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The Life Estate Deed – One Option for Protecting Your Home

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • July, 2022
  • The most cherished, and often the largest, asset in most families is the family home.  Typically, protecting that home from nursing home costs is a high priority as most families would choose to protect the home rather than sell the home to pay for nursing home care.  Protecting the home may be possible, especially when planning begins early.  This article will address one option for protecting your home…

Veteran’s Benefits: A Primer on Pensions

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • May, 2022
  • As our nation’s veterans grow older, they face increased health and financial challenges. Fortunately, their service in our nation’s military may qualify them for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to help them overcome these challenges. Elderly veterans may be eligible…

Staying at Home – Considerations for Elders and Their Caregivers

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • April, 2022
  • Many elders fiercely guard their independence. When additional care becomes necessary for them to stay healthy and safe, most prefer to stay in their own home rather than moving to a retirement community, assisted living facility, or even a nursing….

Plan Now For Your Partner’s Sake

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • February, 2022
  • Recently, many committed couples are choosing not to get married, especially if one or both have been previously divorced or widowed.  Although unmarried, these couples present themselves as a married couple.  They live together and…

Recognizing Elder Abuse

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • February, 2022
  • Everyone, regardless of age, deserves to be treated in a way that keeps them safe from physical, emotional, and financial harm. Each year, an estimated 2.1 million seniors in America fall victim to people who abuse…

Taking the Guesswork Out of Choosing an Attorney

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • January, 2022
  • Choosing an attorney to represent you in any legal matter can be an especially daunting task.  Should you rely on advertising you might have seen in the local media, or is there a better way to ensure that the attorney you choose is right for you…

You Can’t Take it With You… Consider Charity in Your Final Plans

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • December, 2021
  • As we come to the holiday season, charitable giving comes to the fore.  Do you donate money to charity each year?  Perhaps you donate to an organization dedicated to finding a cure…

Where There’s a Will, There’s an Heir

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • November, 2021
  • We’ve all heard the expression, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” but among estate planning specialists, the old adage becomes “where there’s a Will, there’s an heir.”  We have all heard the stories about heirs coming out of the woodwork when money…

Special Needs Require Special Planning

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • October, 2021
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States today, 61 million adults are considered disabled.  Their disability may entitle them to receive various benefits that are provided by the federal and state government. Some of these benefits, such as…

Moving Forward with a Reverse Mortgage

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • September, 2021
  • A multitude of seniors, having paid off their mortgages many years ago, currently own their homes free and clear of any debt.  Some are fortunate, and they have a nest egg that, along with their income (Social Security/pension), allows them to maintain their home and provide for themselves without difficulty.  Some are not so fortunate, and although…

Ethical Wills – Bequeathing Life’s Lessons

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • August, 2021
  • When the time comes for you to pass away, what legacy will you leave?  Will it be purely monetary or will it include your values, wisdom, and life lessons?  When you desire to leave more than material possessions, you need an ethical will…

Establish an Estate Plan Before Your Trip

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • June, 2021
  • Summer is nearly here, and many are heading off for a fun, restful vacation.  Perhaps you will head to the shore to enjoy the weather, or with COVID hopefully waning, perhaps you will visit family or friends?  When planning to travel…

Just two documents: These tools help smooth crucial decisions

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • May, 2021
  • Each year, numerous petitions are filed with the court seeking the appointment of a guardian and/or conservator to make decisions for a person who has lost their ability to make their own decisions –whether due to physical or mental illness. This process is expensive, lengthy, and public.…..

The IDIOT Trust: A tool to protect assets from nursing home costs

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • April, 2021
  • When it comes to protecting assets from nursing home costs, many believe that the solution is to place those assets in a trust. In some circumstances, establishing an irrevocable trust, which is required to obtain asset protection, may carry great risk. Nonetheless, in the right circumstances, a smart choice could be the IDIOT Trust.…..

Collector’s Primer: planning for the continuation of your cache

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • March, 2021
  • Rare is the person who collects nothing. Most of us have some affinity for particular items that we simply must collect. Some collected items have great monetary value, while others have only sentimental value. Some enjoy the challenge of amassing rare collections, which, if substantial, may bring renown amongst collectors and non-collectors alike. Others maintain collections that may not have great monetary value, but that have been passed down through generations of family history…..

Year-end tax planning: COVID-19 has tweaked some approaches

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • December, 2020
  • The holiday season has begun. As you sit down for your holiday dinner, remember that soon Uncle Sam will be visiting you to enjoy his share of your bounty. Despite the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the savvy taxpayer will make room in their overstuffed holiday calendar to complete year-end tax planning. Of course, it would be best to take steps to minimize taxes all year, but if you have failed to do so, there are still some options that can be utilized before year-end…..

The special needs trust: Why it’s important to plan ahead

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • November, 2020
  • Many people in the United States are currently considered disabled as defined by Social Security. Their disability may entitle them to receive various benefits that are provided by the federal and state government. Some of these benefits, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), food stamps (“SNAP”), housing or fuel assistance, may only be available to the disabled person if they meet eligibility requirements that require the disabled person to have income or assets less than a certain amount…..

Charitable giving: You can still do good in a time of uncertainty

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • October, 2020
  • As the COVID19 pandemic continues, many are suffering, including the charitable entities that would normally rush to assist those who are in need. With nearly all inperson events being cancelled, charities have found themselves unable to connect with their donors in the usual ways, and they have been working hard to create meaningful alternatives…..

Will vs. Trust: Deciding which is right for your estate

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • September, 2020
  • With the pandemic bearing down on our communities, more people are recognizing their own mortality, and with that, the desire to establish an estate plan has come to the fore. A common decision you will face when planning your estate is whether to establish a Will or a Revocable Trust. Both Wills and Revocable Trusts are devices that provide for the distribution of your estate upon your death…..

Good grief: Plan now to lessen the burden on loved ones

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • August, 2020
  • Imagine if you were to pass away today. Your loved ones would be devastated, but would, nonetheless, be called upon to tend to your final affairs – arranging your funeral, managing your final debts, and possibly even having to probate your estate…..

Caregiver stress: Could this become the next epidemic?

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • June, 2020
  • Approximately 44 million Americans (21 percent of the adult population) provide unpaid care in their home. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that informal caregivers provide 80 percent of the long-term care in the United States. A caregiver is anyone who helps another person in need with daily tasks, such as bathing, cooking, eating, taking medications, dressing, using the bathroom, shopping and house cleaning…..

A Pandemic Estate Plan

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • April 13, 2020
  • COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, has arrived in our communities. While statistics show that many people will survive being infected, they may experience incapacity due to significant symptoms, such as breathing difficulties and fever, and, for some, the infection will be fatal…..

For the love of your partner include these documents in your estate

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • February 1, 2020
  • Recently, many committed couples are choosing not to get married, especially if one or both have been previously divorced or widowed. Although unmarried, these couples present themselves as a married couple. They live together and own property and other assets together. They share debts. They may have children. While this arrangement allows them to live in bliss while each partner is alive and well, difficulties arise when one of the partners loses their competency or passes away…..

Your estate plan: January’s a great time for an annual review

  • Gina M. Barry, Esq • January 1, 2020
  • Happy New Year! It’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions. Reviewing your estate plan is a simple resolution to keep that ensures your estate plan remains current and consistent with your wishes…..

Long term care: Strategies to plan for the costs

  • Gina M. Barry • November 1, 2019
  • Long term care costs can deplete your assets at an alarming rate. Many people will enter a nursing home during their lifetime here they will incur the average monthly cost of $13,000 for an average stay of 2.5 years. To make matters worse, you may have spent the majority of your life working and building your assets so that your retirement will be well funded, yet retirement comes at a time when the possibility of catastrophic illness is more likely. Planning ahead will mean the difference between spending your assets to finance any needed care and preserving your assets for your family…..

Givers Gain: Use charitable giving to your advantage

  • Gina M. Barry • October 1, 2019
  • As we move toward the end of the year and closer to tax season, could you use a break on your federal income tax return? Giving is common during the holidays, and now is the time to plan your final charitable contributions of the year. Charitable giving provides a myriad of benefits, not the least of which may be a deduction on your federal income tax return…..

Keeping the Court Out of Your Decisions

  • Gina M. Barry • June 1, 2019
  • Each year, numerous petitions are filed with the court seeking the appointment of a guardian and/or conservator to make decisions for a person who has lost their ability to make their own decisions whether due to physical or mental illness…..

Creating an estate plan for a beloved pet

  • Gina M. Barry • May 1, 2019
  • Many people view their pets as members of their family. They go to great lengths to ensure their pets’ comfort, and often shower them with gifts of toys and treats. Surely, they would want to ensure that these pets would be well cared for if they were to pass away…..

Women—plan for financial independence

  • Gina M. Barry • April 1, 2019
  • When it comes to financial independence and estate planning, women face a unique set of challenges. Statistically, a married woman is most likely going to outlive her husband. The average age of a widow is 56 years old. Other women never marry or are divorced….

Ethical wills—bequeathing life’s lessons

  • Gina M. Barry • March 1, 2019
  • To my daughter, I leave my passion for knowledge . . .
    To my son, I leave my love of laughter . . .
    When the time comes for you to pass away, what legacy will you leave? Will it be purely monetary or will it include your values, wisdom, and life lessons?….

The reverse mortgage—is it for you?

  • Gina M. Barry • February 1, 2019
  • A multitude of seniors, having paid off their mortgages many years ago, currently own their homes free and clear of any debt. Some are fortunate, and they have a nest egg that, along with their income (Social Security/pension), allows them to maintain their home….

Resolve to review your estate plan

  • Gina M. Barry • January 1, 2019
  • Happy New Year! It’s time to make your New Year’s resolutions. Set yourself up for success with a resolution that is easy to keep. Reviewing your estate plan is a simple resolution to keep that ensures your estate plan remains current and consistent with your wishes….