The Internal Revenue Service has issued new guidance extending the time that executors have to elect portability.
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]
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?
In a case involving a teen who was catastrophically injured, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that state Medicaid programs may be [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 have Medicare, you can now receive up to eight free rapid at-home Covid-19 tests a month at participating pharmacies, no prescription required.
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 [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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") [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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).
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 [...]
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 [...]
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”) [...]
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,” [...]
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.
The IRS has announced that the tax deduction for medical expenses includes amounts spent on face masks, sanitizer and other products purchased to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
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.
Can My Mom Take Out a Home Equity Loan on a House in Her Name Without Affecting My Dad’s Medicaid Benefits?
My dad is in a nursing home and qualified for Medicaid nearly three years ago. My mom still lives in their home in Pennsylvania. The [...]
In a profanity-laced episode of his HBO show that is by turns hilarious and deeply disturbing, comedian John Oliver delivers one of his trademark rants, this one exposing the “abuse and [...]
President Biden has signed the latest COVID-19 relief bill, which in addition to authorizing stimulus checks, funding vaccine distribution, and extending unemployment benefits, also provides [...]
An elder law attorney suggested the purchase of a vehicle as a way to protect some of my grandma’s assets. While this would be [...]
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued new guidance on whether families can visit loved ones in nursing homes. The guidance allows indoor visitation even when the resident [...]
In recent years a number of non-lawyers have started businesses offering Medicaid planning services to seniors. While using one of these services may be cheaper than hiring a lawyer, the [...]
Increasingly, several generations of American families are living together. These multi-generational living arrangements present legal and financial challenges around home ownership.