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Nolan Elder Law and Estate Planning, LLC Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Primer on Advance Medical Directives

How can I plan ahead for my medical care

A well designed estate plan can help you achieve a number of objectives, most of which are geared toward protecting your assets and providing for your loved ones after you pass away. At the same time, it is equally important to plan for the type of medical care you prefer to receive in the event of an accident or illness that renders you unable to make these decisions. In short, it is essential to plan for incapacity by creating advance medical directives, such as a durable power of attorney for healthcare and a living will.

Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare

Also referred to as a healthcare proxy, allows you to designate a trusted family member or friend to make medical care decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. This person acts as your agent and works with your doctors so that they provide the type of medical care you prefer.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

"Can I keep my mink coat and jewelry (or tools and guns) if I go to the nursing home?"

Many people worry that they will lose their possessions if they have to move to the nursing home. They fear that the nursing home will take everything, their house included! Let's set the record straight.


If you have to move to the nursing home, the nursing home is worried about one thing only. They worry about being paid on time. No nursing home that I am aware of is in the pawn-shop business or the barter business.
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Friday, December 30, 2016

Probate in Alabama Examined

How can I avoid probate in Alabama?

Probate is the court process by which the assets of a deceased loved one are managed and distributed.  Probate can be a time consuming and expensive process, especially when the deceased individual dies without a will.  Generally, probate begins with a petition or application filed in the county in which the deceased person lived. The court will appoint an executor who is charged with keeping the estate property safe during the probate process and preparing a list of all assets.  Executors will need to obtain the assistance of an experienced

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What Donald Trump’s Tax Plan May Mean for You

Will President-elect Trump’s tax plan benefit me?

Donald Trump is officially President-elect and will be sworn into office in January.  With the upcoming change of power, many individuals are wondering now how their finances may fare under a Trump presidency.  Trump and his rivals often spoke of taxes during the debates, and Trump himself became embroiled in a controversy over his tax practices.  Trump admitted on the campaign trial to taking a $916 million net operating loss that allowed him to not pay taxes for years.  Amidst talks of his own taxes, Trump has promised to cut taxes for the middle class and eliminate loopholes.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

National Estate Planning Awareness Week

Why is it so important for me to have an up-to-date estate plan?

National Estate Planning Awareness Week took place this past October 17-23, 2016.  Congress passed a resolution recognizing every third week in October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week in 2008.  It was prompted by the alarming fact that over 120 million Americans are currently without up-to-date estate plans to protect their assets and families in the event of illness or an untimely death.

Why You Need an Estate Plan

Whether you are young or old, wealthy or not, it is critical that you have a basic estate plan in place to guard your investments, home, and legacy.  The main goal of an estate plan is to minimize your tax exposure and provide financial security to your loved ones.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Things We Take for Granted....

Today in 1883 time changed forever at High Noon.

On that day, the concept of time zones was implemented. Because of the need for accurate time measurement between cities, and the fact that with railroads now crossing vast expanses of space fairly quickly, keeping accurate track of time became necessary for the first "time" in history. Up until then, each town measured their own local time usually based on "high Noon", when the sun was at it's peak. From this date in 1883 onward though, everything changed.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Did You Know....

Did you know that the National Highway Transportation Safety Commission has data that shows that many more deaths occur during the holidays than the rest of the year combined? From right before Thanksgiving until the Super Bowl, people are traveling more. People are drinking more. People are driving more. People are more distracted. All this means that you stand a statistically greater chance of injury or death if you drive during the holidays.
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Financial Advisers in Alabama Must Report Suspected Elder Financial Abuse

What constitutes financial abuse in Alabama?

Alabama is one of several states that has passed legislation requiring financial advisers to alert the state of suspected instances of financial abuse of the elderly.  Mandatory elder financial abuse reporting laws went into effect in Alabama, Indiana, and Vermont this past summer, while Louisiana’s similar law will take effect in January.  In addition to mandatory reporting in cases involving individuals over the age of 65, Alabama’s law also allows financial advisers to stop disbursement of funds from client’s accounts and provides advisers with immunity from civil liability.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Protect Your Assets: Make Your Will Bulletproof

How can I prevent challenges to my will after my death?

When you create a will setting out your final wishes, you hope that those wishes will be honored to the fullest extent.  Unfortunately, wills are sometimes challenged by dissatisfied relatives or friends. There are steps you can take to prevent any questioning of your will after your death, including the following:

  1. Incorporate a no-contest clause:  Consider including a no-contest clause in your will, which will discourage people from disputing it.  Under a no-contest clause, any beneficiary to the will who challenges it and loses will forfeit what would have been bequeathed to them.  While this will not prevent those left out of the will from challenging it, it will likely make beneficiaries reconsider taking legal action.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Medicaid Roadmap- What is it?


Someone once said that “We are all pilgrims on the same journey but some pilgrims have better road maps.”


Many adult daughters (and a few adult sons) are faced with the challenges of becoming caregivers for their mothers and fathers. About age 50 or so, they begin to realize that mom and/or dad is not as healthy as he or she once was. This raises all sorts of questions, including:


Who will take care of them as they need more care?


Can they stay at home? If so, for how long?


Where can they go if they can’t stay at home?


How much does it cost to hire caregivers to come to them?


Is that covered by insurance?


What is the difference between an independent living community, an assisted-living community, a memory-care facility and a nursing home?


Are any of those expenses covered by insurance?


Medicare- what exactly is it? Do they have it? What does it cover?


TriCare for Life- ditto


VA benefits- are they eligible? If not, can they become eligible?


How much money do mom and dad have in savings?


Do they have long-term care insurance?



Are mom and dad keeping their bills current?


Do they have basic estate planning in place and where is it?


Is it too late to see about protecting their life savings from the overwhelming costs of nursing home care?


These are common questions that the 50 year-old daughter must answer in order to be an effective caregiver. This is where a roadmap comes in handy.
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ignorance is NOT Bliss!

Whoever said that ignorance was bliss was ignorant, at least as it applies to seniors and their care.


We are entering the time of year when families spend a lot of time together, possibly more time than they have since the previous year. Adult children will be visiting with their parents and in-laws over the various holidays from now until the Super Bowl. This will give the adult children time to watch Mom and Dad closely. It will give them time to examine their living arrangements and the condition of their homes.
Read more . . .

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