The Effects of Not Having a Will

When a person dies without having made a Last Will and Testament, and they have property titled in their name alone, whether it is a boat, house, bank account or a motorcycle, there is a good likelihood that they have made life more difficult and more expensive for their surviving spouse or children.

By not leaving a Will, the deceased has not had the opportunity to name an Executor; therefore, the survivors must apply to the Court for the right to probate their estate. The process of transferring assets of a decedent to those people who rightfully should receive the assets is what is referred to as probate. Without a Will, the survivors must apply to the Court for the right to be named Administrator. Then, they are required to post a bond and obtain permission of the Court to transfer the assets. Without a Will appointing an Executor and waiving bond, the survivors of the decedent will be required to post a bond, which is generally twice the amount of the personal property value. This value is usually somewhere between $50.00 and $500.00 per year for the minimum bond requirement.

Also, without a Will, real estate title vests in a decedent’s loved ones. If there are minor children, they each will have rights in the real estate that is left behind. However, in order to sell that property, the Administrator must apply to Probate Court for permission to sell, with notice to all interested parties. If the Administrator sells any of the real estate, then the money received from the sale increases the amount of personal property and the bond must be increased. This can be a stressful and frustrating situation but can easily be avoided by simply preparing a Will naming an Executor, granting certain powers, and directing that no bond is required.

Without a Will, there is sometimes a lengthy period where nobody is in charge or has authority over a loved one’s assets who has passed. During this time, assets can often disappear, and the disappearance can be the cause of family strife and costly litigation.

In many cases, attorneys can help prepare the simplest will to avoid the problems stated above or can help craft an estate plan designed to control assets from beyond the grave, or in larger estates, design a plan to take advantage of any tax saving opportunities.

 

The above article was written by John W. Hoppers, Esq. of Strip Hoppers Leithart McGrath & Terlecky


New Year, New You – 2020 Resolutions for Seniors

The New Year has officially kicked off and for many, this is a time to set new goals and to plan for the year ahead. Health is typically one of the main areas people focus on once January rolls around, and while it may be a more obvious goal in the younger generations, it is just as important for our seniors as well.

If you are planning to focus on your health in 2020, set goals that will benefit both your physical and mental health. Typically, there are small changes and adjustments that can be made to your regular routine that will have a lasting, positive impact overall. Click the link above for some New Year’s Resolutions that will help you start 2020 in the right direction.


A Neglected Part of Retirement Planning

The term “retirement planning” is frequently used in the financial industry and in the media. But what does it really mean? For some, retirement planning includes strategies for saving and investing to prepare for a future retirement. For others, it may focus more on various methods for tax efficiency and generating income during the retirement years. Of course, to others it may have less to do about money and more about the psychology of transitioning into retirement. Clearly, “retirement planning” is a broad topic. Click the link above to learn more about how to plan for retirement and the many items that should be considered.


Tip #21 of 50 – Holiday Memories and Traditions

As The Wesley Communities celebrate 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip #21 of 50 – Holiday Memories and Traditions

I have some very powerful memories of the holidays as a child, and I bet you do, too. Click the link above to learn more about Peg’s holiday traditions and why, at The Wesley Communities, you don’t have to give up yours.


Caregiving Tips for the Holidays

Help a Caregiver You Know

  • Offer to help clean and cook, wrap presents, go shopping, or pick up the kids.
  • If your family is caregiving, suggest a potluck holiday meal or secret Santa gift exchange to save time and money.
  • The best gift you could give a caregiver is help. Give them the day off!
  • Remember to say “thank you” to a caregiver and let them know they are appreciated.
  • If a member of your family is caregiving for a relative this holiday season, send a thank you gift.

Take Care of Yourself When Caregiving

  • Make sure you don’t over-extend yourself. Ask for help from family and friends.
  • Get lots of sleep, eat well and take time for yourself.
  • Give yourself the gift of relaxation. Treat yourself to something nice, a little quiet time, etc.

Address Family Problems

  • Use family gatherings to assess how your parents really are. Are they healthy? Safe?
  • Keep an eye out for depression during the holidays, both seasonal and clinical.
  • Talk with them! End a family feud. Forgive and forget for the sake of the family and the future.
  • Family gatherings are good times to have crucial conversations with your family about your parents.
  • Do they have a will? A long-term care plan? Do you know who their doctors are or what medications they’re taking?
  • Photograph and interview older family members during the holidays so you have those memories forever.
  • Acknowledge past losses. Honor those who are gone by telling stories, continuing traditions, etc.

 

 

The above article was written and published by Barbara McVicker of barbaramcvicker.com


3 Reasons Seniors Delay a CCRC Move & Why They Should Reconsider

According to AARP’s most recent survey of adults age 50 and over, 76 percent of seniors want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. I’ve seen other surveys that put that figure at upwards of 90 percent. Whichever source you consider, the consensus seems to be that a large majority of retirees would prefer to stay in their current home rather than move to a retirement community such as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC or life plan community).

But why?

AARP research identified the most common reasons that people give for not wanting to move to a CCRC or other senior living community. They included: the physical stress in moving, fear of losing independence, anxiety over leaving a community, emotional attachment to a family home, and fear of the unknown. Click the link above to learn more about why seniors delay moving to a CCRC and why they should reconsider.


Tip #20 of 50 – Loneliness in Seniors, an Enormous Problem

As The Wesley Communities celebrate 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip #20 of 50 – A problem no one wants to talk about: Loneliness can be an enormous problem for seniors still living in their homes

In the hierarchy of human needs, food, shelter, and safety are at the top of the list. And oftentimes, seniors living alone can meet these basic needs fairly well, especially with services provided in the home, and necessities more readily available through things like Uber and personal shoppers. But once you step beyond these basic human requirements to sustain life, social interaction and connection are of the utmost importance, and oftentimes, can be missing elements for seniors living alone. Click the link above to learn more.


November is National Family Caregiver Month

Recognized by President Clinton when he signed the first proclamation in 1997, National Family Caregiver’s Month has been proclaimed by an American President annually ever since. Many states and dozens of local municipalities have also proclaimed November, NFC Month.

Day in and day out, more than 75 million family caregivers in this country fulfill a vital role in caring for elderly, aging parents. Click the link above to learn more about the role that caregivers play and why this month especially, we should join together to celebrate and recognize them.


The Unexpected Costs of Caring for an Aging Parent

According to data collected by the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are over 66 million family caregivers in the United States. That translates to nearly 40 percent of the U.S. adult population…a stunning statistic. This number includes people who are caring for the sick or disabled, but the majority of these caregivers are assisting an elderly family member.

Other than a spouse, the most common people to be tasked with caring for an elderly loved one are adult children. In fact, a study conducted by MetLife showed that 10 million adult children over age 50 were acting as a caregiver for their aging parent(s), a number that equals approximately a quarter of all Baby Boomers. Click the link above to learn more about the realities of caregiving for an aging parent and the unexpected costs that come with it.


Tip #19 of 50 – What About the Dog?

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip # 19 of 50 –  What about my pet?

If you are a senior living on your own, or if you are the adult child of a senior living on their own, and moving to a retirement community is under consideration one very important question may be: but what about the dog? Or, what about the cat? Oftentimes, this beloved pet has been part of the family for many years, and seems like a real obstacle when it comes to making a move.

The good news is this: many retirement communities not only allow pets, they encourage them! Click the link above to learn more about why a pet needn’t be an obstacle when considering a retirement community.