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September 2015 Archives

New CMS rules may add assurances for long-term care planning

In Texas and all other states, long-term care facilities have to comply with regulations imposed by Medicare and Medicaid if the facilities want to participate in those government programs. Recently, those agencies have proposed new rules for long-term care institutions. The new rules will not have a direct impact on one's long-term care planning, but the quality and effectiveness of care in those facilities will be substantially improved by the changes.

Estate administration can be hard work for the executor

When a loved one dies, certain procedures to settle his or her testamentary wishes must be started relatively soon after death. In Texas and elsewhere, when a loved one dies leaving assets, the first thing that the family must do is to locate the most recent will -- if, in fact, one exists. If the decedent regularly consulted with an  estate planning attorney, the process will probably flow more smoothly because counsel will likely have a record of all pertinent documents. Assuming there is a will, the original will must be filed in the appropriate office in the county courthouse. This will begin the estate administration process, also referred to as probate.

Careful estate planning will preserve life insurance benefits

Life insurance often plays a major role in estate planning, both in Texas and nationwide. The insured individual should maximize the estate planning value of his or her life insurance by making sure that all considerations are covered and effectively applied. One goal of this process is to free the insurance proceeds as much as possible from the grasp of the IRS and to put those proceeds into the hands of one's beneficiaries.