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Thanks for the “Likes”

Thanks to my readers for all the many recent “Likes” on my Word Press page.

I really appreciate knowing that readers enjoy a certain topic.

The topic that seemed to touch a cord with many was… disabled veterans and student loan debt. (find the article on my website – www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com archived under military families; student loans

As I often write, part of my practice is in the Colorado Springs, home to many military families. Whenever any topic passes my computer screen that I think can be useful to our military, I pass it on.

Some readers have also inquired why I do not ‘dig deeper’ into a topic.  I often write that “it is beyond the scope of this article…” and I truly mean that.

At time a topic is both deep and broad.  Rather than offering legal advice that might not be appropriate to a given situation, I offer up other sites where the reader can begin to gather and research more information.

Beware – Sometimes, the internet is not always the best source of legal help. In that case, time and money spent with a legal professional can prevent mistakes…mistakes that can haunt you later.

A case in point is taking a legal document from a free website.  Sure, it is free, and I LIKE free! But that free legal document might not be appropriate to a more complex situation; or to a person’s individual circumstances.

On the other hand, that free legal document can be a starting point and a basis for an individual to begin to think about their own unique issues.

I will continue to offer articles that are on current topics and advise my readers to delve further into any issue.

Again, thanks for the LIKES…they spur me on.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website – www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for over 250 articles and printable infographics

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Student Loan Help for Our Disabled Veterans

As many of you know, part of my practice is in Colorado Springs, where there are a large number of military families.  Whenever an article passes my computer that can help a military family, I like to pass it on.

This is one article that could help disabled veterans (and their families) who are struggling under the burden of debt from student loan obligations.

Here is the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB)  link:

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/help-here-people-severe-disabilities-struggling-student-loans/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=df197fc4-5565-4296-ad57-31a7dd41e620 k:

There are several issues about student loan debt:

First, since the beginning of the federal student loan program those individuals who were considered total and permanently disabled could have their federal student loans forgiven.  Note, that this is for federal student loans and not private loans.

Second, there was the possibility of having a loan forgiven due to death or total disability.

Third,  Previously,  if/when the debt was forgiven- the portion of the ‘forgiven’ debt was considered ‘income’ and therefore was taxable.

NOW>>>>Effective, January 1, 2018 due to ‘death or total permanent disability borrowers whose student loans are forgiven NO LONGER HAVE TO PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAXES ON THOSE FORGIVEN LOANS.

Thus, Now when the student loan debt is forgiven, there will be no detrimental tax consequences.

According to some data, more than 800,000 severely disabled veterans are unemployable due to a service-connected disability.

Many of these do not know that their student loan debt could be forgiven.  Also, for those veterans, if/when the debt is forgiven, the ‘forgiven’ portion of the debt is no longer considered as taxable income

Veterans with student loan debt should contact their Department of Veterans Affairs for more information and if their student loan debt is forgiven, consult with a tax advisor.

It is beyond the scope of this article to address each individual circumstances with regard to specific student loan debt.

The data is from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…..“There are new student loan protections in place in 2018.  Tens of thousands of disabled veterans and hundreds of thousands of people living with severe disabilities are now eligible for new student loan protections starting this year.”

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website – www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weelby.com for over 250 articles and printable infographics

Something Special for Military Retirees

Having a portion of my practice on Colorado Springs, Colorado means that I meet some wonderful military families.

Many people in the military are able to retire based on the length of years served, which means that they are younger when they take retirement. This ‘early’ retirement means that funds they have accumulated during their service years must last that much longer.

For a veteran who receives a military pension there is the possibility of some extra help. Some veterans may be eligible for Aid and Attendance, an allowance that could increase their pension.

The circumstances are very specific for claiming the additional monetary payment. According to the VA website: “ Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment.  These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension.”

For more information about the Aid and Attendance and the Housebound payments, military retirees should contact the office of Veterans Affairs in their state and submit a claim form. You might also use the following link to find out more about eligibility:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

Visit my website:  http://www.attorneybarbaradalvano.weebly.com for more articles and printable infographics

Some Good News For Military Families

As I have previously mentioned in this blog, my practice includes the area of Colorado Springs, Colorado – home to a significant population of military families.  I like to keep abreast of Estate Planning issues that specifically impact our families serving in the military. Here is something that military families can celebrate.  The National Defense Authorization Act (2015) and the Disabled Military Child Protection Act

Recent legislation (The National Defense Authorization Act 2015) will allow military members to name a special needs trust as beneficiary.  (A special needs trust is a very specific type of trust that is best crafted by an experienced attorney)

Why is this good news?  Because, previously, survivor benefits (for military) went directly to the children and in the case of special needs children (children with disabilities) this frequently would mean that a disabled military child would have the financial support of their SSI/Medicaid benefits negatively impacted.

To read more about this topic, go to http://www.specialneedsanswers.com  titled:  “Finally, Military Members Can Name Special Needs Trusts as Beneficiaries of Survivor Benefit Plans”

If you have questions about Colorado Trusts law, contact me.

See the bottom of this page, “How I Can Help You; my contact information and the Disclaimer Statement.