Possible Dementia Indicated by Poor Financial Decisions

Diminishing brain function due to the onset of dementia can lead to the destruction of your financial well-being. If you are age 50 or older, easy access to your financial assets like stocks and bonds, checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, and other assets can lead to loss of these funds if an unauthorized…
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support animals

More Seniors Adopting Emotional Support Animals

Most of us know what a service animal is, but the use of emotional support animals is becoming more and more common. So, what is an emotional support animal? An emotional support animal is a companion animal that provides benefits to a person who has an emotional or mental health disorder. In order to be…
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Benefits of Becoming a Tech-Savvy Senior

We live in a world of the Internet of Things (IoT). Embedded electronics with internet connectivity simplify tasks and are a pervasive part of our daily lives. Typically, the younger generations are very adept at navigating the IoT while many seniors feel overwhelmed by technology, devices, and the internet in general. The good news is…
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Elderly men playing chess.

Comparing and Contrasting Medicare and Medicaid

Most people who work in healthcare may recognize the acronym LASA, which stands for “look-alike-sound-alike” and is usually seen when referencing medications. When it comes to federal programs, Medicaid and Medicare, in written form, look alike and they do sound alike but work very differently. Both Medicare and Medicaid were started in 1965 under Lyndon…
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Medical Power of Attorney

Choose the Right Nursing Homes in 4 Easy Steps

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is an important decision and should be carefully considered. It is important for families to take the time to explore nursing home options and to carefully assess the nursing home facilities in order to choose the best care for the loved one.  Below are some steps designed…
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Will Medicare Cover Long Term Care?

Most people understand that by paying into Social Security throughout their careers, they can receive health care benefits through Medicare starting at age 65.  Individuals under age 65 who qualify to receive Social Security Disability benefits are also covered under Medicare, as well as anyone of any age who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, known as…
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Women Face Unique Retirement Challenges

For women, securing enough retirement income can be a daunting proposition. Generally speaking, women face two significant hurdles to overcome to achieve a comfortable flow of retirement income. One hurdle involves longevity and the second deals with earning power. Women have a longer life expectancy than men do in the US. The Social Security Administration…
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Aging Better with Innovative Technologies

The silver tsunami of Americans has inspired the technology industry. There are continuous developments and implementations of inventive digital Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that transform the lives of aging adults as well as their caregivers. Each new tech development cycle strives to provide a product that is more robust while increasing its ease of…
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retirement planning

6 Things to Consider in Retirement Planning

Most people dream of the day they can retire. The problem is that many do not move beyond dreaming to planning. Planning can be done no matter what your age, but experts encourage people to start as early as possible. Retirement planning can seem like a daunting endeavor for many people as they focus on…
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Six Essential Tips for Effectively Planning Your Estate

“Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours.” ~ Marcus Aurelius Drafting a Last Will and Testament, in addition to reviewing your assets and liabilities for a comprehensive estate plan, can be an uncomfortable experience because…
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What is “Funding” a Trust?

Many people have heard of properly “funding” their trusts. What does this mean? When I speak to clients I give an analogy about what a trust is. I tell them that a trust is like a big suitcase. If you go on vacation and take your suitcase, make sure that it’s full. If you take…
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Tips on How to Fix an Outdated Irrevocable Trust

Trusts have been used for decades as an effective estate planning tool to avoid the cost and hassle of probate and ensure your assets are properly managed for the benefit of your beneficiaries. There are a myriad of ways a trust can be utilized, both for the transfer of assets within a family and in…
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If You are a New Parent, You Need an Estate Plan

The birth of a child is an incredible, joyous moment in the lives of most parents. It is also an inflection point allowing you to take stock of your estate and plan properly to protect your spouse and your newborn child.  Yes, you will likely be strapped for time worrying about purchasing the safest car…
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Probate Court and Probate Attorneys

Steps on How to Establish a Revocable Living Trust in Missouri

One of the primary benefits of creating an estate plan is taking a level of control over your future and how your assets will be distributed to your loved ones. An effective estate planning strategy for creating this type of control is a revocable living trust (also known as an inter vivos trust). You create the trust during your…
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Revocable Living Trust Paperwork

Should You Name a Trust as an IRA Beneficiary?

A question asked by some clients is whether they should name a trust as a beneficiary to their Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The answer depends largely on your specific circumstances. There are some potentially beneficial reasons for leaving IRA funds to a trust. The main benefit is for someone who cannot, or should not, be…
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How To Protect Your Estate Plan Post-Divorce

It is a common scenario couples find themselves in – you and your spouse create an estate plan leaving everything to each other and then to your minor children. A few years pass and you wind up getting a divorce. You begin to wonder if your estate plan is still valid post-divorce. The answer is…
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Special Needs Trust Planning

New Law Establishes More Flexibility in Creating a Special Needs Trust

In 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law. This sweeping piece of legislation was drafted to help address a myriad of issues in medical research, the advancement of experimental medications, and mental health protocols. The law provides $4.8 billion in additional funding for the National Institutes of Health, along with $500 million…
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Considerations in Naming Guardians for Children

If you’re like us, and like a lot of our clients, you have young children.  Raymond and his wife have a 5-year-old daughter, and Scott and his wife have a 5-year-old son and a 19-month-old daughter.  You’ve probably thought about what life might look like if you weren’t around to care for them.  Studies show…
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Six Medicaid Planning Mistakes You Must Avoid

You’ve worked hard your entire life saving up, paying down your mortgage and other liabilities, and building a sizable retirement fund. You did all of this expecting to live off those savings while you bask in the proverbial glow of retirement’s “golden years.” However, life throws a wrench in your plans and you suddenly suffer…
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Three Mistakes You Need to Avoid in Creating and Maintaining a Trust

Three Common Trust Mistakes You Need to Avoid Incorporating a trust into your estate plan is a good idea. Trusts help you and your family avoid costly and time-consuming probate, can address the special needs of your children and other loved ones, and potentially avoid certain taxes. But if you fail to properly set up…
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Do Clients in their 20’s and 30’s Need an Estate Plan?

Choose the Right Nursing Homes in 4 Easy Steps As an attorney with young children, I am constantly concerned with the number of parents who have not properly planned. Everyone needs an estate plan. Planning ahead is not just for those in their 50’s and 60’s. Accidents and illnesses can happen to anyone. The reason…
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Estate Planning for Second Marriages

Second marriages (and third and fourth marriages) are more and more common every year.  I see more and more clients come in who have strong and fabulous second and subsequent marriages with their new spouse.  However, blended families present many interpersonal challenges in real life; and just as many in estate planning. As strong as…
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Spousal Trust

Should You Incorporate a Qualified Spousal Trust into Your Estate Plan?

In 2011, the Missouri legislature enacted a law that enabled married couples to transfer property to a Qualified Spousal Trust (“QST”) and the property inside the QST would enjoy the same immunity from creditor claims if each spouses continued to hold the property under tenancy by the entirety. The QST was codified in Missouri Statute…
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Why you need an estate plan

Six Reasons to Have an Estate Plan in Place

In the estate planning world, we see study after study showing that the majority of Americans still do not have a written estate plan. (60% according to the AARP: here) However, when we talk to friends and family, we hear time and again that everyone knows they SHOULD have a plan in place, they just…
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Why is Estate Planning So Important?

According to many surveys, the majority of Americans don’t have an estate plan. Many of us know why we SHOULD have one. When I ask clients why it’s important to have a plan in place, most times they state two things. We don’t want the government to get our money. We don’t want to have…
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Estate Planning

Prince’s Estate Serves as Prime Example of Why You Need an Estate Plan

If you are looking for a cautionary tale highlighting the pain and expense of dying without an estate plan, Exhibit A is the rock music icon Prince’s estate. It has been two years since news broke that Prince passed away due to an accident overdose of Fentanyl, a prescription pain medication. In those two years,…
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Elder Law Attorney St Charles & Medicaid Planning by Old Couple

Important Tips for Incorporating Long-Term Care Into Your Estate Plan

Many people equate estate planning with postmortem concerns. Basically, what happens to their property and money after they pass on. However, an estate plan can, and should, incorporate long-term care. Why It is So Critical to Have a Plan in Place for Your Long-Term Care If you or your spouse need to stay in a…
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Is Your Kid College Bound? Here are the Estate Planning Documents They Need

It’s one of the proudest moments a parent can experience – sending their child off to college. It is a recognition that your child is entering a new chapter in life where they will (hopefully) learn to become an independent, self-sufficient adult. But this venture into adulthood also means that you, as a parent, will…
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Why you need an estate plan

When To Review Your Estate Plan

A commonly asked question by clients is “when should I schedule a comprehensive review of my estate plan?” First and foremost, if you are asking this question, you are ahead of the game. A recent survey showed nearly 65 percent of Americans lack even the most basic estate planning documents such as a Last Will and Testament.…
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Three Key Benefits to Avoiding Probate

When you are creating your estate plan, an objective you should strive for is structuring your plan in a way to avoid probate. Probate is a statutorily-based  way of settling an estate requiring the oversight of a court. When probate is required, a surviving spouse or other love one, is typically appointed by the court if…
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