Monday, January 16, 2017

Termination of Disability Benefits.

Maybe you were under the mistaken belief that Social Security disability means “total disability”.  Now you are all set … the benefits will continue indefinitely.  Surprise!  That is not correct.  Disability means that the claimant has a medical condition that prevents him or her from working.  Thus, benefits are payable only so long as you remain unable to work.   Social Security performs continuing disability reviews periodically to assess ongoing eligibility.

For most people, continuing disability reviews occur every three years.  If you are deemed medically able to resume work, your benefits may be terminated.  Reviews may occur earlier than three years if the Social Security Administration believes that your condition is likely to improve sooner.

Legally, the burden of proof regarding your continued claim of disability lies with SSA, and the agency often makes mistakes in applying the rules for terminating benefits.  You may elect to continue receiving your benefits while you appeal, but you must make the election within ten days.  If you receive a termination notice you should contact a disability attorney immediately.   Call an attorney who knows the ins and outs of social security disability claims in the State of Washington.  You can’t afford to waste another minute!  Contact Social Security disability attorney Lyle Clark at (425) 452-3092.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Do Trusts Shield Estates From Creditors?

Most trusts used in estate planning are known as “revocable” living trusts.  These are flexible planning tools that have advantages in some situations.  Unlike other states where probate procedures are cumbersome and expensive, though, probate avoidance is usually not a good reason to create a trust in Washington State.  One major advantage of a revocable living trust is that the person(s) creating the trust can remove assets from the trust whenever they like.  Since that is the case, however, creditors can force the creators of the trust to remove assets from the trust to satisfy debts.  This is not the case when the trust is irrevocable.  The problem with that is that when you make a trust irrevocable, you no longer own the assets and cannot remove them from the trust, even though you may be entitled to receive income from the trust as a beneficiary.

While a trust may not be needed to avoid probate in Washington State, there are some situations where a revocable living trust may be a good planning tool. For example, if you own property in more than one state, placing your assets in trust could avoid two probates.  Additionally, if you are approaching the point where you will be needing assistance in managing your assets, a trust would allow you to give directions for how your assets will be managed and define the powers and duties of the trustee.

Whatever your situation may be, it is important to understand your options when creating an estate plan.  Choosing the right estate planning attorney is very important.  For over 35 years that man in the Seattle area is Bellevue, Washington trust and will lawyer Lyle Clark.  Start the New Year right by making sound decisions about your future.  Call attorney Clark today at (425) 452-3092.