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Peoria Estate Planning. Probate And Elder Law Blog

Pet trusts provide animal owners a peace of mind

Setting up an estate plan for when you die can be extremely beneficial to the surviving members of your family. However, there might be an important family member you are forgetting. Animal owners often fail to consider, what happens to Fido when something happens to them?

Luckily for pet owners, pet trusts provide a legal plan for furry family members after their owners pass away. Like a traditional trust, a pet trust is a legal document that names your animal as a beneficiary to your estate. You will also need to name a trustee who will manage the money in the trust for the animal.

Should you set up a trust for your family?

Making sure your family is taken care of even after you no longer can might be one of your top priorities. You've already begun estate planning and it is well thought out, but have you considered creating a trust yet? Some people think trusts are only for the ultra-wealthy, but this is not true. Creating a trust can be beneficial for families at any level of wealth.

Benefits of a trust

Qualifying and applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

When you suffer from a disability, working may prove a significant challenge. Establishing a sufficient income when you cannot walk, see or even speak may not be a possibility for you. Luckily, multiple government programs have the authority to help you by providing benefits that offer income, so that you can accurately care for yourself and your family.

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program helps millions of elderly adults across the United States gain access to income due to their inability to work because of a disability. It is extremely important for you to take advantage of the program if you qualify, so that you can receive accurate benefits. The application process simply determines your eligibility and puts you in contact with a representative to begin receiving compensation. You are not alone if you suffer from a disability and have limited access to income.

What you should know about elder financial scams

You care about your parents but sometimes you might worry about them. Unfortunately, there are some people in the world who might want to take advantage of your parents in their old age.

Financial scams and exploitation are one way your parents might be in danger. Many scams and con jobs are centered on elderly people. In fact, it was reported that one in 20 older adults were the victim of some sort of financial mistreatment in their recent past. Further, only one in 44 financial abuse cases on elderly people is even reported, so these statistics may be even higher.

Is it time to downsize?

As you grow older, having a large house may become more of a hassle than a benefit. When you were younger, having a big house was great as you raised your kids. But now, it might be too much. Owning a home might not be as enjoyable as it once was.

If you feel this way, downsizing might be an option for you. But how do you know if downsizing is a good option for your family?

Ailments that qualify for SSDI benefits

The pain is close to unbearable. Your back continues to ache even after three surgeries. You’ve had one knee replaced and the other will likely get the same treatment soon. And both hips have been replaced. The result: You are unable to work.

Such ailments that have accrued over time as well as unexpected medical hardships may qualify you for Social Security disability benefits. After all, you’ve been working for more than 25 years, and that means you’ve made more than 25 years of payments into the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system from your paycheck. If it’s time to seek benefits due to ill health, you should do so.

The importance of retirement planning

Retirement isn’t what it used to be. With longer life expectancies, energy-filled senior citizens along with important medical advances, people today must take different approaches to retirement planning. And, of course, they will need enough money to last until they die.

In retirement, you know that your everyday living expenses may be covered, and, perhaps, the chance for some domestic and foreign travel. But living longer brings new costs and concerns.

Talking to aging parents about housing options

You and your siblings have dreaded this conversation for months, but now it's time to approach what may be a difficult and perhaps unpleasant discussion with your aging parents. You have concerns about their ability to take care of themselves and live independently. Some changes are in order.

This discussion is expected to touch on a number of things. Is it time for them to stop driving? Should you or a sibling move into their home to take care of them? Is it the right time to hire an in-home care specialist? Should they move into an assisted care facility or nursing home?

When you need to update your will

You finally did it after years of procrastinating and months of nagging from your spouse. You’ve created a will and now your estate plan is good to go … or so you think. Creating a will is a great start to your estate planning. Even people in their 20s should consider getting one.

But you’re not finished. Why? Because life happens. And when things change, your will should change, too. A will is a legal document that provides details and directives as to how you want your assets and property divided among your heirs after you have died.