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If youre part of a blended family (meaning you are married with children from a prior marriage in the mix), youre no stranger to the extra considerations and planning it takes to keep your familys life running smoothly from which parent your children will be with for the holidays to figuring out the schedule for a much-needed family vacation. Youve also probably given some thought to what you want to happen to your assets and your family if something happens to you. But what you might not have realized is this: If you dont create a plan for your assets before you die, the law has its own plan for you that might not reflect your wishes for your assets, especially your retirement assets. And if youre in a blended family, this can have a significant financial impact on the ones you love and even create expensive, long-term conflict.This week, we explain how the law affects retirement distributions for married couples, and why you need to be extra careful with your retirement planning if youre in a blended family to ensure your retirement account assets go to the right people in the right amounts after youre gone.Be Aware of How ERISA Affects 401K DistributionsIf youve remarried, you and your new spouse have probably talked about updating the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts to reflect your blended family arrangement. (If you havent talked about it, you need to talk about it ASAP). Sometimes, people who are remarried decide to leave their retirement funds to their children from a prior marriage and leave other assets like their house and savings accounts to their current spouse. You may do this to avoid future conflict between your spouse and your children over your assets.But even if you want to leave your retirement for just your children, if youre married and your retirement account is a work-sponsored account, your children wont inherit the entire account even if you name them as the sole beneficiaries. Thats because the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs most employer-sponsored pensions and retirement accounts. Under ERISA, if youre married at the time of your death, your spouse is automatically entitled to receive 50 percent of the value of your employer-sponsored plan even if your beneficiary designations say otherwise.The only time that your surviving spouse would not inherit half of your ERISA-governed retirement account is if your spouse signs an official Spousal Waiver saying they are affirmatively waiving their right to inherit 50 percent of the account, or if the account beneficiary is a Trust of which your spouse is a primary beneficiary. IRAs Have Different Rules Than 401KsIf you want your children to inherit more than 50 percent of your work-sponsored retirement benefits, and completing a Spousal Waiver isnt an option, consider rolling the account into a personal IRA instead.In contrast to 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored plans, IRAs are controlled by state law instead of ERISA. That means that your spouse is not automatically entitled to any part of your IRA. When you roll a 401(k) into an IRA, you gain the flexibility to name anyone you choose as the designated beneficiary, with or without your spouses consent. On the other hand, if you want to ensure your spouse receives half of your retirement savings, make sure to include them as a 50 percent beneficiary or better yet, have your individual retirement account payout to a Trust instead. With a Trust, you can:Document exactly how much of your retirement you want each of your loved ones to receiveControl when they receive the funds outrightEasily update and change the terms of your Trust without having to remember to update your financial accounts.Beneficiary Designations Always Trump Your WillWhether you have an employer-sponsored 401K or an IRA you manage yourself, there is one critical rule that everyone needs to know: beneficiary designations trump your Will.A Will is an important estate planning tool, but most people dont know that beneficiary designations override whatever your Will says about a particular asset. For example, if your Will states that you want your retirement account to be passed on to your brother, but the beneficiary designation on the account says you want it to go to your sister, your sister will inherit the account, even though your Will says otherwise.Similarly, lets imagine that you get divorced and as part of your divorce decree your ex-spouse agrees that they will not have any right to your retirement fund. However, after the divorce, you forget to take their name off of the beneficiary designation for the account. If you die before updating the beneficiary designation, your former spouse will inherit your retirement account. If you forget to update your ERISA-controlled account and have remarried, your current spouse would receive half of the account and your former spouse would receive the other half. Thats why its so important to work with an estate planning attorney who can make sure your accounts are set up with the proper beneficiary designations and ensure that your assets are passed on according to your wishes.Work With An Attorney Who Makes Sure All Your Assets Will Be Passed On How You Want Them ToUnderstanding how the law affects different types of assets is essential to creating an estate plan. But theres more to it than just having a lawyer you need an attorney who takes the time to really understand your family and your assets so they can design a custom plan that achieves your goals for your assets and your legacy. Thats why we help our clients create an inventory of all of their assets to ensure that every asset they hold is accounted for and passed on to their loved ones exactly as they want it to.Contact Entrusted Legacy Law at 412-347-1731.
As we journey through life, many people find themselves facing one of the most pressing concerns: ensuring that they provide care and support to their loved ones, particularly their aging parents, as they transition into their senior years. Long-term senior care frequently raises questions and concerns, with one of the most common worries being, What if my parents run out of money?The cost of senior care services can indeed be a significant burden on families. Many are apprehensive about the affordability of these services and the potential financial strain they might impose. This is where a comprehensive continuum of care approach, like the one offered by Grace Pointe of Greeley, can make all the difference.Tailored Care for Your Unique NeedsOur team of experienced care professionals adopts a personalized approach to assess the specific care needs of each resident. We commit to ensuring that you dont pay for services that you or your loved one dont need. This ensures that you wont bear unnecessary costs, and your loved ones will receive the appropriate level of care to enhance their quality of life.If the affordability of long-term senior care concerns you, Grace Pointes approach is here to help. We dedicate ourselves to providing the right care at the right cost, supporting both your financial peace of mind and your loved ones well-being.To learn more about our long-term senior care services and our continuum of care approach, visit our Grace Pointe of Greeleys Long-Term Senior Care Services page.Frequently Asked Questions About Long-Term Senior CareAt Grace Pointe, we understand the financial concerns that come with long-term senior care, and were here to put your mind at ease. Our continuum of care services is designed to ensure affordability while providing your loved ones with the precise level of care they need. We understand that every individual is unique, and their care requirements can vary greatly which is why we have compiled this list of FAQs about long term senior care services below.What is long-term senior care, and when is it needed?Long-term senior care is a comprehensive service designed to provide assistance and support for seniors who may require help with daily activities due to age-related challenges or medical conditions. It becomes necessary when individuals find it increasingly difficult to maintain their independence and well-being.How do I know which type of long-term senior care is suitable for my loved one?Our experienced care professionals at Grace Pointe will assess your loved ones individual needs and recommend the most appropriate level of care. We believe in personalized care plans to ensure your loved one receives the best possible care.What is the cost of long-term senior care at Grace Pointe, and how can I afford it?The cost of long-term senior care varies depending on the level of care and services required. Grace Pointe offers a continuum of care approach, ensuring you only pay for the care your loved one needs. We will work with you to explore financing options, including community resources for Medicaid and Veterans benefits, to make care more affordable.Can I visit my loved one in long-term senior care at Grace Pointe of Greeley?Yes, we encourage family visits and understand the importance of staying connected. We also encourage you to enjoy activities and events to see the life of Grace Pointe experienced by your family members. There are some guidelines for visiting after hours to ensure the safety and comfort of the Grace Pointe residents, which can be discussed with our staff.How can I learn more about Grace Pointes long-term senior care options?You can explore more details about our long-term senior care services on our Long-Term Care Services page. Feel free to contact our team for specific information and to request a tour.How can Grace Pointe of Greeley help ensure that I dont pay for services my loved one doesnt need in the long term?At Grace Pointe, we understand the importance of affordability in long-term senior care. We offer a continuum of care approach, which means we tailor care plans to your loved ones specific needs. By doing so, we ensure that you only pay for the necessary services, maximizing affordability while maintaining high-quality care. Can I modify my loved ones care plan if their needs change over time?Yes, we understand that care needs can change. At Grace Pointe, we regularly review care plans and adjust them to accommodate changing requirements to ensure your loved one receives the best care.For answers to common questions about long-term senior care and all our services, visit our FAQ page.Dont let financial concerns hold you back from providing the best care for your aging parents. Grace Pointe of Greeley is here to support you every step of the way. Reach out to our care team with any other questions you may have about your familys care.
As we age, finding the right senior living community becomes essential for our well-being and peace of mind. With a multitude of options available, the search can be overwhelming. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the process, providing valuable tips to help you find the perfect senior living community tailored to your needs and preferences.Understanding Your Needs: The first step in finding the ideal senior living option is understanding your needs and preferences. Consider your lifestyle, healthcare requirements, social activities, and budget. Are you looking for independent living, assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing? Assessing your needs will narrow down the choices and make your search more focused.Researching Senior Living Communities: Once you've identified your needs, research potential senior living communities thoroughly. Utilize online resources, read reviews, and visit their official websites. Look for communities that offer the services and amenities that align with your requirements. Pay attention to the location, nearby healthcare facilities, recreational activities, and the overall atmosphere of the community.Visiting Communities: Schedule visits to the communities you're interested in. During your visits, interact with residents and staff members. Observe the cleanliness, friendliness of the staff, and the general ambiance. Don't hesitate to ask questions about daily routines, available amenities, emergency protocols, and healthcare services. Visiting in person will give you a firsthand experience and help you gauge if the community is the right fit for you.Consider Affordability and Financial Planning: Senior living communities come with various costs. Evaluate your budget and understand the pricing structure of the communities you're considering. Inquire about what is included in the fees and if there are any additional charges for extra services. It's also wise to consult a financial advisor to plan for long-term affordability, ensuring your financial stability throughout your stay in the community.Engage with the Community: Active engagement with the community can significantly enhance your experience. Participate in social events, group activities, and outings. Building connections with fellow residents fosters a sense of belonging and combats feelings of isolation. Engaging in communal activities also promotes mental and physical well-being.Review Contracts and Agreements Carefully: Before making a decision, carefully review the contracts and agreements presented by the senior living community. Pay attention to terms and conditions, refund policies, and any stipulations related to healthcare services. Seek legal advice if needed to ensure you fully understand the agreement before signing any documents.Conclusion:Finding the perfect senior living community involves thorough research, careful consideration of your needs, and active engagement with the community. By taking the time to understand your options and asking the right questions, you can make an informed decision that ensures your comfort, security, and happiness in your new home. Remember, your golden years should be spent in a place that enriches your life and provides the care and support you deserve.
The healthcare system can be extremely confusing. Dealing with multiple healthcare providers and insurance companies can become stressful, especially during a major health event. I am here to help you more easily navigate the healthcare system. I can coordinate care and appointments, assist you in making decisions by providing helpful resources, review and optimize medications, and assist with some insurance issues.If you feel like all of your Googling is getting you nowhere, you've come to the right place. Taking care of your or a loved one's health is stressful enough. Add in communication breakdowns, insurance companies, and complicated medication issues, and you have a fast pass to a meltdown.What is patient healthcare advocacy? Patient healthcare advocacy involves guiding a patient through the healthcare system maze. Patient healthcare advocates act as professional liaisons between patients and healthcare providers. With countless hospitals, outpatient centers, insurance companies, and doctors across the country, it is easy for communication to break down, leaving patients to fend for themselves.I am a Doctor of Pharmacy with over 21 years of experience in mostly retail and pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) settings. I graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and am a licensed pharmacist in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland. By working in the medical field for over 21 years, I have witnessed firsthand how easy it is for issues to arise for patients. Bottom line, my job is to make sure all parties involved are on the same page and communicating effectively while the patient feels they are being heard and their needs are being met.These services are the core of what I do, however, they are not all inclusive:Medication AssistanceDecision-Making AssistanceMedical AssistanceInsurance Assistance Every patient and situation is unique, requiring different approaches and solutions. If you want to learn more or see if we are a good fit, book a discovery call.Hope Health Advocacy offers nationwide virtual services and can assist anyone in the United States regardless of location.