Nursing Home Discrimination Against Medicaid Recipients

While it is illegal for a nursing home to discriminate against a Medicaid recipient, it still happens. To prevent such discrimination, nursing home residents and their families need to know their rights. The potential for discrimination arises because Medicaid pays nursing homes less than the facilities receive from residents who pay privately with their own funds and less than Medicare pays....

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Does Your Estate Plan Include An Unnecessary Bypass Trust?

A once-popular estate planning tool may now cost families more in taxes than it saves. Changes in the estate tax have made the “bypass trust” a less appealing option for many families.  If your estate plan includes a bypass trust not drafted by this office, you should reconsider its necessity because it could be doing more harm than good. (Our office typically drafts bypass drafts...

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Four Social Security Myths Debunked

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the Social Security system. Here are four common myths and the truth about how Social Security works and its future prospects. Myth 1: You Should Collect Benefits Early This is one of the biggest Social Security myths. In 2015, more than half of Social Security recipients began collecting benefits before their full retirement age (66 for those born...

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Last Chance to Use File and Suspend Strategy for Claiming Social Security Benefits

Time is running out to use a potentially very lucrative Social Security benefits-claiming strategy. Spouses will no longer be able to use the “file and suspend” strategy after April 29, 2016. Beware, however, that the new rules are causing confusion at some Social Security offices. The federal budget agreement that was signed in fall 2015 ended two Social Security strategies that...

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10 Ways the Elderly Can Avoid Financial Abuse

Increased dependency due to illness, disability or cognitive impairments can make seniors susceptible to financial abuse.  Nest eggs accumulated over decades also often make seniors attractive targets for predators, whether an offshore bogus sweepstakes or a care provider who sees an opportunity to be paid more than an hourly wage. Just as sunlight makes the best disinfectant, transparency...

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6 Things to Ask Before Agreeing to Be a Trustee

Being asked to serve as the trustee of the trust of a family member is a great honor. It means that the family member trusts your judgment and is willing to put the welfare of the beneficiary or beneficiaries in your hands.  But being a trustee is also a great responsibility. You need to go into it with your eyes wide open. Here are six questions to ask before saying “yes”: 1. May I...

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