Have Your Beneficiaries Been Updated Lately?
You may have heard the horror stories of officers who divorced and never changed their insurance policies, deferred comp beneficiaries, or estate plan, and the ex-spouse got it all. It is easy when hearing dramatic stories to assume you are safe. But are you?
There are various reasons why your listed beneficiaries might not fit your current intentions. It can also prove costly because of circumstances beyond your control.
It is very common to have beneficiary names listed on policies and accounts that are not current to your wishes. The chances are you have beneficiaries listed right now that include a person you no longer wish to receive the benefit or it excludes someone.
Here are some examples:
- Previous marriages: That is an easy one. However, please know that when you die the beneficiary on any legal document will receive the proceeds of that policy, account, or estate plan. I have had those phone calls from surviving spouses who discovered the ex on policies after their spouse died.
- Not listing all your children: You took out the insurance policy years ago before having that second or third child.
- Intentionally listing only one child: You figure that child will take care of their siblings. That mistake is widespread. However, the child you list has legal ownership. What if the child's spouse has different ideas? Or before making distributions to siblings, the beneficiary child dies. All the funds are now part of that child's estate. The funds could end up in the beneficiary child's divorce, lawsuit or creditors claim. Then there are possible gift taxes when making distributions depending on the tax code at the time.
- Countless clients were in one of those or other situations as we reviewed their assets and policies during their Living Trust signing. Fortunately, they were still around to fix it.
Minor Children Beneficiaries
Suppose you have listed a minor as a primary or successor beneficiary on a policy or account. Unfortunately, you die before the minor reaches 18 years of age. If so:
- If you die before the minor reaches age 18, all of the proceeds will go to Probate. The assets stay under the court's control until the minor is 18.
- Secondly, not many people want their children to receive large sums of money at 18; when Probate will release it all. 18 may be the age of majority; however it is rarely the age of maturity.
One of my favorite truths is that the human brain does not fully form until age 25. Everything is there except the frontal cortex, which governs reason. And that explains a lot! That fact should also inform your decision about the final distribution age of all funds. A Living Trust best accomplishes a sensible distribution strategy.
A Trust protects the funds outside of Probate. The minor can receive distributions before age 18 for health, education, and welfare at the discretion of your chosen Trustee. You chose the final distribution age.
Beneficiary Financial Troubles
No matter what age you feel is appropriate for your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance, there is no way of knowing whether they are going through a divorce, bankruptcy, or lawsuit at the time of your death.
If you name your Living Trust as beneficiary, the Trust protects against all of those risks. A Trust's Spendthrift Provision prevents any creditor or spouse from claiming the gift of your estate.
Benficiary Disability Issues
Suppose one of your beneficiaries acquires a disability through accident or illness before your death. In that case, your estate funds will go to the government for reimbursement of public benefits. Or your beneficiary will lose their SSI or Medicaid benefits.
You can prevent this from happening with a Living Trust that has precautionary Supplemental Needs provisions.
At the end of your life, or at incapacitation if you have property or bank accounts in your name, they risk Probate.
- A Will must be Probated. The rule is no one can legally sign your name. Therefore, all assets in your name are subject to the probate process, which averages 18 months and is costly.
- A Living Trust completely avoids Probate.
- Your financial accounts, life insurance policies, and deferred compensation accounts can name your Living Trust as beneficiary, subject to essential tax considerations.
- A Living Trust estate plan includes both Health Care and Financial Power of Attorney documents. It also consists of a Last Will and Testament. A Will is necessary for guardianship of minor children. It also transfers assets in your name out of Probate.
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This blog entry is created for information purposes. Therefore, it is not legal advice. Please do not use this blog as legal advice, which turns on specific facts, as well as laws in specific jurisdictions. No reader of this blog should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the reader’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Do You Have Umbrella Insurance?
Umbrella Insurance, the Most Important and Least Expensive Liability Insurance
The chances are you have the average vehicle policy coverage limits of liability - $100,000/$300,000.
Those figures represent the limits of your insurance protection for damages as a result of injuries you cause to others in an accident. However, if the damages exceed $100,000 per person or $300,000 per accident for all persons injured in the accident, you must pay the excess.
Umbrella Insurance Coverage
A standard umbrella policy covers all vehicles on your policy and your home for injuries caused to guests or visitors on your property. An umbrella policy also may cover libel or slander claims. For instance, posting a bad review or social media comment. You may also have coverage for malicious prosecution claims and overseas travels. Importantly, the policy limits begin at $1,000,000,00 and average only $230 per year.
Consequences of Inadequate Insurance Converage
A few years ago, someone I represented in my law practice neighbor's child tripped on a Play Station cord while visiting his home and struck her head on a table. Tragically, the child suffered brain damage. However, my client had only $100,000 liability coverage on his home. Consequently, nearly everything my client earned over 20 years on the job was lost.
Another client came to my office to discuss an accident. She was stopped at a stop sign in Park Ridge, Illinois, at dusk. This suburb has few street lights and short concrete posts for street signs. Moreover, while inching forward to see the street name, she did not notice an older woman who stepped off the curb simultaneously. As a result, my client bumped the woman who fell and struck her head on the sidewalk. The woman died that evening. My client had a 100/300 policy and approximately $600,000 in net worth. There was nothing we could do to protect her savings or the equity in her family home.
The Other Drivers
Consider the flip side of you not having adequate coverage - the thousands of uninsured or underinsured drivers you drive alongside every single day. You must protect yourself from damages another driver with too little or no insurance might cause to you or someone in your household.
Whether it is your home or vehicle, the time to ensure that you are adequately protected is now - before you drive again or invite a guest into your home.
Contact CBA today for help finding the right Umbrella Insurance coverage.
Comprehensive Benefits of America
For an expanded presentation of asset protection and financial wellness strategies and to receive regular updates on strategies to protect what you have earned, visit and register with CBAPlan on the link below. Registration is free.
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7 GREAT BENEFITS OF 24-7 TELEMEDICINE
It is 7:00 am on Monday. Your throat is hurting, and you have a bad cough with severe body ache. You are unable to leave the warmth of your bed. But you have kids who need to be dropped for school, and you have an important presentation at work that can’t be delayed— so you have no time to waste sitting in the waiting room of the urgent care center. Luckily you work for a company that acknowledges the employee’s health-worth and provides a health package including a telemedicine program. You make an appointment with a doctor, and in a few minutes, you are getting examined and diagnosed from the comfort of your home. You save your time and money and get relieved from your stress after speaking with the physician.
Research has proved that the patients who access healthcare through telemedicine show lower rates of stress and anxiety than those who go for in-person visits. These patients show 38% lesser hospital admissions.
Here are 7 great benefits of telemedicine.com for the employees:
HEALTHCARE COST CONTAINMENT:
Medical costs are rising with each passing year, making it even more difficult for employers to provide health benefits to their employees. Some employers implemented consumer-driven healthcare plans (CDHPs), which increased out-of-pocket medical expenses for the plan participants. This made both the employers and employees find ways to cut back on overhead costs. Finally, they found telemedicine as the best solution to fight back the increase in medical expenses. Telemedicine reduces the co-pays for employees and cuts down the claim costs of the employer’s healthcare plan. A research study carried on 17000 telemedicine participants concluded that the hospital admissions of those employees dropped by 30%, and their doctor visits reduced by 60%. They also saved 45% of their costs routinely wasted on the unnecessary doctor and emergency room visits.
Telemedicine has been reported to reduce healthcare costs by up to 27% on average. Telemedicine aids in saving transportation costs, expensive office visit fees, emergency room specialist charges, and other facility charges. Employees often lose revenue when they cannot show up to an office visit due to car problems, traffic jams, work obligations, the responsibility of caring for children or older adults, or some other reasons. Telemedicine has largely helped the employees curb missed appointments. It has helped rural workers save approximately 3,431$ in lost wages and 5,718$ in transportation costs each year.
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine researched telemedicine and concluded that the net cost savings per visit ranged from 19$-121$.
The employers align incentives for selecting the best telemedicine solution so that the benefit drives a positive return on investment. Telemedicine helps small businesses outgrow by saving crucial costs across the board, reducing outgoing costs, and preventing valuable resources. It offers the best price and best deal telemedicine and behavioral health benefits to employees by offering non-pareil services at extremely low rates.
THE BEST PRICE TELEMEDICINE OFFER:
The employee is charged for no consultation or deductible fee in the best price telemedicine offer and no co-pay. All he has to pay is one low fee of $13.50 to get registered fora monthly subscription.
Note: The employee might be charged for the prescription. Any pharmacy or RX card can be used to fill the prescription.
THE BEST DEAL TELEMEDICINE OFFER:
The employees get up to 7 additional family members covered for just $13.50 per month in the best deal telemedicine offer.
It can’t be much more affordable than that.
- QUICK ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTHCARE:
Telemedicine allows the employees to avail of the consultation of best doctors, who can not be accessed for months routinely. The employees can access remote physicians and specialists at their home, work, or on vacation and can get unsurpassed and immediate healthcare in no time. This helps in the employee’s early recovery, followed by lower incidents of re-hospitalization and emergency room visits.
For employees who travel a lot, such as sales professionals, or truckers, telemedicine allows access to treatment regardless of location. Also, the employees living in rural areas can get extraordinary care in their homes.
Telemedicine also allows for better management of chronic diseases. Employers or their family members who suffer from chronic conditions are often unable to visit their doctor regularly. Such patients are more likely to get infected by contagious diseases in hospitals. Telemedicine technology allows you to monitor weight, blood pressure, blood sugar levels at your home and transmits it to the doctor’s office.
24-7Telemedicine services offer 24/7/365 phone or video consultation service with specialist doctors, who can consult, diagnose, and prescribe medications for common and non-emergency illnesses. An employee can easily take time out of their day and make consultations on a mobile phone, tablet, landline, or computer, and get the required immediate care. They discuss their medical history with specialists, who inquire and hear their ailments by themselves rather than waiting for any information from the nurse or doctor. This helps the specialist make a better diagnosis and provide individualized treatment.
Telemedicine.com also allows access to both English and Spanish speaking doctors for their patients’ convenience and uncompromised care provision.
3.PROTECTION FROM COVID-19:
In this havoc-wreaking outbreak of coronavirus, many employees are juggling health concerns and mounting anxiety alongside their jobs and families, which has left them at grave risk for loneliness, stress, burnout, and depression. In this pandemic, more than half of Americans are getting their health benefits through their place of work.
Telemedicine has lent a helping hand in protecting the employees from both contracting and spreading the disease. The employees having symptoms of the disease, can stay at their homes, get an appropriate diagnosis, and medical care through telemedicine, and are expected to show earlier recovery than if admitted at the hospital as he/she gets the proper care and support of loved ones. Those who are asymptomatic can make a consultation via telemedicine and stay safe from contracting the disease or germs of any other contagious disease from other patients in the hospital.
When an employee is sick, all he wants is to take a leave from the workplace, rest for hours, or visit a doctor immediately. Long absentees from his workplace might result in loss of income, low productivity in the workplace, and missed deadlines that might cause the company a great loss.
Telemedicine offers virtual healthcare to employees. They can access the services from their homes, at work, or even on vacations. They don’t need to take off hours from their work for a visit to the doctor’s office; instead, they can make a convenient call to telemedicine.com and get prompt care, as required.
If an employer is providing health benefits to employees, he is actually boosting his company’s productivity. The healthier are the employees; the better is the workplace productivity. When an employer offers telemedicine benefits to employees, he must expect them to save 700 hours per year that otherwise might be wasted by visiting the doctor’s office, in ER visits, or waiting in the waiting rooms for appointments.
With access to telemedicine, employees and their families get the required care and support quickly and easily. The less time it takes for employees to find the remedy, the faster they can return to the workplace. Employees stay productive and engaged when having no health issues.
5.INCREASED EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION:
Telemedicine can provide physical care to employees and alleviate their anxiety, stress, and paranoia that they are already experiencing. Employers can show their employees how important their health is by providing telemedicine as a part of their health benefits. Employees don’t need to leave work for getting examined; backlogs are not created, timely diagnosis and treatment expedite recovery that makes the employee feel a sense of care from their employer. This also helps the employees in cutting down their out-of-pocket costs. Thus, the employees stay relieved from their stress related to health and increase their company’s productivity.
The best deal and best price telemedicine benefits of telemedicine.com have made the employees heave a sigh of relief by cutting down the extra costs on their medical expenses. Research has proved that healthier employees have increased job satisfaction that is a foremost factor for retaining employees. The happier the employees are with their benefits; the more likely are they to rate their company a great workplace.
6.BEHAVIORAL HEALTH BENEFITS:
It needs to be accepted that mental illness, like any other chronic illness, becomes debilitating if left unaddressed. If we ignore the symptoms, it might lead to self-destructive behavior, and ultimately a downturn in workplace productivity.
A report from Mind Share Partners stated that 80% of workers with behavioral health problems said they don’t seek treatment because of shame and stigma. Telemedicine allows the employees to contact behavioral health specialists from their own homes’ comfort with no privacy issues. WHO estimates that every 1$ invested in treating mental health will return $$ in productivity and improved health.
Telemedicine.com offers promising avenues for treating mental illness. It allows greater accessibility, regular follow-ups, and a multi-disciplinary approach while taking complete care of patients’ privacy.
Telemedicine improves the employees’ ability to achieve work-life balance. They can seek healthcare in their off-hours or while traveling. They are not bound to any specific time or region for accessing the telemedicine services. Thus they can achieve a great work-life balance by designing their own schedules as per their convenience.
by bkwatson; Access a Doctor, Blog, Family, MyTelemedicine, Nationwide access, Pediatrician, Prescription, Senior Living, TELEPHONIC COUNSELING
Product Recalls: Consumer Safety Tip from McNabola Law Group
From airbags to baby sleepers to food, product recalls seem like everyday occurrences. With thousands of items recalled in the United States each year, many consumers wonder, “how do my family and I stay safe?”
First, be proactive, McNabola Law Group founder Mark McNabola recommends. If you’re shopping for anything from a car seat to a new vehicle, do your research. Know which products have been linked to recalls or safety issues. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration are great resources.
When it comes to healthcare, make sure the drugs or medical devices you’ve been prescribed — such as hip or knee replacements — are not associated with defects. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or pharmacist questions.
If you hear of a product recall on the news, pay attention and act accordingly.
Finally, if you do become ill from a recalled food item or injured when your vehicle or medical device didn’t operate properly, seek medical help and consult a lawyer to protect yourself.
“The public has profound trust in the companies that produce what we eat, drive and consume in every aspect of our day-to-day lives,” McNabola said. “This is particularly true when there is a minimum stamp of approval by a government agency like the Food and Drug Administration. When those companies fail, attorneys can serve as victims’ advocates to ensure accountability and change.”
McNabola obtained a $1.8 million result in a product liability lawsuit filed on behalf of the family of a 3-year-old Chicago boy who died after tipping backward in an unstable chair. The high-back chair was part of a five-piece dinette set his mother bought at a well-known discount furniture store. The chairs were known to be unsteady from the start by the manufacturer, and tilted back easily if coats were set on the backs.
An autopsy determined the fall contributed to the boy’s death. He had an arterial venous malformation (AVM) at the base of his brain that ruptured when his neck snapped forward and back upon hitting the floor.
“Grieving families are often plagued by questions about how and why a tragedy occurred,” McNabola said. “We can never bring back a loved one, but we can try to prevent other families from experiencing the same heartbreak by always being overly cautious, asking questions and holding companies accountable before tragedy strikes.”
By: McNabola Journal
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