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Horn & Johnsen News

Horn & Johnsen SC > Horn & Johnsen News (Page 3)

Common Questions About Medicaid and Medicaid Planning

What Is Medicaid? Medicaid is a need-based medical assistance program administered by federal and state governments. It provides a wide range of medical services to the aged and disabled. You cannot exceed certain income and resource limits if you wish to qualify for Medicaid; you will probably need to “spend down” your assets until you reach required minimums before you are eligible for Medicaid. State and federal governments continue to tinker with Medicaid eligibility and spend down rules. Planning opportunities are available now (even though a spouse may already be in a nursing home) that may not be available in the future....

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Death Probate: What’s the Big Deal?

Many people often assume that, if they have a will, then there should be no need for a court proceeding upon death. After all, you spelled out all of your wishes in writing, and even signed your will at a lawyer's office with witnesses and notaries, so why would a judge get involved? In reality, if you die in Wisconsin owning assets titled solely in your name with a total value exceeding $50,000 (excluding assets with direct beneficiaries such as life insurance or retirement accounts), then these assets must go through the death probate process before they can be transferred to...

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Even Vampires Need Estate Planning

I am often asked whether an estate plan is truly necessary, especially for those who feel they are too young to be concerned about death, incapacity or taxes.  In my professional opinion, unless you can guarantee that you are not going to die or become incapacitated anytime soon, then yes, you do need an estate plan now even if you are young. In my profession, I also encounter those who wish to believe they are immortal.  This argument seems to be a common occurrence when one spouse wishes to plan and the other refuses to even discuss the matter because, well,...

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Three Common Estate Planning Mistakes Made with Real Estate

Estate planning truly is the ultimate gift for your loved ones, and a comprehensive estate plan should always include a review of the titles and beneficiary designations for all assets to ensure they are consistent with your estate planning objectives. Otherwise, unintended consequences may ensue. Real estate, in particular, can be the cause of serious family conflict when not handled properly with your estate plan. After many years of witnessing the disastrous consequences of poor estate planning, here are three common estate planning mistakes made with real estate that you should avoid within your own estate plan whenever possible: Naming Direct Beneficiaries on...

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How Can I Avoid Probate?

Estate planning truly is the ultimate gift for your loved ones, and a comprehensive estate plan should always include a review of the titles and beneficiary designations for all assets to ensure they are consistent with your estate planning objectives. Otherwise, unintended consequences may ensue. The manner in which your assets are held will determine whether or not each asset will go through probate upon your death. Any asset titled in your name alone, with no designated beneficiary, will go through probate. Further, any asset designating your estate as the named beneficiary will also go through probate. Assets titled in the following manner will not go through probate...

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