Even if you've created an estate plan, are you sure you included everything you need to? There are certain provisions that people often forget to put in in a will or estate plan that can have [...]
Planning your own funeral arrangements can assist your loved ones in an emotionally challenging time, while also protecting them from [...]
In many cases, you would tell your beneficiaries that you have made a trust for them. However, this is not always desirable - and this is where a “quiet” trust may be helpful.
Unfortunately, neither health insurance nor Medicare covers long-term care. Medicaid could become your only option, so do what you can to plan ahead.
Many retirees meet the requirements for federal and state benefits programs, yet do not know they are eligible and miss opportunities [...]
Do you have a friend or loved one who receives Social Security and is unable to manage her payments? If so, you can request that the Social Security Administration name you as the [...]
If medical personnel are able to access your medical history during an emergency, it could mean the difference between life and death.
Medigap premiums for plans from insurance companies offering the same benefits vary widely, so it pays to be a smart shopper.
Nursing home evictions, or involuntary discharges or transfers, disrupt the lives of residents, leading to homelessness, separation from familial support systems, and loss of care. As federal [...]
Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) are a mechanism by which wealthier individuals and couples can transfer appreciating assets to their heirs and minimize gift or estate taxes.
Saying goodbye to a loved one is heartbreaking. Making final arrangements can be overwhelming, and knowing what you are allowed to do to fulfill your loved one's wishes is important — but it [...]
The Internal Revenue Service has issued new guidance extending the time that executors have to elect portability.
Collecting art or other valuable items can be a passion for many people. Once you have accumulated a sizable collection, what do you want to happen to it after you pass away?
Unfortunately, not all families get along. If you are having problems with one of your children, you may not want them to benefit from your estate. There are several strategies for dealing [...]
If you want to pass money to future generations without having it subject to gift and estate taxes, then a dynasty trust may be right for you.
An advisory issued in June warns people against using a series of adult portable bed rail models after at least three people were entangled in them and died of asphyxia.
If you need a lot of cash on hand upon retirement, Social Security offers a lump-sum payment option that’s worth six months of retroactive benefits. However, it comes at a cost. It is [...]
While Medicaid helps pay for nursing home care, being admitted to a nursing home as a Medicaid recipient is not always easy. There are several ways to navigate the process, depending on your [...]
In a case involving a teen who was catastrophically injured, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that state Medicaid programs may be [...]
Running a small business can keep you busy, but it should not keep you from creating an estate plan. Not having a plan in place can cause problems for your business and your family after you [...]
Navigating the Medicaid application process can be complicated, especially if you are applying for long-term care benefits. Having an attorney help you through the process can be extremely [...]
If you have Medicare, you can now receive up to eight free rapid at-home Covid-19 tests a month at participating pharmacies, no prescription required.
When a married couple applies for Medicaid, the Medicaid agency must analyze the couple’s income and assets as of a particular date to determine eligibility. This “snapshot” date can have a [...]
In an alarming number of cases, private Medicare Advantage plans are denying coverage for medical services that would be covered under original Medicare, according to a federal investigation. [...]
We've all been warned about protecting ourselves from identity theft, but one group of victims can't take action to defend themselves—the dead. There are steps that you can take to discourage [...]
The estate and gift tax exemption is set to be cut in half in 2026. Proper planning may be necessary to make sure you are taking full advantage of the current exemption and aren’t negatively [...]
A federal court has ruled that hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries who were switched from inpatient to observation status can appeal the decision, making it easier for them to receive coverage [...]
When loved ones pass away, there are lots of considerations, including what happens to their Social Security. The decedent’s payments need to be stopped, but survivor’s benefits may be [...]
Medicaid applicants must prove that they have limited income and assets in order to be eligible for long-term care benefits. Before beginning the application process, it is helpful to [...]
Some parents, fearful of how a large inheritance will affect their heirs, set up what are known as “incentive trusts” that ensure that the trust funds support positive behavior and discourage [...]
Acting as an agent under a power of attorney is a big responsibility and it isn’t something everyone can take on. It is possible to resign or refuse the position.
When one spouse is in a nursing home and applying for Medicaid, planning has to take into account the possibility that the spouse who is not in the nursing home (called the "community spouse") [...]
Worsening Nursing Home Staffing Crisis Taking a Devastating Toll on Residents, Their Families and Hospitals
Overwhelmed by the stress of long hours, low pay and exposure to the COVID-19 virus, nursing home workers are quitting in record numbers. The labor hemorrhage has turned what was already a [...]
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it will add data on staff turnover rates and weekend staffing levels to its Care Compare website, giving consumers another tool [...]
If your family contains opposite-gender parents in the first marriage for each and one or more kids, all healthy and thriving, your estate plan will probably be pretty straightforward. But if [...]
What happens if you become incapacitated and are unable to voice your opinion on your health care? If you don’t have a health care proxy or guardian in place, state law chooses who can make [...]
With the fate of the estate tax exemption uncertain, you may want to use the current large exemption to transfer assets to a trust to benefit your spouse. A spousal lifetime access trust [...]
When the SSA closed its offices at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it failed to provide practical ways for the elderly and people with disabilities to demonstrate their eligibility or [...]
When applying for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage, in addition to the strict income and asset limits, you must demonstrate that you need a level care typically provided in a nursing home.
Medicare premiums are rising sharply next year, cutting into the large Social Security cost-of-living increase. The basic monthly premium will jump 15.5 percent, or $21.60, from $148.50 to [...]
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the amounts taxpayers of different ages can deduct from their 2022 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance, and the figures are [...]
While it is preferable to conduct long-term care planning well in advance of needing care, if you haven’t planned ahead, there are some strategies available to avoid spending all your assets.
If you have close relatives who are citizens of another country, you might receive a gift or inheritance from them at some point. While you usually do not have to pay taxes to the IRS for [...]
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are an important tool for small business owners, but they can also be useful in estate planning. An LLC can help you pass assets to your children while [...]
Many families will eventually have to hire a caregiver to look after an aging relative. There are two main ways to hire someone: directly or through a home health [...]
Individuals who are researching nursing homes can now see staff and resident vaccination rates along with other quality and safety measure information at Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare [...]
Rising inflation due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means that in 2022, Social Security benefits will go up 5.9 percent, the sharpest upsurge since 1983.
For a variety of reasons, people sometimes want some or all of their assets to pass directly to specific individuals upon their deaths, outside of probate. POD and TOD accounts are one way to [...]
When interest rates are low, intrafamily loans can be a good way to assist children with purchasing a house or a family business, and in certain circumstances they can be used to gift money to [...]
In the event you lose your house in a natural disaster or through another calamity, it is important that your estate planning and other important documents are beyond reach and easily [...]
All older Americans are vulnerable to financial abuse, but there are circumstances that make someone more likely to be scammed. An online survey can help older adults assess their risk of [...]
Every year during Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7, Medicare gives beneficiaries a window of opportunity to shop around and determine if their [...]
The Social Security trustees are projecting that the Social Security trust fund will be depleted in 2033 -- one year earlier than the previous estimates. Once the fund is depleted, Social [...]
When most of a couple's income is in the name of the spouse who is receiving Medicaid, the spouse remaining in the community may wonder what he or she will live on. Medicaid has created some [...]
Marriage is supposed to be “until death do us part,” but after one spouse dies, is it possible to have the marriage annulled? It can be done, but only in certain circumstances.
A number of tax proposals being considered in Congress could significantly affect gifting and estate plans for people with with larger estates -- over $3.5 million.
It is important to get any agreements about inheritance in writing. Providing services to someone does not automatically entitle you to a portion of their estate.
Studies have found that workers overestimate how much they will receive in Social Security benefits when they retire. Having a good understanding of the realities can help you plan for [...]
The federal government can grant “waivers” to states allowing them to expand Medicaid to include home and community-based services. The downside is that states can limit home care and the wait [...]
If you are experiencing problems with your nursing home that can't be resolved within the nursing home, your next step is to contact the local ombudsman assigned to the nursing home.
Being asked to serve as the trustee of the trust of a family member is a great honor. But being a trustee is also a heavy responsibility. Here are six questions to ask before saying "yes."
While the current estate tax exemption is quite high, a closely held family business may put your estate over the limit. Careful planning is necessary to lower or completely avoid the tax, and [...]
Most people want to pass their assets to their children or grandchildren, but naming a minor as a beneficiary can have unintended consequences. It is important to make a plan that doesn’t [...]
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that has the potential to affect anyone who receives government assistance with their medical care following a disabling injury that results in [...]
Britney Spears’s struggle to regain control over her business and personal life shines a spotlight on legal guardianship and alternatives that involve less loss of control over one's life.
In order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits a nursing home resident may have no more than $2,000 in "countable" assets (the figure may be somewhat higher in some states).
Directed trusts can be a useful estate planning tool, allowing you to place your family’s assets in a trust but benefit from the expertise of an advisor who knows more about the handling of [...]
Passing assets to your grandchildren can be a great way to ensure their future is provided for, and a generation-skipping trust can help you accomplish this goal while reducing estate taxes [...]
Medicare prescription drug plans can have a coverage gap—called the "donut hole"--which limits how much Medicare will pay for your drugs until you pay a certain amount out of pocket.
Thousands of SSI recipients have been falsely accused of owning real estate because of the Social Security Administration’s reliance on a private database that is “riddled with errors,” [...]
Qualifying for Medicare hardly means free health care -- there are still premiums and deductibles. However, people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid (called “dual eligibility”) [...]
The one-year deadline for nursing home residents on Medicaid to spend down their first round of stimulus checks is here, but they may have a little extra time.