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New Yorker Cartoonist Lauds Elder Law Profession in Interviews About Her Book

The popular New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast has created a graphic memoir of coping with her parents’ final years, titled Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? The book has received widespread attention and critical...more

7/14/2014 - Power of Attorney

5 Questions to Ask Before Making Gifts for Medicaid or Tax Planning

Many seniors consider transferring assets for estate and long-term care planning purposes, or just to help out children and grandchildren. Gifts and transfers to a trust often make a lot of sense. They can save money in taxes...more

7/11/2014 - Long-Term Care Medicaid Tax Planning Transfer of Assets

Scorecard Ranks States on Long-Term Care Services

A new report ranks states on the quality and accessibility of their long-term care services and concludes there is a lot of room for improvement. The 2014 State Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard finds that quality of...more

7/9/2014 - AARP Healthcare Information Reports Long Term Care Facilities Long-Term Care The Commonwealth Fund

IRS Now Allows Caregiver Parents to Exclude Medicaid Waiver Payments From Income

The Internal Revenue Service has reversed a long-standing policy and agreed to allow parents of people with disabilities who receive Medicaid waiver funds in return for caregiving services provided to their children to...more

2/7/2014 - CMS Exclusions Healthcare Income Taxes IRS Medicaid Waivers

Making Decisions for a Child with Special Needs Who Becomes an Adult

Parents of children with special needs must be concerned with ensuring that medical and financial decisions will continue to be made in the child's best interest once the child reaches age 18 -- the age of legal capacity. In...more

2/6/2014 - Conservators Guardians Parental Consent

What Is a "First-Party" Special Needs Trust and When Is It Useful?

A Special Needs Trust (SNT) can play an important role in preserving the financial security and lifestyle of a person with special needs. A properly drafted SNT allows the individual to benefit from supplemental resources...more

2/5/2014 - Estate Planning Special Needs Trust Trusts

9 (Potential) Problems with Your Trust

All trusts should be reviewed every few years to make sure that they are up-to-date with the law and meet your goals today. Following is a checklist of trust features you can review yourself. But be aware that these only...more

1/14/2014 - Estate Planning Trusts

Key 2014 Dollar Limits for Medicaid Long-Term Care Coverage Released

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the 2014 federal guidelines for how much money the spouses of institutionalized Medicaid recipients may keep and the limit on how much a home can be worth for...more

1/13/2014 - CMS Healthcare Long-Term Care Medicaid Medicare Nursing Homes

Probate v. Non-Probate: What Is the Difference?

When planning your estate it is important to understand the difference between probate and non-probate assets. Probate is the process through which a court determines how to distribute your property after you die. Some assets...more

1/10/2014 - Estate Planning Probate Wills

3 Year-End Estate Planning Action Items Most People Should Consider (But Usually Don't)

In your experience, what is the one thing people don't do but should, when it comes to year-end estate planning activities? That's the question we put to estate planning experts writing on JD Supra. Here's what we heard...more

12/16/2013 - Beneficiary Designations Estate Planning Legal Perspectives Qualified Charitable Distributions Year-End Planning

What Is a Pooled Trust and How Does It Protect My Family Member?

Because beneficiaries of programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid must be quite poor to qualify, they can lose their benefits when they come into an inheritance, receive money in their own names from an...more

12/11/2013 - Beneficiaries Estate Planning Pooled Investment Vehicles Special Needs Trust Trusts

Is Your Special Needs Plan Due for a Tune-Up?

Doctors recommend visiting once every year for a physical, and dentists stress the importance of six-month checkups, but did you know that you should also take the time to review your special needs plan with your attorney at...more

12/10/2013 - Estate Planning Special Needs Trust

Suit Alleges Kentucky Disability Lawyer Colluded With Judge to Win Cases -- And Millions in Fees

A recently unveiled whistleblower lawsuit alleges that a prominent Kentucky disability lawyer illegally colluded with a federal disability judge to approve his clients' cases and reap the millions in attorney's fees that came...more

12/9/2013 - Attorney Misconduct Corruption Disability Judicial Misconduct Legal Ethics

Federal Disability Benefits Set to Rise Only 1.5 Percent

People with disabilities and senior citizens can expect a small, 1.5 percent increase in their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in the new year, an even smaller cost of living adjustment than...more

12/6/2013 - Disability Disability Insurance Social Security

Is an Electronic Will Valid?

Is a will created on a tablet computer valid? An Ohio judge recently answered that question in the affirmative, but most states have not addressed the issue. As electronic devices become more commonplace, this question will...more

11/19/2013 - Electronic Devices Estate Planning Probate

Be Aware of the Dangers of Joint Accounts

Many people believe that joint accounts are a good way to avoid probate and transfer money to loved ones. But while joint accounts can be useful in certain circumstances, they can have dire consequences if not used properly....more

11/18/2013 - Bank Accounts Joint Accounts

Staying Eligible for Medicaid after the Death of a Spouse

When one member of a couple moves to a nursing home, we expect that spouse will be the first to die, but this isn’t always the case. What happens if a Medicaid recipient's spouse dies first? If planning steps aren't taken,...more

11/15/2013 - Eligibility Medicaid

Using an Annuity to Keep the Spouse of a Medicaid Applicant from Becoming Impoverished

When one spouse qualifies for Medicaid to pay for a nursing home stay, the spouse who is at home is often left without many resources. While Medicaid has rules to prevent community spouses from impoverishment, the protections...more

10/15/2013 - Annuities Medicaid Nursing Homes

Pennsylvania Nurse Charged With Assisting in Father's Suicide

In a case being closely watched by baby boomers throughout the country caring for aging parents, a Pennsylvania nurse has been charged with helping her 93-year-old father commit suicide. Barbara Mancini allegedly handed her...more

10/15/2013 - Assisted Suicide Physician-Assisted Suicide Suicide

Digital Assets Raise Estate Planning Questions

More and more, we are conducting our business on the Internet, whether that's online banking, shopping at Amazon and other sites, uploading documents and files to the "cloud," posting videos on YouTube, or communicating with...more

10/14/2013 - Digital Assets Estate Planning

"Obamacare" Should Be of No Concern to Medicare Beneficiaries, Although Scammers May Tell You Otherwise

Starting October 1, 2013, people who lack health insurance can start signing up for coverage through the new Internet-based health insurance marketplaces set up under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Most of those...more

10/11/2013 - Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Exchanges Healthcare Medicare Scams

What the Recent Estate Tax Changes Mean to You

On January 2, 2013, President Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. This Act permanently sets the federal estate and gift tax exemption at $5 million per person ($10 million per couple), adjusted...more

3/15/2013 - American Taxpayer Relief Act Estate Tax Estate-Tax Exemption Gift-Tax Exemption

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