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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.…..

Knick-knack Knockouts

  • • March 17, 2021
  • The most prolonged and venomous arguments I’ve witnessed in my estate-administration practice have not been over money. In my experience, the highest level of emotional warfare is reserved for tangible, personal property, or the ‘stuff’ that mom and dad, or grandma and grandpa, leave behind in the house…..

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…..

To Probate, or Not to Probate

  • • March 5, 2021
  • Please allow me to interrupt your quarantine gratitude journaling and victory gardening to demystify a topic apt for these unfortunate times: probate. I have found in my legal practice that most consider probate to be a dirty word. I have also found widespread misunderstanding of what that dirty word really means. What better time than during a pandemic to learn about the legal process surrounding death?…..

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….