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Peoria Estate Planning. Probate And Elder Law Blog

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.

Nursing home pointers: What to look for in finding the right one

Many adult children and their parents avoid discussing when it may be time for the parents to move to a nursing home. Their house had been home for decades, and it may be hard to let go of the memories inside. But things have changed. Your parents are older and not as mobile.

You fear that they may lose their balance and fall down the stairs inside the family home, which is too big for them now. On top of that, their health may have deteriorated, and your parents may need someone to check on them now and again.

Making sense of the possible Medicaid work requirement

Medicaid has different rules from state to state. The eligibility requirements for Illinois residents may be different from those in New York or California. Each state can adopt laws to customize the Medicaid program to suit the needs of their people.

President Trump's administration recently granted states a controversial new opportunity to change their Medicaid programs: a work requirement. This permits states to deny enrollment to "able-bodied" adults without a job (or equivalent). Officials contend that although this program originally protected disabled and elderly citizens, other adults increasingly rely on Medicaid. This is a major adjustment to the program's foundation and some older adults may worry about how this will change their situation.

Don't delay filing for Social Security Disability benefits

Sometimes people are just too ill - physically or mentally - to work.

Serious ailments and unexpected medical hardships that may make it impossible for you to work may include multiple sclerosis, chronic asthma, arthritis, back pain, heart failure, chronic immune diseases, and mental health illnesses.

Why should I start estate planning in my 40s?

As life expectancy increases and 40 becomes the new 30, many of us don't expect to need to think about the future just yet. We may even expect that we won't be retiring until we're in our 70s. So why in our 40s do we need to think about an estate plan?

The unfortunate truth is that tragedy can strike at any time. If you have any assets you want protected or dependents you want to be taken care of should you become incapacitated or pass away, the time to start planning is now.