IMPORTANT: Please read if you are an older Veteran, spouse of a Vet, or know a Vet!

IMPORTANT: Please read if you are an older Veteran, spouse of a Vet, or know a Vet!

🚨🚨🚨 URGENT!!🚨🚨🚨

The Veteran’s Administration has announced a policy change that will soon affect all older veterans and their spouses!  Please read on…

On October 18, 2018, the VA is instituting rule changes that will make it more difficult for vets to qualify for existing benefits and protect their assets.

Vets and their spouses who are 65 or older, served during a period of war, have trouble performing tasks of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.), and meet certain financial requirements are eligible to receive up to $26,036 annually in non-service connected benefits through the VA to help pay for long-term care, including home health care and nursing home care.

To qualify, most veterans and their spouses will need to work together with their estate planning attorney to create and implement a plan. Proper planning allows the veteran to meet the VA’s income and asset thresholds, without actually forfeiting their assets or being forced to spend down their savings before they could be eligible for benefits.

Currently, this type of planning can be done right up to the day the application is submittedwith the VA’s blessing… because they do not have a formal “look-back period” for asset transfers on the books.  But…

🚨🚨🚨 THIS IS CHANGING AS OF OCTOBER 18TH! 🚨🚨🚨

Starting on October 18, 2018, the Veteran’s Administration will begin imposing a three (3) year look-back period on all asset transfersEach transfer or gift will cause a penalty period that could last up to five years before you are able to access your benefits.  Other significant changes to the rules are also going into effect.

If you don’t have time to wait for benefits or your family could utilize up to $26,036 tax-free to help pay for your care today or in the future, the time to act is NOW.

Here is what you must do immediately:

  1. If you’ve already done your homework on collecting Aid & Attendance benefits but you’ve yet to move forward with your planning, it’s time to take the final step. Call us and we’ll get you into the office ASAP. You must get your planning done before October 18th to take advantage of opportunities while they still exist before the new rules go into effect.
  2. If you are an older wartime veteran or spouse and this is the first time you are hearing about Aid and Attendance benefits, please call our Marietta Veteran Pension Attorney office at 770-425-6060 RIGHT AWAYWe are clearing out spaces on our calendar so we can bring in vets and their spouses for an educational planning session where we’ll teach you all about this benefit, crunch the numbers to determine how you can qualify, and create a plan to help you get your application in before the October 18th
  3. If you think you might need care in the future, the time to plan is still RIGHT NOW. You can work to appropriately arrange your finances today so that when you apply for benefits down the road, you can qualify without a penalty.

If you are a wartime vet or spouse (or you care about someone who is), there’s no time to delay.  We invite you to come into the office to get your questions answered, and we’ll work diligently to complete any planning that you may need before the October 18th deadline.

Again, just call our Marietta Veteran Benefits Attorney office at 770-425-6060 to schedule your appointment.

Best regards,

 

Stephen M. Worrall
Georgia Estate Plan: Worrall Law LLC
3750 Palladian Village Drive
Suite 500
Marietta GA 30066
T: 770.425.6060
F: 770.424.5956
steve @ georgiaestateplan.com
GeorgiaEstatePlan.com

P.S. I don’t usually say this—but, please SHARE OR COPY AND FORWARD this message to every veteran who you know and care about. Helping a Vet access the Aid & Attendance benefits they are rightfully entitled to for serving during a period of war can mean the difference between aging with dignity or becoming impoverished by the costs of long-term care.   This is information that every older vet should know about!

 

Aretha Franklin Died Without a Will or Trust | Marietta GA Estate Planning

Aretha Franklin Died Without a Will or Trust | Marietta GA Estate Planning

As a Marietta GA estate planning lawyer, I always end up scratching my head when I hear that another ultra-wealthy celebrity has died without an estate plan in place. Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” recently died of advanced pancreatic cancer without a will or trust. This means that her $80 million-dollar estate will have to go through a lengthy probate process—which could take years and cost her estate thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It especially strange that she didn’t plan since she had been ill for a number of years.  Franklin’s attorney, Don Wilson, lamented that he’d been after her to create a will and trust for quite some time before her death.  For whatever reason, she never did.

Since Franklin died intestate (meaning, she had no will or trust) her four sons and their families will have to wait a long time to receive their inheritance while the matter goes through the normal probate process. It is also possible that her estate will be contested.  Franklin’s attorney is worried about this possibility, noting that “every time [a celebrity] doesn’t leave a trust or will, there always ends up being a fight.”

Worse, her son with special needs will eventually receive his portion of Franklin’s inheritance outright when the probate process is complete. This will immediately disqualify him from receiving Medicaid benefits, which are often the only medical benefits available to individuals with disabilities. Nor will there be someone legally in charge, like a Trustee or Conservator, to help her son manage his money. His loved ones will have to go through another lengthy court process for the right to be in control.

I don’t know anything about the relationship between Franklin and her family, but all indications are that she loved her children and her grandchildren.  It’s hard to believe that she wouldn’t have wanted her accumulated wealth to go smoothly and directly to her loved ones. But as things stand, there will likely be people stepping up to contest the will which will drag out the probate proceedings and rack up legal fees that will greatly reduce the $80-million-dollar inheritance she is leaving behind.

There is a lesson here for all of us. Even though most of us will never leave behind an $80-million-dollar estate, our families will still have to deal with the same expenses and delays related to probate if we die without a plan.  You can make your loved one’s lives a whole lot easier simply by creating a will or trust.  If you need to put a plan in place for your family, call our office at 770-425-6060 and ask to schedule a consultation.

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