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Five Myths about Estate Planning

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

I once had a client who needed full-time care and had 10 nurses among her children, grandchildren and nieces who were candidates to provide that care. However, full-time care translated into 21 separate eight-hour shifts to fill every week -- they couldn't do it!

Medicaid – Make My Day!

Friday, March 15th, 2019

Since Medicaid is likely to be in the mix if you need to pay for long-term care, it’s important to sort out fact from fiction. Here are some common misconceptions.

What’s Best for a Person with a Disability: ABLE Account or Trust?

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

In very broad terms, ABLE Accounts are similar to certain types of Special Needs Trusts (SNTs). They both aim to allow an individual with special needs to save money in a tax-free environment and remain qualified for government benefits from Social Security and Medicaid.

Here are some of the differences between an ABLE Account and a SNT which you should keep in mind as you prepare your child for an independent financial future.

Important Facts about Paying for Long-Term Care

Monday, February 25th, 2019

There is confusion about what long-term care is and how to prepare to access care when you need it.

Plan Today for Care You May Need Tomorrow

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Keep in mind, that you may need help gradually. Your plan may start with assistance at home and include a move to a program or facility later.

Act Quickly after Dementia Diagnosis

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Often people with dementia are considered incompetent to make important decisions about their finances and care which is not the case in the early stages of the diseases. 

Your Estate Plan Can Protect Your Pets, Too

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

A trust is more protective for your pet because it spells out what happens to your pets if you become ill or die, and it reduces the likelihood that the funds will be misused.

Why Millennials Need an Estate Plan

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

If you are a Millennial, get ready! Baby Boomers are expected to transfer close to $30 trillion to Millennials and Gen Xers over the next two or three decades.

Why Use a Lawyer for Medicaid Planning?

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

While anyone can apply for Medicaid, advice and representation of a qualified elder law attorney has many advantages for seniors hoping to protect their assets as they plan for long-term care costs they may face in the future. Your alternatives are to go it alone, rely on recommendations from well-meaning friends, use a non-lawyer recommended by a nursing home, use an elder law attorney or use a lawyer certified and accredited by the American Bar Association.

Here are some things to consider as you begin to plan.

Review Your Will if Your Beneficiaries have Student Loans

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

We advise our clients to review their estate planning document regularly for many reasons. New babies need to be included, divorces should be taken into consideration, people who expected to be a trustee may move or have changed their mind. Another reason has to do with student loans for college students.

One Well Crafted Power of Attorney is All You Need

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

Durable powers of attorneys are important to manage the affairs of incapacitated adults. Often we are forced to file guardianship proceedings because a client has either no power of attorney or an inadequate power of attorney. Approximately half of all states have adopted some version of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Delaware has had its present statute since October 31, 2010.

Failed Attempt to Resign Leaves Executor Potentially Liable for Unpaid Estate Taxes

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

In September, a U.S. District Court ruled that the son of an aerospace executive was liable for unpaid estate taxes because he had failed to properly resign as executor of his father’s estate.

In this case, the son had resigned as part of a settlement agreement approved by the Superior Court, but state law required him to resign through the Probate Court. While the case in question is very complicated and involved an estate worth hundreds of millions of dollars, the warning for anyone who wants to retire from his/her role as a fiduciary is clear: be sure to follow the law.

Could Medicare-for-All Work?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

With the elections behind us and a new Congress forming, the idea of Medicare-for-All may be eating up space in newspapers and newscasts in the coming months. It’s hard to argue with the goal of providing basic health care for every American, however, the debate about how to achieve that goal calls for clear thinking.

One reason Medicare-for-All is popular is because the cost of health insurance continues to rise – and rise dramatically for people who buy their own coverage because they don’t have a health plan at work or don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.

Don't Let Lack of Planning Ruin Late-in-Life Romance

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

New love in your golden years can be a wonderful surprise, but before you walk down the aisle again, work with an attorney to identify any unexpected consequences of new marriage. You should consider your estate plan, the assets each person brings to the marriage, tax consequence, pensions, alimony, survivor benefits and other beneficiaries.

What's Happening with Senior Housing?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

A New York Time story says nursing homes around the country are closing.

A retirement housing expert say Boomers expect better housing choices

The times they are a-changing!

Apply for VA Benefits Before Oct. 18, 2018 to Avoid New Penalties

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

On September 18, the Veterans Administration (VA) published new rules that make it more difficult to qualify for this important benefit after October 18 of this year. For example, any gifts that you made in the past 36 months, either to a family member or to an irrevocable trust, would be penalized. Likewise, an investment in an annuity would be penalized. This means you could be prohibited from qualifying for VA pension benefits for up to 5 years, depending on the amount of the gift(s).

Who Pays Your Debts When You Die?

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Did you know 73% of consumers have outstanding debt when they die? According to December 2016 data provided to by credit bureau Experian, the average debt is $61,000.

Who pays for that?

Medicare Now Covers e-Visits to the Doctor

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Two new federal laws permit Medicare Advantage plans to offer telemedicine as a covered benefit and allow doctors to bill the government for monitoring certain patients remotely using telemedicine tools like tracking heartbeat and rhythm, blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Telemedicine, also referred to as telehealth, allows you to ‘visit’ with a doctor using a computer, tablet or phone that has a camera. The doctor --  who may be down the street or across the country -- is able to coach you through some simple steps that may be needed for a diagnosis, like feeling your throat for swelling. (Many area hospitals offer telehealth apps that you can download to your computer or telephone.)

Estate Planning Tips When a Child has Special Needs

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

If your child has special needs, you have undoubtedly spent a lot of time caring for him/her day to day and preparing for his/her the future. You Estate Plan can continue to provide a watchful eye over your loved one if you make smart decisions now. 

One of the best decisions you can make is to create a special – or what we like to call a supplemental -- needs trust for your child.

A properly structured trust manages your child’s inheritance so public benefits that cover food, shelter and medical care are not lost.

An Advanced Directive May Make Your Last Days, Better Days

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

In our last blog, we talked about the importance of being very specific in an Advanced Directive about receiving food and hydration when you cannot speak for yourself, potentially because of late stage dementia.

A recent article in Time magazine addresses another common medical procedure which often violates a patients’ wishes: the use of breathing machines.

If a patient arrives in an Emergency Department with difficulty breathing, staff may quickly suggest a breathing machine.