The Eldercare Answerman

I am WECTU's Eldercare Answerman. My podcasts discuss many of the primary issues that we have to address when assisting our loved ones as they age. Please use the adjacent search box to find an answer to an eldercare problem. Also, check out my Blog, my Frequently Asked Questions section and my Elder Care Search Wizard.


If you have a specific request regarding a topic that I have not addressed, please contact us with your request.

This podcast addresses the additional issues and complexities that are involved with eldercare and estate planning for a blended family. The proliferation of second marriages and the family dynamics associated with them are also reviewed.

This podcast deals with beneficiary designations as it pertains to life insurance, annuities, and retirement plans. The importance of a proper beneficiary designation is thoroughly discussed regarding its impact and tax ramifications in the areas of estate and elder care planning. It highlights the importance of a thorough review of such designations on a periodic basis.

Numerous tax problems arise when one engages in elder care planning. This podcast explores both the income tax and estate and gift tax ramifications of eldercare planning. You are shown the best methods to benefit the entire family using current tax law.

Frequently family discord is the end result of both the state and elder care planning. This podcast discusses methods to avoid family conflicts when engaging in pre-crisis estate and elder care planning. It helps families avoid unnecessary fighting by anticipating family problems in advance of one’s death or disability.

There are many misconceptions regarding one’s ability to make gifts on either a one time or annual basis. The use of the federal estate tax credit and the annual gift tax exclusion are thoroughly discussed as they pertain to elder care planning. The difference between gifting and its impact on one’s tax and elder care planning are shown to be quite different.

A life estate deed is shown to be different from a regular deed. The difference between a life estate deed with powers and without powers is quite different in the eldercare planning arena. We review the positive benefit of such deeds in estate planning. Learn how a life estate deed with no powers can protect one’s home or real estate from being lost to a long-term care stay.

Long term care insurance is a necessary type of insurance coverage for American families. How to construct the appropriate coverage is a topic that is thoroughly reviewed. What are the important component parts to be included in such a policy and how much coverage should be purchased are also issues that are discussed in this podcast.

All of a family’s assets can be protected in certain states with proper eldercare planning provided that the planning involves a healthy spouse. Even after a spouse is institutionalized, it is still possible to protect the family residence and all of their remaining assets. Several examples of the relevant planning techniques are discussed in the podcast. We show that there is no gift tax when transfers of assets are made to the healthy spouse.

Even after a loved one enters a nursing home, it is still possible for the family to protect one half of the person’s assets provided that they have an updated durable power of attorney. Transfers of assets are possible at any time and the estate and gift tax ramifications are reviewed. Creative planning should begin when a senior citizen’s health begins to decline. When and how to implement such a plan with relevant examples are also discussed.

In many cases a dog, cat or bird is the most important member of the family. Until recently, there the ability of an individual or couple to provide for the pet’s welfare was limited. Many states now permit families to provide for both the care and maintenance of a pet for its lifetime with a new estate planning tool known as a pet trust. This podcast explores this new planning option.

This is a critical document that should be implemented by everyone over the age of 21 so they they can make certain that they have empowered someone to act on their behalf should they be incapacitated. We explore the importance of this critical estate planning document as well as the need to select the appropriate person to act on one’s behalf should they be unable to do so. This podcast makes the case that the power of attorney may be the most critical document in a families estate planning arsenal.

This podcast reviews all types of insurance ranging from term and whole life insurance to property and casualty insurance coverage. It is geared to both eldercare and estate planning issues and the impact of various types of insurance on these two areas.

A revocable living trust is an excellent estate planning tool for families that own real estate or assets in their individual name. It also benefits those folks that own properties in more than one state. It has a collateral benefit of helping the family to avoid the costly and time-consuming probate process when a loved one dies. This podcast reviews the positive and negative attributes of using this estate planning vehicle.

One of the most important and difficult decisions for a person to make when preparing their estate planning is choosing a trusted party or parties to make their healthcare and wealth care decisions. This person or persons must be both trustworthy and available to step into the shoes of an individual who is no longer able to act on their own. This podcast deals in detail with this most important estate planning decision.

If a family has a younger generation disabled family member, it is critical to take the necessary action to protect them so that gifted and inherited assets are not lost and do not disqualify them from receiving governmental benefits. Both lifetime and a trust created at death are thoroughly reviewed. Special wording in the special needs trust must be present to protect the disabled family member and their governmental benefits.

Trusts can also be implemented either by a will or by a revocable living trust at the time of one’s death. A testamentary trust is one that is created at the time when someone passes away. This type of trust can last for multiple generations and in some cases in perpetuity. We review the critical language that must be included in such a trust document.

There is a long-term care benefit available to veterans and their spouses. The benefit can range between $1200 and $2500 per month. A veteran need only have served during wartime and did not have to be deployed to the war zone If they were a veteran of World War II, Korea, or Vietnam. The rules changed subsequent to the Vietnam War. The benefit covers homecare, assisted living, and nursing home care. Learn how to access this benefit for the veteran in your family.

Many families have vacation homes that they want to keep in the family for multiple generations. This can be a major problem when the family is confronted with a long-term care stay. With good pre-crisis planning and the use of a life estate deed with no powers the property can be protected for the family. When passing such a property to family members, it can create a divisive situation and result in a family feud. This podcast explores ways to avoid these contentious situations.


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Eldercare Search Wizard


I am WECTU's Eldercare Answerman. My search tool will automatically guide you to information and answers that will assist you with resolving your specific eldercare issues.