Will Virginia Medicaid Will Pay For My Nursing Home?

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be sudden. The person’s condition may have declined to the point that they immediately need nursing home support, or they may have suffered in a recent accident or injury that leaves them no option but to recover inside a nursing home.

In these difficult circumstances, it can be even more challenging to think about the possibility of qualifying for government funded nursing home assistance. This is handled through the Virginia Medicaid program, but it is important to understand the qualification requirements, such as income limits. Nursing homes can be extremely expensive, with the average daily cost of private rooms inside them being nearly $300 in Virginia.

Even though home health care services and assisted living facilities might be slightly more affordable, they are still expensive. Neither Medicare nor most private health insurance companies will cover stays in nursing homes and very few people purchase long term care insurance policies that would help pay for coverage. Medicaid, therefore, is a very common source for paying for long term care, especially when someone has already exhausted their own assets to pay for care.

Across the country, around 70% of nursing home residents use Medicaid to pay for that coverage. Working with an experienced and qualified Virginia Beach Medicaid planning lawyer can assist you with the process of planning ahead for time in a nursing home. Do not hesitate to consult with a qualified lawyer as soon as you can about your future.


Five Times You Need To Update Your Living Will

It is important as with all other estate planning documents to conduct a regular review of your materials to ensure these strategies still align with your goals. Routine reviews of your comprehensive estate plan help you to identify problems before they become issues. You want to ensure that your entire estate plan is aligned with your current needs and goals.

There are other circumstances that might prompt you to review your living will immediately, such as:

  • Prior to a scheduled surgery.
  • When you experience significant changes in your health, such as diagnosis of a disease like Alzheimer’s.
  • When you become a parent.
  • If you have dramatic changes in your opinions about the issues addressed in your living will.
  • As you reach retirement age.

When you find yourself in these circumstances, it is important to communicate directly with an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.

An estate planning lawyer can help you review your individual documents, such as a living will and discuss how these may be adjusted to accomplish your changed goals or new focus. An attorney is instrumental in helping guide you through this process and in answering your questions.

If you don’t yet have a living will in Virginia, now is a good time to speak with a Virginia Beach lawyer. We work with clients to help them understand how to update all your estate plan materials.



What Are the Real Stakes Of Passing Away Without A Will?

The chances that you may pass away without having a will in place are extremely high. Although more people have reported awareness around estate planning as a result of the pandemic, plenty of people still have not taken the right action step to protect their interests in moving forward with estate planning.

You may be putting off estate planning for any number of reasons, but this can have significant consequences for your family. The stakes can be very high because you may relinquish control of your final wishes to other people who you do not trust. Every state has laws that automatically designate your heirs. These are known as intestate succession laws.

While the laws may have different applications based on the locality in question, they pass the authority for decision-making over your assets to the state. This means that any specific wishes you may have will not be followed. This can include bequests that you intended to make to a certain member of your family, or may have made verbal commitments about. Your loved ones may also be more likely to argue with one another and experience additional conflict because you failed to carry out estate planning. Another common issue associated with not having a will is that your loved ones are unable to find or understand all of your assets.

If you worked for yourself, it can be difficult for them to file your final income tax return. If they do not know where to locate deeds and other important documents, it may be difficult for them to know what to do with this material and whether or not it belongs in probate. In all of these circumstances, you’re passing off the responsibility for important estate planning decisions to other people. If you wish to have some level of control over the future of your estate, you need to consult with a dedicated and experienced lawyer in Virginia Beach.



Five Reasons Someone Can Contest Your Will

When you plan for your estate, you hope that assets transfer smoothly to your chosen beneficiaries. But that’s not always the case, as you might have found out personally if involved in the estate of a loved one who passed away.

There are steps you can take to minimize the chances of someone opening a will contest in your own estate. It’s recommended that you work with a trusted attorney in Virginia Beach, VA to reduce those risks. When you’re clear about your own goals and document them well, there are fewer chances that your estate winds up in the midst of a probate dispute.

Basic probate laws outline situations in which someone is eligible to contest your will. Contesting a will can be a serious issue, particularly if you intended for your probate to be processed seamlessly to allow your chosen beneficiaries. The support of an experienced and dedicated estate planning lawyer can go a long way in helping you to accomplish your goals and minimize the possibility of a will challenge. There are five major reasons that someone might challenge your will. These include;

  • Proof of the existence of a later valid will
  • Unclear provisions within the will
  • Inappropriate or insufficient witnesses to the signing of the will
  • Someone exerting undue influence over the testator
  • Incapacity of the deceased individual when they wrote the will

Only a person with legal standing is eligible to pursue a will contest in your situation. It is extremely important to consult with a dedicated lawyer as soon as possible to create your own estate plan and minimize the possibility of problems with future will contests.


Does Your Estate Plan Need More Than A Simple Will?

A simple will is necessary for every US adult over the age of 18. It can help them answer many questions and ensure that your property is distributed according to your wishes. However, estate planning can be tailored based on your assets, family circumstances, income, and personal goals.

Executing a will can take time and this can also prove problematic because your beneficiaries may need to wait for the probate process in court to conclude before enjoying your gifts. This is one reason to consider working with an estate planning professional to create a trust.

This bypasses probate and allows you to transfer assets to your loved ones immediately in line with your wishes and as an added bonus, it does not create a public record of any of your estate plans, meaning that your directives remain confidential. A revocable trust should be considered by everyone outside of those who only have a few assets.

There is little downside to creating a revocable living trust, but there can be considerable benefits as they are recognized in every state. Once you know what you want to achieve with your Virginia Beach, VA estate plan, you’ll be in a better position to decide on your next steps.

Even if you don’t have many assets, it’s worth continuing to revisit the estate planning conversation on a regular basis. The birth of a new child, acquiring a new home, or even experiencing a change in income for the better can all shift your situation and highlight the value of planning.

To learn more about how to create a revocable living trust to accomplish your goals, schedule a time to meet with an experienced estate planning lawyer.



Should I Leave Money to a Charity in My Will?

Estate planning and philanthropy are interconnected as many people use this opportunity to leave leftover funds behind to support a charity of their choosing. This is a very personal decision and one that is based on your own assets and your personal goals. Having an estate planning attorney to help you with this process can clarify answers to many of your most common questions. Your will specifies what you want to be done with your assets after you pass away.

You can also use your will to determine the making of a charitable bequest, or you can also work with your estate planning attorney to set up a trust fund for a very specific charity.

Naming a charity as a beneficiary in either your will or your living trust is one of the easiest ways to accomplish your philanthropic goals and, when done properly, it can also reduce the amount of your taxable estate and any relevant estate taxes. Make sure that you understand your intentions in creating estate planning goals with leaving behind assets in your will.

Knowing that you have an attorney who is highly knowledgeable about these issues can give you a lot of peace of mind about the next steps you need to take to pass on your legacy and support charities. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney today to learn more.

A Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer can guide you through the entire process of creating your plan and supporting charities or other important causes through your strategy.



How Can I Decrease the Chances of Someone Challenging the Validity of My Will?

With estate planning, you may be able to include what is known as a no-contest clause to decrease someone’s incentives to challenge the contents of your will. Working directly with an estate planning attorney is one of the best ways to get the peace of mind provided with the estate planning process.

If someone challenges your will in Virginia courts, this slows down the probate process while the courts investigate the claim of the will’s invalidity.

You can take several proactive steps under the guidance of your estate planning lawyer to decrease the chances that someone will be able to effectively challenge the validity of your will in the future. Some of the most popular ways to avoid future will challenges include:

  • Discussing your will and the intentions inside of it to each of your children to avoid any surprises and to give you a chance to explain your reasoning.
  • Excluding your children completely from the will writing process to invalidate any future claims of any undue influence.
  • Have your doctor present to the signing of your will to invalidate claims associated with alleged lack of capacity.
  • Use a trust rather than a will to provide structure and control in asset transfer for those loved ones who may not be able to manage inheritances responsibly on their own.

These steps can help you to create a comprehensive estate plan that incorporates all of your primary goals and minimizes the possibility of future estate disputes. A Virginia Beach, VA lawyer can help you.



Is a Simple Will Enough?

A simple will is the most basic of estate planning documents which determines what happens to your belongings when you pass away. What belongings you own can have important implications for whether or not a simple will helps you to accomplish your estate planning goals. For example, if you own a lot of property and are concerned with the manner in which it is distributed to your beneficiaries, a simple will may not cover enough flexibility and control for you.

A simple will is best for those with relatively few assets who are aiming to keep their loved ones outside of probate court with a simple transfer of assets. A simple will is best for people with easy situations.

If you have a lot of assets, have recently been remarried or divorced, have assets in multiple states, own a business or have stepchildren, a simple will may not go far enough to accomplish your estate planning goals. It is also possible that a simple will drafted months or years ago for you is no longer relevant to the complexity of your current life. In these circumstances, you want to have a lawyer who has managed situations like this before to help you adapt your estate plan for your new lifestyle.

Talk to a Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer when you’re not sure if a simple will covers your needs. Estate planning lawyers work to understand your situation and then use that data to make a recommendation about the plan that best fits your needs.


What Happens If an Executor Refuses to Follow the Wishes of The Decedent in The Will?

A will lays out the particular plan for how a person’s assets and liabilities should be addressed when they pass away. An executor gets appointed, also known as a personal representative in some states, to handle this process known as probate or estate administration.

If you are a beneficiary of an estate, or you are an heir to a loved one who recently passed away, you might have concerns about executors who fail to follow the decedent’s wishes. Your options for moving forward all depend on your personal resources and the possible funds at stake.

If you can afford to do so and if the assets inside the estate are worth it, hiring an experienced probate lawyer to evaluate this matter can assist you in filing the proper paperwork in court. You should always balance this with the possible upside and the possible downsides of spending time going through a legal process. Because there are so many different things to consider in this process, it is valuable to have the support of an experienced probate lawyer.

When you create your will with the help of an estate planning attorney, you do so with your underlying goals in mind and clarity on what to anticipate. You can make things easier for your loved ones by discussing some of your estate plans with them so they know or at least have a general sense of your wishes.

Contact a Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer today to learn more.



What Does an Executor Do When There Is No Will?

If the will that is associated with an estate is invalid or if an executor cannot find a will, state law determines what happens to the property inside the estate. Many people don’t write wills such that when it’s time to settle their estates, it becomes difficult to determine who inherits the property. Virginia state law will provide these answers in determining who will administer the affairs of the estate, inherit the property and take care of minor children.

Without a will there’s no way to know who the deceased individual might have chosen as the executor, but someone must step in to take over this authoritative role. The court chooses someone to serve as executor if a probate court proceeding is required. If no probate is required, there doesn’t need to be an official personal representative for the estate.

Instead, an individual close to the deceased, such as an adult child might step in to wrap things up relying on informal state procedures. Each state has intestate succession laws which determine which of the closest relatives of the deceased will receive certain types of property. In most cases a spouse would be the first person to inherit under intestate succession laws but make sure you discuss the specifics with your estate planning lawyer.

A Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer is there to support and guide you when you need help with crafting the right plan for you. This includes naming the personal representative to handle estate administration.