Letters of Administration

This is a physical document issued by the probate court evidencing an Administrator’s authority to take control of a deceased person’s assets. This control usually requires presentment of Letters and the death certificate.

Letters Testamentary

This is a physical document issued by the probate court evidencing the Executor’s authority to take control of a deceased person’s assets. This control usually requires presentment of Letters and the death certificate.

Living Trust

A revocable trust, sometimes casually referred to as a “Living Trust,” is a trust by which the terms of the trust allow the Grantor to revoke or terminate the Trust. In more unique planning situations, a beneficiary could be given the right to revoke the trust. If a beneficiary has special needs, it is important to make sure that beneficiary cannot revoke the trust. If they can revoke the trust, its assets will count toward that beneficiary’s eligibility for public benefits.

Living Will

A document instructing relatives, loved ones, physicians, to withhold or withdraw all or specifically designated extraordinary measures, such as a ventilator, to extend one’s life in the event of a persistent vegetative state or terminal illness.

Long-Term Care

This is the phrased used when one will require assistance, to varying levels, with their personal care needs. Assistance is required for one’s activities of daily living (ADLs), which include: bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, and eating. Other ADLs include housework, managing money, storing and administering medication, shopping, using the phone, caring for pets, and responding to emergencies.

Look-Back Period

This refers to the length of time looking backward in which a government agency will consider transfers without fair value received (i.e. gifts). This “look-back” occurs when a person applies for Medicaid, VA, and certain other benefits. Gifts made during the look-back period usually generate a penalty period or length of time the donor is disqualified of benefits.

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