September Round Up: Estate Plan Tips, Nursing Home Report

At the end of each month, we take a moment to survey interesting developments in elder law. Here’s a  September round up of randomness:

Estate Planning Tidbits

There are apparently eight important components to a thorough estate plan. Funeral insurance isn’t one of them, but maybe it should be.

If you get married a second (or third) time, be sure to avoid these four pitfalls in your estate plan. And, further, be sure to consider how the new SECURE act affects planning for spouses.

Speaking of SECURE, the “stretch” IRA may be mostly gone, but you have other options, one of which is a Roth conversion.

What happens to a bank account when someone dies? It depends.

C/net has reviewed the best online will-makers of the year, but, we agree with this commentator, don’t do it: None can substitute for legal advice.

One thing to decide in every plan: Who will be the trustee (or executor). Consider carefully. Here are some questions to guide you.

Many believe they should leave everything to children. That’s one of five estate planning myths that should be dispelled.

If not the kids, then maybe at least something to charity? Don’t do it like this Ohioan whose Will was so vague, his executors ended up in court trying to figure out what he wanted.

Inherited a retirement account in 2019? Sept. 30 is the deadline to determine the beneficiaries. They should be humans.

Action Amidst a Pandemic

The Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes delivered a 186-page report, and it recommends 27 actions to help protect residents and staff. Allowing visitation is one of them. That may be part of why states including Arizona have begun opening care facilities to visitors. But the pandemic still could be an opportunity to re-think the whole system.

One technique overwhelmed facilities have used is known as “dumping,” and Covid-19 may be making it worse.

For some of us, the pandemic has created family togetherness. Use it to talk about money.

The Changing Tax Landscape

As political winds rage, here’s a laundry list of options that can help keep your trust flexible.

And, once again, we are warned to take advantage of the sky-high estate tax exemptions that exist now. They might not last.

Twelve states still have an estate tax, and six have an inheritance tax. Know which ones they are? Now you do.

Dead Celebrity September Round Up

The son of Evel Knievol is suing Disney over the depiction of a motorcycle-riding daredevil in Toy Story 4 and associated marketing exploits. The lawsuit claims trademark infringement.

Don’t miss this great read about Dorothy Parker’s ashes and how this past August they finally ended up in a Bronx cemetery.


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