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Orange City Estate Planning Blog

High Five: The Zen Guide to End-of-Life Transitions

We’ve been talking this month about the Zen of planning for end-of-life transitions, but even the five step approach we’ve been talking about can seem intimidating, especially when you’re reading words on a page (or screen). So we’ve simplified things even more with our infographic: the Zen Guide to End-of-Life Transitions. [Read More]

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High Five: The Zen Guide to Planning for a Nursing Home Stay

If you’re dealing with a nursing home, it will quickly become clear that the options for paying the care bill are dizzying. Paying out of pocket is cost prohibitive. Long-term care insurance is probably not workable. For many, that leaves Medicaid, but those rules are spread over hundreds of pages of federal and state statutes, regulations, and policy manuals. What you need is an oasis from the stress, not the exponentially increasing stress that comes from trying to make sense of all those rules. Don’t despair. You can achieve calm in this whirlwind. Follow these five steps and you’ll soon find that the zen of nursing home planning is easily reached. [Read More]

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High Five: The Zen Guide to Creating a Trust

Last week, we talked about the fact that many people see estate planning as an intimidating, even scary, process – only 45% of people have had their will prepared! But we also showed you the zen approach to creating your will with the help of an estate planning expert through planning ahead, organization, communication and clarity. And, surprise, those same principles apply to creating a trust. But, while the principles are the same, the zen of trust planning can be quite different from creating a will. [Read More]

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High Five: The Zen Guide to Creating Your Will

Over the last seven years of advising clients, I have come to the realization that many people aren’t doing estate planning because it’s intimidating. It’s scary. Depressing. That’s a lot of negative emotion! But I don’t think estate planning is a negative experience – quite the opposite. Follow this guide to finding the Zen of creating your will, and you’ll soon discover that all those negative thoughts have been replaced by peace of mind about your final affairs. [Read More]

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High Five: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid with Your Will

Not surprisingly, online do-it-yourself legal services have a huge customer base, likely because they are cheaper and more convenient than using a local lawyer. Sites like LegalZoom say you can “get a will” that’s the same as what you get from the lawyer down the street. But, unfortunately, DIY or form wills are prone to any number of problems which cause your estate to be divided incorrectly, your probate to be administered inefficiently, or your wishes to be completely ignored. [Read More]

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High Five: 5 Reasons to Sign a Healthcare Power of Attorney

Have you been to the doctor? Have you ever taken aspirin or ibuprofen for a headache? Had an out patient procedure? Had a surgery? What led you to take those actions? Did you call the nurse’s station at the local clinic or your health insurance? Did the doctor explain the risks and rewards of the procedure or surgery? Ultimately, you made the decision. But what if you couldn’t speak for yourself? [Read More]

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High Five: 5 Ways to Pay for Your Nursing Home Stay

Nursing home care is expensive, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. With the 2014 average cost of nursing home care reaching $169 per day in Iowa, 70% of people reaching age 65 this year can expect to pay about $123,370-$141,115 (or more!) for their end of life care. The question becomes, how do you pay for an expense that huge? [Read More]

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High Five: 5 Tips to Make Your Probate or Trust Administration Go Smoothly

Geckos are amazing and resilient creatures. They can climb up vertical surfaces. Some geckos can fly. If you cut off a gecko’s tail, they’ll grow it back. These five tips for making an estate or trust administration go smoothly create the acronym ‘GECKO’. So, keeping the amazing lizard in mind, read on for some helpful advice on how to ease the process of estate or trust administration. [Read More]

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