You are previewing A Guide to Elder Planning: Everything You Need to Know to Protect Your Loved Ones and Yourself, Second Edition.
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A Guide to Elder Planning: Everything You Need to Know to Protect Your Loved Ones and Yourself, Second Edition

Book Description

For millions of families, elder planning has become life's most important financial challenge. To plan successfully for aging, coordinated and knowledgeable action is indispensable. Whether you're concerned about your own future, your loved ones, or both, Steve Weisman's A Guide to Elder Planning, Second Edition brings together all the up-to-date knowledge and practical insights you'll need. Thorough, realistic, friendly, and easy to read, it covers all the financial, legal, and personal issues faced by seniors and their families. Weisman is one of the nation's most respected eldercare attorneys: through his nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey and his books, he's already helped millions of seniors and their families. Now, he brings together practical insights and specific, innovative solutions for estate planning, investment planning, long term care planning, housing, Medicare, Medicaid, retirement planning, Social Security, veterans' benefits, asset protection, substitute decision making, income tax planning, age discrimination, protection from abuse and scams, end of life issues, and much more. From navigating fast-changing benefits programs to preparing healthcare directives, this trustworthy book explains it all -- in plain, crystal-clear English!

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication Page
  4. Contents
  5. About the Author
  6. 1. Asset Protection
    1. Insurance
    2. Homeowner’s Insurance
    3. Prenuptial Agreements
    4. Bank Accounts
    5. Trusts
    6. Homestead Protection
    7. Fraudulent Conveyances
    8. Assets Protected by Law
    9. Joint Ownership
    10. Tenancy by the Entirety
    11. Family Limited Partnerships
    12. Endnotes
  7. 2. Senior Citizens and Credit
    1. Equal Credit Opportunity Act
    2. Credit Reports
    3. Credit Cards
  8. 3. Substitute Decision Making
    1. Power of Attorney
    2. Durable Power of Attorney
    3. You and Will Robinson
    4. IRS Dangers
    5. Health Care Proxy
    6. Free Advice (And Worth Every Penny)
  9. 4. Estate Planning
    1. Wills
    2. Living Trusts
    3. Incentive Trusts
    4. Estate Taxes
    5. State Estate Taxes
    6. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
    7. Charitable Remainder Trust
    8. Defective Trusts
    9. Section 529 Plans
    10. Planning for Your Pets
    11. Digital Estate Planning
    12. POD Accounts
    13. Second Marriages
    14. Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples
    15. Now That You Have a Plan
  10. 5. Investments
    1. Mutual Funds
    2. DRIPs
    3. Certificates of Deposit
    4. Treasuries
    5. Annuities
    6. Your Stock Portfolio
    7. A Few Words on Gold
    8. Final Thoughts
    9. Endnotes
  11. 6. Income Taxes
    1. Marital Status
    2. Parents and Children
    3. Domestic Partners
    4. The Over-65 Crowd
    5. Untaxed Income
    6. Tax Credits
    7. Social Security Taxes
    8. Tax Deductions
    9. Tax Relief as Big as a House
    10. I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends
    11. Now That You Have Prepared Your Taxes, What Documents Do You Keep?
    12. Final Words from Deep in the Heart of Taxes
    13. Endnote
  12. 7. Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k)s
    1. Traditional IRA
    2. Roth IRA
    3. Decisions, Decisions
    4. The Different Path
    5. 401(k)
    6. Roth 401(k)
    7. Bad News/Good News
    8. Choices
    9. Devil in the Details
    10. How to Exorcise the Devil
    11. Beneficiary Designation
    12. Conversion to a Roth IRA
    13. When Does It Make Sense to Convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?
    14. Distribution
    15. Withdrawal Pains
    16. Survivors
  13. 8. Planning for the Home
    1. Reverse Mortgages
    2. Keep It in the Family
    3. Uncle Sam Likes Reverse Mortgages
    4. Using Reverse Mortgages to Pay for Long-Term Care Insurance
    5. Creative Uses of Reverse Mortgages
    6. Counseling
    7. Bells and Whistles
    8. Shared Equity and Appreciation Fees
    9. Reverse Mortgage Fees
    10. For Whom the Reverse Mortgage Tolls
    11. The Bottom Line
    12. Mortgage Prepayment
    13. Private Mortgage Insurance
    14. Refinancing
    15. Life Estates
    16. Sell the Home to the Children
  14. 9. Alternative Housing
    1. Retirement Communities
    2. Important Considerations in Evaluating a Continuing Care Retirement Community
    3. Assisted Living
    4. Legalities
    5. What’s in a Name?
    6. Accreditation
    7. Important Considerations in Evaluating an Assisted-Living Facility
    8. A Word of Warning
    9. Location, Location, Location
    10. Check It Out
    11. Security
    12. Hospitals
    13. The Smell Test
    14. Smoking
    15. Pet Policy
    16. Transportation
    17. Do You Get Fries with That?
    18. What Would Tim Russert Ask?
    19. The Fine Print
    20. How Do You Pay?
    21. Checklist of Important Issues in Considering an Assisted-Living Facility or Continuing Care Retirement Community
    22. The Final Words
    23. Endnote
  15. 10. Long-Term Care
    1. History
    2. Cost of Long-Term Care
    3. Future Cost of Long-Term Care
    4. Financing Long-Term Care
    5. Finding the Money
    6. Another Thing to Think About
    7. Swap
    8. Other Considerations
    9. Creative Solutions
    10. Who Is in Jeopardy of a Premium Increase?
    11. Good News
    12. It Pays to Be Married
    13. Group Policies
    14. Deferred Annuities
    15. Disability Insurance
    16. Surf and Turf
    17. Make the Kids Pay
    18. Endnote
  16. 11. Social Security
    1. History
    2. Eligibility and Benefit Calculations
    3. Look for Your Annual Statement
    4. Full Retirement Age
    5. Early or Late Retirement
    6. Show Me the Money
    7. A Bird in the Hand
    8. Over-Under
    9. Take the Money and Run
    10. A Work in Progress
    11. Getting a Larger Check Later
    12. Spousal Benefits
    13. Income Taxes
    14. Another Reason to Delay Taking Benefits
    15. COLAs
    16. Social Security Retirement Strategies
    17. Survivor’s Benefits
    18. Notch Babies
    19. Social Security Disability Income
    20. Getting a Copy of Your Record
    21. Overpayments
    22. Medicare and Your Application for Social Security Benefits
    23. Endnote
  17. 12. Medicare
    1. The Medicare Alphabet
    2. Managed Care
    3. The Fly in the Ointment
    4. Where Do You Get Your Plan?
    5. When Can You Join or Switch a Plan
    6. What Does It Cost?
    7. The Math
    8. Who Is Keeping Score?
    9. Sticky Little Detail
    10. Don’t Cry for Me Argentina: Tiered Drugs
    11. Exceptions Process
    12. Penalty
    13. Tricare
    14. Things to Consider When Choosing a Drug Plan
    15. Don’t Give Up the SHIP
    16. Medicare Home Healthcare
    17. Home Healthcare Services Provided
    18. Post-Hospital Home Healthcare
    19. Hospice Care
    20. Premiums
    21. Enrollment
    22. Medicare D
    23. Medigap Insurance
    24. Traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage?
    25. Appeals
    26. Endnote
  18. 13. Medicaid
    1. Medicaid 101
    2. Asset Eligibility
    3. Life Insurance
    4. Retirement Planning
    5. Exceptions to Transfer Penalties
    6. Home Improvement
    7. Consideration of Income
    8. Protection from Spousal Impoverishment
    9. How Much Do You Pay?
    10. Increasing the Allowance for At-Home Spouses
    11. Medicaid Planning
    12. Just Say No
    13. Estate Planning for the Community Spouse
    14. Estate and Financial Planning for the Spouse in the Nursing Home
    15. Tactics for Reducing Assets Without a Medicaid Penalty
    16. Trusts
    17. Protecting the Home
    18. Tips for the Home
    19. Tactics for Increasing Assets to Achieve a Greater Spousal Resource Allowance
    20. Annuities
    21. Promissory Notes
    22. Do Nothing Strategy
    23. As if You Don’t Have Enough to Worry About
    24. Partnership for Long-Term Care
    25. Estate Recovery
    26. Exceptions
    27. The Latest Information
  19. 14. Veterans’ Benefits
    1. Veterans Eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) Pension Benefits
    2. Spouses and Family Members Eligible for VA Benefits
    3. Basic Requirements for Veterans’ Benefits
    4. Pension Benefits for War Veterans and Their Families
  20. 15. Being Patient
    1. Privacy and Medical Records
    2. Access to Medical Records—By You and Others
  21. 16. Scams
    1. Identity Theft
    2. Affinity Fraud
    3. The Grandparent Scam
    4. Social Security Scams
    5. Medicare Scams
    6. Charity Scams
    7. Investment Frauds
    8. Variable Annuities
    9. Charitable Gift Annuities
    10. Churning
    11. Stranger-Owned Life Insurance (SOLI)
    12. Sham Tax Forms
    13. Phony Prizes
    14. Slavery Reparations
    15. IRS Impersonators
    16. Credit-Card Protection
    17. Chain Letters
    18. Pyramid Schemes
    19. Cramming
    20. Credit Repair Services
    21. Travel Fraud
    22. Reloading
    23. Some Good Advice
    24. Identity Theft from the Dead
    25. A Few Tips
  22. 17. End-of-Life Issues
    1. Health Care Proxy
    2. Hospice Care
    3. Organ Donation
    4. Durable Power of Attorney
    5. Beneficiary Designations
    6. Monetary Needs
    7. Wills
    8. Planning Your Funeral
    9. Wills to Live By
  23. Glossary
  24. Favorite Websites
    1. www.benefitscheckup.org
    2. www.pbgc.gov
    3. www.medicare.gov
    4. www.medicare.gov/NursingHomeCompare
    5. www.hmos4seniors.com
    6. www.medicareadvocacy.org
    7. www.aarp.org
    8. www.irs.gov
    9. www.taxsites.com
    10. www.ftc.gov
    11. www.scamicide.com
    12. www.reversemortgage.org
    13. www.ssa.gov
    14. www.healthfinder.gov
    15. www.uslivingwillregistry.com
    16. www.naela.org
    17. www.equifax.com
    18. www.experian.com
    19. www.transunion.com
    20. www.treasurydirect.gov
    21. www.sec.gov
    22. personalreports.lexisnexis.com
    23. www.bankrate.com
    24. www.help4srs.org
    25. www.organdonor.gov
    26. www.hospicefoundation.org
  25. Forms
  26. State Income Tax Deductibility of Section 529 Plans
  27. Index
  28. FT Press