leave an inheritance approaching an average of about $200,000. Good estate planning procedures and a close working relationship with one's estate planning attorney will likely establish a low risk of arguments among the children after the testator's death.

Elderly planning is needed to provide for long-term care

Whether one resides here in Texas or in another state, retirement and estate planning is not enough these days for elderly persons. One must also engage in elderly planning for potential long-term health care costs at the later stages of life. Long-term care means the daily activities in which the elderly become less self-sufficient, such as bathing, dressing, eating, doing the wash, the dishes and going to the bathroom. For people with a net worth of $2 million or more, it may be a non-issue because they may be able to afford to pay cash for home health care, including nursing care.

Life insurance can play important role in estate planning

Life insurance can be a strong component of estate planning in Texas and elsewhere. Most people, however, do not place the purchase of life insurance on their priority lists. Life insurance can pay for funeral expenses and post-death bills. It can provide funding for special trusts and may be used to pay tax obligations after death. Of course, there is the general estate planning purpose goal of providing an extra level of financial security to one's loved ones after death.

Long-term care facilities to receive interoperable EHRs

The federal government is giving a boost to long-term care and other government-funded health care facilities in Texas and nationwide, according to an announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Authorities announced that states would be permitted to request 90 percent enhanced matching funds from CMS to connect to a health information exchange . The program will be beneficial to health care providers and the health exchange networks, and it will lead to stronger long-term care facilities through the enhanced ability to make improved health care decisions.

Online assets are another part of the estate planning package

Along with the traditional estate planning documents that are prepared for residents of Texas, it is suggested that they must now also consider providing some basic but comprehensive information regarding online assets to their estate planning attorney and their personal representative. At this time, there is no framework of laws that designates what happens to online possessions after one dies. The safest estate planning practice is for the individual to make a written inventory of all online assets and provide that list to the persons who need to find one's legal documents at death.

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