Medicaid Planning

Feeling Squeezed? You Might be in the “Sandwich” Generation

The term “sandwich generation” was added to Meriam Webster’s dictionary in 2006.

If you’re feeling pressure on two generational sides—caring for aging parents and taking care of children—you’re a member of the Sandwich Generation.

Bigstock-Extended-Family-Outside-Modern-13915094The term “sandwich generation” was added to Meriam Webster’s dictionary in 2006. However, twelve years later, the number of people it describes seems to be on the rise. Sandwich Generation members are raising their children and are responsible for their parents or taking responsibility for their grandchildren and grandparents. Whichever sandwich you’re in, it’s not an easy place to be. Even if your parents or grandparents are financially fine, your time for yourself, your career and your kids is squeezed.

ThePress-Enterprise’s article, “3 tips for anyone in the sandwich generation,”offers the following tips tomake the “sandwiching” easier on you and your family:

  1. Talk About Money Issues. Discuss finances with your children and parents. Perhaps you could go with them to meet with their estate planning attorney. He or she can make sure your parents have all the proper estate planning documents, such as a will, trust, living wills and powers of attorney.

This legal professional will create a plan to lessen or avoid estate taxes and work to ensure that your life's savings and assets are protected from your beneficiaries' creditors after your death, and that your legacy is assured.

Estate planning attorneys are accustomed to working with families and navigating the issues between adult children and their aging parents. There is little chance that yours is a unique situation.  It does not mean it is easy, but a skilled attorney will be able to help you and your family deal with whatever situation you face, with dignity and compassion.

  1. Get (More) Help. You may get support or assistance to help your parents, your kids, or even yourself. Odds are good that your parents will be reluctant to accept help, so start the process yourself. This could involve hiring a housekeeper for yourself to free up some of your time for things that are more important.

 This will give you more time, and your parents won’t feel you are using your finances to assist them. If you have friends and relatives that offer help, take them up on it. Don’t try to do everything yourself.

If your children are old enough, you can also get them involved. Children are surprisingly capable, and sometimes grandparents are more comfortable having grandchildren help with minor chores around the house, where their children’s own actions may seem intrusive.

3.Get Rid of the Guilt. Even a dedicated husband and wife team can’t cover everything. Do the best you can and remember that you do have to set some time and energy aside for yourself.

Reference: (Riverside CA) Press-Enterprise(June 28, 2018)“3 tips for anyone in the sandwich generation”

Everyone Needs to Have an Estate Plan—Here’s Why

You need an estate plan, whether you are rich or poor or somewhere in the middle.

You need an estate plan, whether you are rich or poor or somewhere in the middle. Without one, decisions will be made for your family that you may not have wanted.

Th (2)More than half of all Americans do not have a will, reports Wealth Advisorin the recent article, “The 3 Reasons Why People Do Estate Planning.”Maybe that would change, if people were better able to remove the worry and emotion and address estate planning as the necessary legal preparation to manage or distribute your assets during your life if you should become incapacitated and after your death. Minimizing gift, estate and income taxes are another reason to have an estate plan.

It’s really important to have a will, even if your total assets are minimal. While you can find a will online, you’re much safer visiting with a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney to develop a customized plan that works for you. An estate planning attorney has the in-depth knowledge and skills to make suggestions that will help determine your future asset allocations.

When considering a legacy and to whom and what to leave behind, there are three reasons why people do estate planning: probate fees and tax reduction, asset protection and control and management.

Probate Fee and Tax Reduction.When a person has more than a certain level of assets, they may have to pay state and federal estate taxes, depending upon the value of the accounts and based on where they live (some states have estate taxes, while others don’t). An experienced estate planning attorney can help explain the laws and help you to make wise decisions as to whom, where and when to designate your assets. Working with a legal professional who’s well-versed in estate planning will help you to reduce probate fees and inheritance taxes.

Asset Protection.It’s critical to protect your assets, like safeguarding your assets from spend-down (the process of reducing assets to qualify for Medicaid) in a nursing home situation. That’s a great reason to be proactive and develop an estate plan.

Control and Management.This is a big reason why many families engage in estate planning. Properly done, it eliminates worries and ensures that your final wishes regarding asset distribution are carried out.

Is there another reason to have a will? It will cost more to settle the estate and take longer, if no will is in place. Think of your estate plan as a gift you leave your family to let them know you wanted them to be taken care of after you are gone.

Reference: Wealth Advisor (May 29, 2018) “The 3 Reasons Why People Do Estate Planning”

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