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Guide to Elder Planning, A: Everything You Need to Know to Protect Your Loved Ones and Yourself, 2nd Edition

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Guide to Elder Planning, A: Everything You Need to Know to Protect Your Loved Ones and Yourself, 2nd Edition


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Thorough, friendly, and easy to read, the new edition of this popular guide covers all the challenges faced by seniors and their families.

  • Completely updated with clear, simple explanations of the new realities of Medicare, Social Security, and long-term care
  • How to avoid scams targeting the elderly and protect your family legally and financially
  • Insights and solutions for estate planning, investment planning, housing, substitute decision making, income tax planning, age discrimination, end of life issues, and more


  • Copyright 2013
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-309192-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-309192-2

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!

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

A Guide to Elder Planning: Asset Protection

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Asset Protection     1
Insurance     2
Homeowner’s Insurance     2
Prenuptial Agreements     7
Bank Accounts     10
Trusts     11
Homestead Protection     13
Fraudulent Conveyances     14
Assets Protected by Law     15
Joint Ownership     15
Tenancy by the Entirety     16
Family Limited Partnerships     17
Endnotes     18
Chapter 2 Senior Citizens and Credit     19
Equal Credit Opportunity Act     19
Credit Reports     20
Credit Cards     25
Chapter 3 Substitute Decision Making     27
Power of Attorney     27
Durable Power of Attorney     28
You and Will Robinson     31
IRS Dangers     34
Health Care Proxy     35
Free Advice (And Worth Every Penny)     39
Chapter 4 Estate Planning     41
Wills     41
Living Trusts     45
Incentive Trusts     49
Estate Taxes     50
State Estate Taxes     54
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts     54
Charitable Remainder Trust     56
Defective Trusts     57
Section 529 Plans     58
Planning for Your Pets     60
Digital Estate Planning     61
POD Accounts     61
Second Marriages     62
Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples     63
Now That You Have a Plan     64
Chapter 5 Investments     66
Mutual Funds     66
DRIPs     74
Certificates of Deposit     74
Treasuries     75
Annuities     78
Your Stock Portfolio     79
A Few Words on Gold     87
Final Thoughts     87
Endnotes     88
Chapter 6 Income Taxes     89
Marital Status     89
Parents and Children     94
Domestic Partners     96
The Over-65 Crowd     97
Untaxed Income     98
Tax Credits     99
Social Security Taxes     100
Tax Deductions     102
Tax Relief as Big as a House     108
I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends     110
Now That You Have Prepared Your Taxes, What Documents Do You Keep?     111
Final Words from Deep in the Heart of Taxes     111
Endnote     112
Chapter 7 Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k)s     113
Traditional IRA     114
Roth IRA     116
Decisions, Decisions     117
The Different Path     118
401(k)     120
Roth 401(k)     122
Bad News/Good News     123
Choices     124
Devil in the Details     124
How to Exorcise the Devil     124
Beneficiary Designation     125
Conversion to a Roth IRA     127
When Does It Make Sense to Convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA?     129
Distribution     130
Withdrawal Pains     131
Survivors     134
Chapter 8 Planning for the Home     138
Reverse Mortgages     139
Keep It in the Family     141
Uncle Sam Likes Reverse Mortgages     141
Using Reverse Mortgages to Pay for Long-Term Care Insurance     142
Creative Uses of Reverse Mortgages     143
Counseling     146
Bells and Whistles     147
Shared Equity and Appreciation Fees     148
Reverse Mortgage Fees     150
For Whom the Reverse Mortgage Tolls     151
The Bottom Line     152
Mortgage Prepayment     152
Private Mortgage Insurance     153
Refinancing     154
Life Estates     155
Sell the Home to the Children     156
Chapter 9 Alternative Housing     157
Retirement Communities     158
Important Considerations in Evaluating a Continuing Care Retirement Community     162
Assisted Living     165
Legalities     165
What’s in a Name?     166
Accreditation     167
Important Considerations in Evaluating an Assisted-Living Facility     168
A Word of Warning     170
Location, Location, Location     170
Check It Out     171
Security     171
Hospitals     171
The Smell Test     172
Smoking     172
Pet Policy     172
Transportation     172
Do You Get Fries with That?     173
What Would Tim Russert Ask?     173
The Fine Print     174
How Do You Pay?     174
Checklist of Important Issues in Considering an Assisted-Living Facility or Continuing Care Retirement Community     175
The Final Words     177
Endnote     177
Chapter 10 Long-Term Care     178
History     178
Cost of Long-Term Care     181
Future Cost of Long-Term Care     181
Financing Long-Term Care     181
Finding the Money     185
Another Thing to Think About     185
Swap     186
Other Considerations     186
Creative Solutions     197
Who Is in Jeopardy of a Premium Increase?     197
Good News     198
It Pays to Be Married     198
Group Policies     199
Deferred Annuities     199
Disability Insurance     200
Surf and Turf     200
Make the Kids Pay     201
Endnote     201
Chapter 11 Social Security     202
History     202
Eligibility and Benefit Calculations     203
Look for Your Annual Statement     204
Full Retirement Age     205
Early or Late Retirement     206
Show Me the Money     207
A Bird in the Hand     208
Over-Under     209
Take the Money and Run     209
A Work in Progress     210
Getting a Larger Check Later     210
Spousal Benefits     211
Income Taxes     211
Another Reason to Delay Taking Benefits     212
COLAs     213
Social Security Retirement Strategies     213
Survivor’s Benefits     214
Notch Babies     216
Social Security Disability Income     216
Getting a Copy of Your Record     218
Overpayments     219
Medicare and Your Application for Social Security Benefits     219
Endnote     219
Chapter 12 Medicare     220
The Medicare Alphabet     220
Managed Care     228
The Fly in the Ointment     230
Where Do You Get Your Plan?     231
When Can You Join or Switch a Plan     231
What Does It Cost?     231
The Math     232
Who Is Keeping Score?     232
Sticky Little Detail     233
Don’t Cry for Me Argentina: Tiered Drugs     233
Exceptions Process     234
Penalty     234
Tricare     235
Things to Consider When Choosing a Drug Plan     235
Don’t Give Up the SHIP     236
Medicare Home Healthcare     236
Home Healthcare Services Provided     237
Post-Hospital Home Healthcare     238
Hospice Care     238
Premiums     239
Enrollment     240
Medicare D     241
Medigap Insurance     241
Traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage?     242
Appeals     244
Endnote     245
Chapter 13 Medicaid     246
Medicaid 101     248
Asset Eligibility     248
Life Insurance     250
Retirement Planning     251
Exceptions to Transfer Penalties     253
Home Improvement     254
Consideration of Income     254
Protection from Spousal Impoverishment     254
How Much Do You Pay?     256
Increasing the Allowance for At-Home Spouses     256
Medicaid Planning     257
Just Say No     259
Estate Planning for the Community Spouse     260
Estate and Financial Planning for the Spouse in the Nursing Home     260
Tactics for Reducing Assets Without a Medicaid Penalty     261
Trusts     265
Protecting the Home     266
Tips for the Home     269
Tactics for Increasing Assets to Achieve a Greater Spousal Resource Allowance     270
Annuities     271
Promissory Notes     273
Do Nothing Strategy     274
As if You Don’t Have Enough to Worry About     274
Partnership for Long-Term Care     275
Estate Recovery     276
Exceptions     277
The Latest Information     279
Chapter 14 Veterans’ Benefits     280
Veterans Eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) Pension Benefits     281
Spouses and Family Members Eligible for VA Benefits     282
Basic Requirements for Veterans’ Benefits     283
Pension Benefits for War Veterans and Their Families     284
Chapter 15 Being Patient     288
Privacy and Medical Records     289
Access to Medical Records—By You and Others     290
Chapter 16 Scams     291
Identity Theft     292
Affinity Fraud     293
The Grandparent Scam     294
Social Security Scams     294
Medicare Scams     297
Charity Scams     298
Investment Frauds     299
Variable Annuities     299
Charitable Gift Annuities     300
Churning     300
Stranger-Owned Life Insurance (SOLI)     301
Sham Tax Forms     302
Phony Prizes     303
Slavery Reparations     303
IRS Impersonators     304
Credit-Card Protection     304
Chain Letters     305
Pyramid Schemes     306
Cramming     306
Credit Repair Services     308
Travel Fraud     309
Reloading     309
Some Good Advice     310
Identity Theft from the Dead     311
A Few Tips     311
Chapter 17 End-of-Life Issues     313
Health Care Proxy     313
Hospice Care     314
Organ Donation     314
Durable Power of Attorney     314
Beneficiary Designations     315
Monetary Needs     315
Wills     316
Planning Your Funeral     316
Wills to Live By     317
Glossary     318
Favorite Websites     331
Forms     338
State Income Tax Deductibility of Section 529 Plans     342
Index     344


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