image-1-300x146“In March 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that by 2030, all baby boomers will be over the age of 65, leading to a unique situation in demographics: 20% of U.S. residents will be at retirement age.”

Part of the increase in the number of people who live long enough to be of retirement age, is because life expectancies have increased. The average U.S. life expectancy has increased from 68 years in 1950 to 79 years in 2013, according to the Population Reference Bureau cited in an article from U.S. News & World Report titled “How Should I Finance Assisted Living?”

Continue reading

person-731423_640-300x200“Over 30 years ago, researchers and geriatricians identified an “elder orphan” (sometimes called a “solo ager”), as a person aging alone with little support.”

Little is known about “elder orphans,” people who don’t have parents, a spouse or family members. Decades ago, when families stayed closer to each other, a single or widowed person would remain connected to the extended family throughout their lives. However, today, as reported in Next Avenue’s insightful article titled “Identifying the Unique Challenges of Solo Agers,” many without families lack support and their needs are different than others aging at home. Continue reading

clinic-1807543_640-300x216“Are you ready for the end of life? Many of us can resolutely answer “no.” I am not implying preparation for life after death, salvation or eternal darkness—I simply mean forethought in the medical care that you wish to receive in a life-threatening illness or injury.”

When most people think of preparing for the end of their lives, it’s accompanied by an image of an elderly person surrounded by loved ones. Not everyone is lucky enough to have what we call a “good death.” Continue reading

MP900439346“As opiate addiction has ravaged our communities, children are often left in the lurch, and grandparents and others trying to help are blocked by red tape.”

Opioid addictions devastate families and the impact has begun to show itself in estate planning law firms. To help grandparents cut through the red tape to help to their grandchildren, an attorney from the Southern Ohio Legal Services recently presented an overview of what grandparents can do, according to the Chillicothe Gazette in the article “Need to help care for grandchildren? Here’s some legal tips.” Continue reading

matrix-2883622_640-300x200“Even the most carefully constructed estate plan often overlooks a client’s digital assets. A plan is essential, as both state and federal laws can create roadblocks to accessing digital assets.”

The value of a thoughtfully designed estate plan that provides for the eventual distribution of a person’s assets is generally understood by most people, even those who put off putting one into place. However, according to this important article from Think Advisor, titled “The Big Hole in Estate Plans: Digital Assets,” many plans overlook digital assets. Continue reading

old-age-164760_640-300x200“The federal government ushered in a slew of progressive programs during the Great Depression with the aim of helping the most downtrodden Americans. Few of these programs have held the progressive banner higher than Social Security.”

Social Security was created to ensure that Americans with low lifetime incomes would have an adequate retirement income, so aging Americans would not live in dire poverty. Continue reading

old-83952_640-300x225“High-profile charges of financial elder abuse raise troubling questions. Here’s how to protect yourself and your family.”

Stories of two high-profile elderly Americans have shone a harsh light on the issue of financial elder abuse. However, the rich and famous are not the only ones who are vulnerable. All families need to know what they can do to protect their loved ones, says AARP in the article “7 Ways to Prevent Financial Elder Abuse.” Continue reading

turn-on-2925962_1280-300x188“Estate planning myths can make an already complex process, even more complicated.”

Most people think that wills are a “one and done” sort of document. However, tax laws change and so do family dynamics. People who have minor children, really need to make sure that their will includes the naming of a guardian, as well as a trustee to manage assets on the children’s behalf. Just because you have a will, advises the Cleveland Jewish News in the article “Estate planning myths common, but debunkable,” doesn’t mean your work is done. Continue reading

animals-2607864_640-300x200“What would happen to your pets if you died tomorrow? Would a friend or relative take them? Are you sure?”

If you have pets that you consider family members, you’ll want to make sure you have made plans for their care, after you have passed. That’s the message from U.S. News & World Report in the article “How to Build an Estate Plan for Your Pets.” Continue reading

pexels-photo-1028726-300x200“When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect, many clients and advisors assumed that their days of worrying about the estate tax were largely over. Not so fast.”

The big news was that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the federal estate tax exemption to $11.18 million per person (and $22.36 million per couple, with portability). This enormous exemption increase gave many Americans who are in the highest of all tax brackets a reason to cheer. However, in reality, few wealthy Americans ever pay the tax. However, according to “Beware the Estate Tax Cliff,” an article appearing in Wealth Management, it’s not all good news. Continue reading