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Showing 29 posts in Estate Planning.

Elder Financial Abuse: What to do if it's in the Family?

Elder Worrying Over Account InformationPeople preying on the elderly to get at their life savings, unfortunately, has become a common occurrence in today’s society. We have all heard stories about an elderly person being targeted and falling victim to an unscrupulous con artist. It is a sobering reality that everyone and their families need to prepare for as they age. When it is a family member who is suspected as the one taking advantage of their parent it puts this problem in a whole different light. What should you do if you suspect a family member of financial elder abuse? Read More ›

Categories: Dementia & Alzheimer's, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Financing, Fraud & Abuse, Senior Exploitation & Abuse

Legal-Ease: Steps for When a Loved One Passes Away - Part Three

Placing Flowers on GraveThis is my third and final article addressing what needs to be done after a person passes away. Part 1 addressed what a person needs to do prior to the decedent’s funeral. Part 2 addressed those things that don’t typically need to be done until after the decedent’s funeral, so long as the funeral is not delayed. This column continues that discussion. Read More ›

Categories: Did you Know?, Estate Planning

Legal-Ease: Steps for When a Loved One Passes Away - Part Two

After Funeral ConsolingThis is the second of three articles addressing the topic of what needs to be done when a spouse or loved one passes away. My last article addressed the immediate things that need to be done prior to the decedent’s funeral. This article and my third article address those things that don’t typically need to be done until after the decedent’s funeral. If the funeral is delayed, however, there should be no similar delay in addressing the matters that need to be addressed. Read More ›

Categories: Did you Know?, Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney

Legal-Ease: Steps for When a Loved One Passes Away - Part One

Looking at photo of passed loved oneDear Jonathan: Can you provide a general summary of what needs to be done when a person’s spouse or loved one passes away? Read More ›

Categories: Did you Know?, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney, VA Aid & Attendance

Legal-Ease: What is the Downside of DIY Estate Planning?

Handwritten WillDear Jonathan: I am thinking about preparing my own estate planning documents, including a will, powers of attorney and a trust. A close friend of mine just went through this process and it cost her thousands of dollars and I really don’t want to spend that much money on attorney fees. I think I can figure it out by doing a little research and finding samples on the internet. I know this is your business and you probably don’t think do-it-yourself estate planning is a good idea but what is the downside of my trying to do this on my own? Read More ›

Categories: Did you Know?, Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney

Legal-Ease: What are my Responsibilities as Fiduciary of an Estate?

Fiduciary Duty DefinitionDear Jonathan: My parents just updated their estate plan and told me that they named me in their wills, their trust and their financial and health care durable powers of attorney to act for them when they can no longer act for themselves. I am more than happy to help them, but I would like to know what my responsibilities are when acting in these various roles. When I asked them if they could explain what my duties would be they were not sure how to respond. Can you help? Read More ›

Categories: Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney

Parents: The Three Essential Legal Documents Your Child Should Have Before Leaving For College

Upset Parent at HospitalIn Michigan, the age of majority is 18 years. This means that when a person turns age 18, they are no longer a minor and are considered to be a legal adult. Consequently when your child turns 18, you no longer have the legal authority to make decisions for him or her, including financial and health care decisions. Read More ›

Categories: Did you Know?, Estate Planning, HIPAA, Powers of Attorney

Executing Estate Planning Documents Outside of Attorney's Office

Mailing in Estate DocumentsOccasionally clients will request, for one reason or another, that I mail them the originals of the estate planning documents I prepared for them so that they can have them executed outside of my office at a bank or some other financial institution.  Read More ›

Categories: Did you Know?, Estate Planning

When It Comes To Estate Planning, Coordination Is Key

Dominoes LeaningThe primary reason most people engage in estate planning is to name who they want to receive their assets when they pass away. Beneficiaries can be named in a will, a trust or pursuant to a beneficiary designation. When naming beneficiaries, it is critically important that your will and your trust (if you have one), not only coordinate with each other, but with the beneficiaries you have named on your various investments, as well as with how your assets are titled. Failure to properly coordinate in all of these areas could have unintended, and in some cases, disastrous consequences. Read More ›

Categories: Estate Planning

Importance of Durable Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney on TypewriterWhen people decide to engage in estate planning, typically they focus on naming the beneficiaries of their estate and making sure their estate avoids probate when they pass away. In most cases, these concerns are addressed by the preparation of a will, a living trust and certain probate avoidance documents. Those standard documents are an important part of the overall estate planning process, however, durable powers of attorney for financial matters and health care are just as important for other reasons. In fact, regardless of whether they have an estate plan, every adult should have these two durable powers of attorney. 
Read More ›

Categories: Estate Planning, Powers of Attorney

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Survivor's Checklist:

Due to the shock of the death of a spouse or a loved one, the steps of what needs to be done first can be an overwhelming process for the survivor(s). To aid in the breakdown and to act as a tool amidst the emotional days ahead, estate planning Jonathan "Jay" David has assembled a "Survivor's Checklist" of some of the important things that need to be addressed when a spouse or loved one dies.


Resources and Support for Older Adults Living Alone: A Comprehensive Guide (2024):

Below is a comprehensive guide of resources for older adults living alone, empowering them to thrive independently and access essential services. This guide was created and provided with permission by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

Resources and Support for Older Adults Living Alone: A Comprehensive Guide (2024) (ncoa.org)


Elder Organizer Tool:

Foster Swift has created a free ‘Elder Organizer’ digital notebook to provide seniors and their caretakers with a toolkit that helps organize doctors’ appointments, medications, and more that can be shared online. The tools below are also available on the Elder Law Resources page.

*For those trying to access these links by smartphone, it is best practice to copy/open the link in a separate tab and download the free Google Sheets app from Google Play or the Apple Store.

Using the Elder Law OrganizerMedication & Appointments ButtonVisitor Log & Photos/Media ButtonPrivate Care Schedule ButtonElder Law Resources Button


COVID-19 Checklist:

For adult children responsible for their elderly parents and other senior caretakers concerned about protecting loved ones as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, below is a free downloadable checklist of steps to follow to prepare for any possible COVID-19-related illnesses among the most-vulnerable.

Download Button: Checklist


E-book Covers Estate Planning Essentials

Estate Planning Cover

Engaging in estate planning, while essential, is often emotional and generates many questions. How do I protect my spouse and my children if something happens to me? What happens if I become disabled before I pass on? Who will take care of my pet after I'm gone? How do I pass my business on to my children? These questions and more are addressed in Jonathan David’s recently updated e-book, “Estate Planning: You Have to Start in Order to Finish.”

Need Help Planning?

Helping Hands

For more tools, visit our Elder Law Resource page for additional content. Click here to view/download the Foster Swift estate planning brochure to see what our experienced team of attorneys can do for you.