As is our custom, this semiannual correspondence is intended to keep you abreast of developments in estate and elder law. The following is a brief summary of noteworthy developments since our last communication Although we’re still working on the finishing touches, we have fully moved our former Farmington Hills location to our new Farmington headquarters. In this issue: Major Changes in VA Rules Is your Estate Plan or Will in Place?
It has been widely reported that Aretha Franklin had no estate plan, not even a Will. While the majority of Americans fail to plan, Aretha’s case cried out for special care. Her eldest child is special needs, and she left substantial assets including a tail of music royalties that will continue for generations. Despite the repeated efforts of her attorney, Aretha refused to act. Why? There are many reasons that people fail to plan their estate, but the principal reason is fear of the unknown.
Take the unfortunate case of Kathleen Dehmlow Studies have shown that relationships with family and friends directly impact the length and quality of our life. The loving relationships we nurture during life are a gift for your family that is our true legacy. Having a life plan and an up-to-date estate plan make life’s transitions easier and is a statement to your family that you care. Conversely, toxic ways of being and failure to plan send a much different message to those we leave behind.
Aid and Attendance is an extremely valuable veterans benefit that is available to veterans and their spouses who are at least sixty-five years of age to assist them with the cost of in-home care, assisted living, and nursing home care. Aid and Attendance is perhaps most beneficial for veterans and their spouses in need of home care and assisted living since no other government program covers such care. The 2018 monthly aid and attendance benefit is now $2,169 for a veteran and spouse, $1,830 for a single veteran, and $1,176 for the surviving spouse of a veteran We have written for several years regarding the possibility of the VA imposing a 36-month look-back for VA Aid and Attendance.
Technically, your Michigan estate plan is valid across the country. However, whether your move is temporary or permanent, you should do new powers of attorney since the rules affecting them can be different from state-to-state. New powers are advisable even if you maintain your Michigan residency but spend half the year in another state since financial and medical institutions are more likely to honor documents which are familiar to them.