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What are the Different Types of Special Needs Trusts?
A special needs trust is a type of trust that helps preserve a disabled person’s eligibility for federal and state benefits by keeping assets out of the person’s name.

A special needs trust is a type of trust that helps preserve a disabled person’s eligibility for federal and state benefits by keeping assets out of the person’s name. There are two main types of special needs trusts:

1. First Party Special Needs Trust: The trust is created and funded by the disabled person’s own money. The trust must be irrevocable and the terms of the trust must state that Medicaid will be reimbursed upon the beneficiary’s death or termination of the trust. Often these types of trusts are created out of necessity to keep the disabled person’s benefits in place when they inherit money or receive money from a personal injury lawsuit.

2. Third Party Special Needs Trust: Someone (such as a parent or grandparent) creates and funds the trust for the benefit of the disabled person. It is not required to include the Medicaid payback provision because the remaining assets are not recoverable by Medicaid at the time of the disabled person’s death. These trusts can name remainder beneficiaries to receive those assets.

Special needs trusts are complex documents that must adhere to very specific rules of law. If you have a loved one who is disabled and needs the protections of a special needs trust, please set up a consultation with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys by calling 443-470-3599.

May 21, 2020
The Dangers of Falling
Millions of senior adults fall each year resulting in death, injuries and health-related expenses. With increased longevity, many seniors are living longer with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart conditions and dementia-related issues.

Millions of senior adults fall each year resulting in death, injuries and health-related expenses. With increased longevity, many seniors are living longer with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart conditions and dementia-related issues. These conditions may require medication that plays a role in falling. The symptoms of the conditions themselves may also cause increased risk of falling.

The risk of falling can be minimized with some of these preventative measures:

- Review all medications and supplements that your senior takes. Determine whether any of the side effects could cause dizziness, changes in vision or other issues that could lead to falling.

- Help and encourage your loved ones to exercise often to build up strength and agility. Walking, chair yoga and tai chi are excellent options.

- Have the home evaluated by an occupational therapist to determine if there are specific areas that can be modified for better accessibility and prevention of falls. Installing rails, non-slip flooring and extra lights may be necessary.

- Plan for transitions carefully such as escorting your loved one to a vehicle.

- Monitor weather and alert your senior of ice, rain or other conditions.

- Evaluate the type of shoes your loved one wears to ensure proper fit and when not wearing shoes encourage the use of non-slip socks that have rubber grips on the bottom.

- Discuss fall prevention with your physician.

Fall prevention is injury prevention. At Stouffer Legal we care about our seniors. For more information on caring for your loved ones and to discuss any issues related to Elder Law please contact our office for an appointment at 443-470-3599.

May 21, 2020
Live Webinar May 27th at 10am-Now is the time to protect and plan!
This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 27th at 10:00 AM

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 27th at 10:00 AM

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 27th at 10:00 AM

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

May 21, 2020
What’s the Difference Between Retirement Planning, Financial Planning and Estate Planning?
While some may attempt to use these three terms interchangeably, they should not be used that way because each type of planning has a very different set of objectives.

While some may attempt to use these three terms interchangeably, they should not be used that way because each type of planning has a very different set of objectives.

Financial Planning

Traditional financial planning primarily focuses on a client’s long-term goals as they relate to accumulation and management of wealth. This process also includes planning for emergencies by having adequate savings established and setting up disability and life insurance policies.

Retirement Planning

Retirement planning primarily focuses on shorter term goals as they relate to how much you need to save for retirement, when you will reach these savings goals so you can retire, and the types of investments that are appropriate for your situation and risk tolerance. Retirement planning also considers issues such as paying off a mortgage or other debts, cash flow needs for your retirement years and when to initiate withdrawals. Using this information, retirement planners can see what your finances will look like five, ten or twenty years into the future.

Estate Planning

Estate Planning primarily focuses on what you leave behind to your loved ones once you pass away. Without proper planning, those left behind may face obstacles in distributing your assets, paying off your liabilities or incur unnecessary estate administration expenses or estate taxes. Comprehensive estate planning also includes considering what will happen should you become incapacitated as well as planning for end of life measures.

For more information on estate planning services in the Greater Baltimore area, please contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599.

May 21, 2020
What You Need to Know About Dementia
When you first think of the term dementia, memory loss is often the symptom that comes to mind. Dementia presents itself with issues involving language and speech, problem-solving capabilities and changes in mood and behavior.

When you first think of the term dementia, memory loss is often the symptom that comes to mind. Dementia presents itself with issues involving language and speech, problem-solving capabilities and changes in mood and behavior. Dementia is a broad term that encompasses several variations of the disease:

- Alzheimer’s Disease: This is the most common form of dementia and shows up as difficulty finding the right words, making decisions and short term memory loss. It hugely impacts day-to-day living.

- Frontotemporal Dementia: Abnormal proteins form inside the nerve cells of the front and side portions of the brain. This leads to changes in personality and behavior as well as difficulty with speech.

- Vascular Dementia: This typically occurs after a stroke due to the narrowing or blockage of blood cells which cause brain cells to die. Most patients with Vascular Dementia suffer from symptoms like migraines and difficulty concentrating.

- Dementia with Lewy Bodies: Small structures known as Lewy Bodies develop inside brain cells which can cause hallucinations and make it difficult to judge distance.

Different types of dementia affect people differently depending on the part of the brain affected and the length of time it has been impacted. Knowing the specific type of dementia can help everyone involved understand the symptoms better and find ways to manage those symptoms.

Dementia is diagnosed by a series of observations over a period of time and at this time there is no cure for it. Many new treatments can address some of the symptoms. For example, blood pressure medication can often slow the progression of vascular dementia, although it will not reverse the effects. Antidepressants have been shown to help those with frontotemporal dementia. And the popular Aricept medication is improving alertness in those with Alzheimer’s.

Some non-medication treatments that help alleviate symptoms of dementia include cognitive behavioral therapy, dietary modifications and regular exercise.

Keep in mind that a loved one diagnosed with dementia will need to put some very important legal safeguards in place while they are still competent. For more information, contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599 in the Greater Baltimore area.

May 18, 2020
Live Webinar May 20th at 10am-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 20th at 10:00 AM

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 20th at 10:00 AM

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 20th at 10:00 AM

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

May 12, 2020
The Effect of Pre-Marital Agreements on Estate Planning
A pre-marital or prenuptial agreement can be an effective way to determine how each spouse's assets will be divided upon the dissolution of the marriage or distributed upon the death of a spouse.

A pre-marital or prenuptial agreement can be an effective way to determine how each spouse's assets will be divided upon the dissolution of the marriage or distributed upon the death of a spouse.

For these types of agreements to be enforceable the following requirements must be met:

1. Voluntary. First, each party must voluntarily enter into the agreement. To satisfy this requirement, it is often wise for each spouse to seek independent legal counsel. This ensures that both parties are completely informed of their respective rights. It also helps both sides in understanding what the agreement means in the event of a separation, divorce or death.

2. Full Disclosure. Second, each party must make a full disclosure of all assets and liabilities. Without a full disclosure, it is impossible for one to enter the agreement voluntarily, because he or she does not know all that is being given up. The best way to achieve a full disclosure of assets is to compile an accurate list of all your real estate, vehicles, valuable tangible property, bank accounts, investment accounts, stocks, retirements and other property of value. Also included in this list should be liabilities — both secured and unsecured. This “disclosure of assets” can then be incorporated into the agreement. By incorporating it in the agreement, both parties are providing evidence of full disclosure.

Having a pre-marital or prenuptial agreement in place does not preclude the need for other estate planning documents such as a will or trust. It is important that any attorney drafting a will or trust be given a copy of the pre-marital agreement. The way the agreement is worded will have an impact on other estate planning documents. The documents must be used in conjunction to ensure your estate planning goals are met and that one does not negate or contradict the other.

For more information on incorporating your pre-martial agreement into your overall estate plan, please contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599 in the Greater Baltimore area.

May 11, 2020
Live Webinar May 12th at 10am-Now is the time to protect and plan!
Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe.

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 12th at 10:00 AM

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 12th at 10:00 AM

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 12th at 10:00 AM

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

May 5, 2020
Who, What, When and Where of Maryland Estate Planning
Who benefits from estate planning? Estate Planning is something anyone who has legal capacity should consider. Some people may only require a basic estate plan, such as powers of attorney for property and medical care.

Who?

Who benefits from estate planning? Estate Planning is something anyone who has legal capacity should consider. Some people may only require a basic estate plan, such as powers of attorney for property and medical care. However, most people benefit from a more full-featured plan including a will (possibly a trust) and a living will.

What?

What is estate planning? It involves taking a comprehensive look at your assets, liabilities, legacy and family to determine how to best achieve your goals. Most often this results in a set of documents (including a will) to ensure those goals are realized. But it is more than that. It also involves coordinating beneficiary designations on life insurance, IRAs, and retirement plans. It also includes planning for the possibility of incapacity. Increasingly, it involves planning for qualification for public benefits such as Medicaid or Veteran’s benefits as well as planning for a loved one who has special needs.

When?

When should you complete an estate plan? As soon as possible. Estate plans can always be modified should your life circumstances or goals change. Dying without a will or trust will mean that your estate (everything you own) will be distributed according to Maryland’s laws of intestate succession. If you become incapacitated without a power of attorney, you may not have the trusted person of your choice making financial and medical decisions on your behalf.

Where?

Where should I go for my estate planning needs? Seeking the help and guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney is essential. You do not want to take a chance on something this important by using online forms that may or may not be consistent with Maryland law. You also do not want to visit a general practitioner or attorney focusing on another practice area because Maryland estate planning laws are very complex. For an experienced, trustworthy and knowledgeable group of estate planning attorneys in the Greater Baltimore area, call Stouffer Legal today at 443-470-3599.

April 29, 2020
Live Webinar May 5th at 6pm-Now is the time to protect and plan!
This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 5th at 6:00 PM

How to Protect your "Stuff" in 3 Easy Steps (Estate Planning Workshop)

This webinar covers frequently asked questions and common misconceptions regarding: Wills & Trust, Asset Protection, Nursing Home Issues, Medicaid Qualification, and Estate Taxes.

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 5th at 6:00 PM

Our webinars are designed to be educational, interactive, informative and generate relevant discussion for attendees. Modern Estate Planning is more than just preparing a will and putting it in a safe. Find out how a comprehensive Estate Plan will protect your assets and your family. Our experienced attorney, Wilson McManus, will be sharing stories on how Estate Planning is beneficial and sometimes crucial. In an Estate Plan, you need to know the Rules: Who's "Rule-book" controls your Estate Plan? Yours? The Governments? Someone else? You need to know your Predators: Who's a Threat to Your Stuff? The Government? Long-term Care Costs? Your Family? You need to know your Options: What Plans are out there? Does a Will work? What about a Trust? Which kind of Trust?

Please click to register for our webinar:

LIVE Webinar – Click Here to Register for May 5th at 6:00 PM

Our workshops fill up fast, so please call (443) 470-3599 today to RSVP.

April 28, 2020
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