April review

April Review: Surveys Show We Could Plan Better

That’s May just around the corner, which means it’s when we like to survey elder law news and commentary and share interesting developments. For the April review, we learn (again) that a lot of people don’t have estate plans, that a lot of people want to “age in place,” and that the George Harrison estate supports supports marijuana consumption:

April Review: We’re Underplanned

A new survey shows many Americans don’t have an estate plan (only 33% say they do). The Covid-19 pandemic has made a difference; people who had severe cases are 66% more likely to have engaged in planning, but only 48% of those actually have done the work to put a in place. Covid seems to be a big motivator for young adults; 50% more have estate plans now than before the pandemic. The biggest obstacles to planning? 40% say they just haven’t gotten around to it. A third don’t believe they have sufficient assets to have a plan (they’re wrong). And 13% think it’s too expensive.

In other estate planning news:

  • Sometimes, a will or typical revocable trust is not enough. Like, if you have an estate that is likely to be subject to estate tax and you want to avoid that. Here are some strategies. If you are married, “portability” can help minimize estate tax, too.
  • Most of us now have digital lives, and it’s important to plan for those accounts, too.
  • What’s a pour-over will and do you need one? (If you have a trust, the answer is yes.)
  • Here’s an important warning about banks and your financial power of attorney. Make sure your bank accepts the document before it’s too late.
  • Late last month, the Biden administration released the “Greenbook” for budget and tax proposals. Here are six highlights and commentary. 

We’re Also Underprepared

In another survey we found during our April review, the vast majority of people (88%) over 50 say they want to “age in place” and live at home as long as possible. But only 15% said they have given a lot of consideration to modifications their home may need to make that happen. More (38%) have given some consideration, but almost half (47%) have given it little or no consideration. Yet half of older adults (49%) in the survey said they had  at least one “smart home” device (i.e., technology that uses Wi-Fi and sensors to allow for communication between devices, remote monitoring, or voice control) to assist them. And many are looking to such technology to make aging in place easier. This article highlights the best ‘smart’ gadgets that can help. However, technology might not be enough to overcome the challenge of having enough in-home health workers.

Meanwhile, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare has launched a space to help us navigate aging and services.  “Aging, Health, and Care: What You Need to Know” is a place to find “consumer-friendly information and articles” on topics like Medicare and long-term care.

April Review: Celebrity Estates

For superstars like Bob Dylan, it makes estate planning sense to sell music catalogs before knocking on heaven’s door. This article explains why. 

The Ray Charles estate is issuing two releases.

Long lost, recently found recordings are at the center of a dispute between the sons of singer George Jones and some shady characters from his past.

The Chuck Yeager estate tried to sue Airbus for violating the famous pilot’s right of publicity, but the  9th Circuit Court of Appeals grounded the lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds.

The George Harrison estate has signed on with the cannabis company Dad Grass for products branded All Things Must Grass, a play on words with Harrison’s 1970 album All Things Must Pass. And for Harrison’s music, the estate reached a global publishing deal with BMG music.

Floridian David Baldwin isn’t a celebrity, but he should be. His bequests of more than $63 million are making a big difference for Tampa Bay area charities.

That’s it for the April review. If you missed March’s post, here’s a recap.

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