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Make Sure Your Estate Plan and Other Essential Documents Are Safe from Disasters

Lavelle & Finn


It’s an unfortunate reality that with the increasing number of natural disasters across the country, including fires, floods, and hurricanes, the chance that you could lose your house and possessions has become more likely. In the event of such a calamity, it is important that your estate planning and other important documents are beyond reach […]

Do You Need a Lawyer to Write a Will?

Lavelle & Finn


While you aren’t technically required to hire a lawyer to draft a will, failing to do so can lead to costly problems for your family and other heirs. A will is a legal document that directs who will receive your property when you die. The legal requirements are pretty simple. In order for your will […]

Passing on Assets Outside of Probate: PODs and TODs

Lavelle & Finn


For a variety of reasons, people sometimes want some or all of their assets to pass directly to specific individuals upon their deaths, outside of probate. One way to accomplish this is to set up a “payable on death” (POD) account for money in a bank account or a “transfer on death” (TOD) account if funds […]

How to Use Intrafamily Loans as Part of Your Estate Plan

Lavelle & Finn


When interest rates are low, intrafamily loans can be a good way to assist a relative (typically a child) with purchasing a house or a family business, and in certain circumstances they can be used to gift money to the next generation.  An intrafamily loan allows family members to borrow money from each other at […]

It’s Medicare Open Enrollment Time: Is Your Plan Still Working for You?

Lavelle & Finn


Every year Medicare gives beneficiaries a window of opportunity to shop around and determine if their current Medicare plan is still the best one for them. During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7, beneficiaries can freely enroll in or switch plans.  During this period, you may enroll in a […]

Medicaid’s Attempt to Ensure the Healthy Spouse Has Enough Income: The MMMNA

Lavelle & Finn


When most of a couple’s income is in the name of the spouse who is receiving Medicaid, the spouse remaining in the community may wonder what he or she will live on. Medicaid has created some protections for the community spouse. Although Medicaid limits the assets that the spouse of a Medicaid applicant can retain, the […]

Social Security Shortfalls Are Predicted to Begin a Year Earlier Due to the Pandemic

Lavelle & Finn


The Social Security trustees are projecting that due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic the Social Security trust fund will be depleted in 2033 — one year earlier than the previous estimates. Once the fund is depleted, Social Security benefits will be reduced unless Congress acts in the interim.  Social Security retirement benefits […]

Online Survey Helps Older Adults Assess Their Financial Vulnerability

Lavelle & Finn


All older Americans are vulnerable to financial abuse, but there are certain circumstances that make someone more likely to be scammed. An online survey can help older adults (or their caregivers) assess their risk of being exploited based on how they make financial decisions.  It is hard to ascertain the exact number of people affected by […]

New Tax Proposals Mean Some Should Review Their Estate Plans

Lavelle & Finn


A number of tax proposals being considered in Congress could significantly affect gifting and estate plans for those with larger estates — over $3.5 million. If you’re in that category, you might want to meet with your estate planner to take advantage of gifting opportunities that are available under the current law.  Under Vermont senator Bernie […]

What Is a Fiduciary and What Are Its Obligations?

Lavelle & Finn


When you need someone else to care for money or property on your behalf, that person (or organization) is called a fiduciary. A fiduciary is a person or entity entrusted with the power to act for someone else, and this power comes with the legal obligation to act for the benefit of that other person. Many […]