Estate & Trusts

Should I Enroll in Medicare If I’m Still Working?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Elder Law | 0 comments

Many people keep working well beyond age 65–the age when most people become eligible for Medicare. If your employer offers health coverage, do you need to enroll in Medicare? What if the employer offers or does not offer prescription drug benefits? Most workers probably should enroll in Medicare Part A, which is free for most people and covers institutional care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, as well as certain care given by home health agencies and care provided in hospices.  But ask your employer (or your spouse’s...

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Can Life Insurance Affect Your Medicaid Eligibility?

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Elder Law | 0 comments

In order to qualify for Medicaid, you can’t have more than $2,000 in assets (in most states). Many people forget about life insurance when calculating their assets, but depending on the type of life insurance and the value of the policy, it can count as an asset. Life insurance policies are usually either “term” life insurance or “whole” life insurance. If a Medicaid applicant has term life insurance, it doesn’t count as an asset and won’t affect Medicaid eligibility because this form of life insurance does...

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Should You Prepare a Medicaid Application Yourself?

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Elder Law, Estate Planning | 0 comments

Whether you should prepare and file a Medicaid application by yourself or should hire help depends on answers to the following questions: How old is the applicant? How complicated is the applicant’s financial situation? Is the individual applying for community or nursing home benefits? How much time do you have available? How organized are you? Medicaid is the health care program for individuals who do not have another form of insurance or whose insurance does not cover what they need, such as long-term care.  Many people rely on...

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Medicaid Annuities

Posted by on Mar 19, 2013 in Elder Law | 0 comments

Annuities Bought for Medicaid Applicant’s Spouse Are Neither Income Nor Resource A U.S. district court has held that the annuities a Medicaid applicant purchased for his wife cannot be considered as either assets or income when determining Medicaid eligibility.   Jackson v. Selig (U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. Ark., No. 3:10–CV–00276–BRW, March 13, 2013). Richard Jackson lived in a nursing home and applied for Medicaid benefits. The state denied Mr. Jackson’s application because he had more than $300,000 in available resources. Mr. Jackson...

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Do-It-Yourself Will Leads to Unwanted Result

Posted by on Mar 13, 2013 in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate Administration, Wills & Trusts | 0 comments

If you choose to write your own will, you run the risk of not having your estate distributed the way you want, as a recent Pennsylvania case illustrates. George Zeevering apparently wanted his estate to go to two of his five children. Instead of seeking out an elder law attorney to advise him on drawing up an estate plan, he decided to write his own will. The will gave his pickup truck to his daughter Diane and his summer property to his son Wayne. Mr. Zeevering also wrote in the will that he was intentionally leaving out his other three...

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Is It Better to Remarry or Just Live Together?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Elder Law, Estate Planning | 0 comments

Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting, but should it lead to marriage? The considerations are much different for an older couple with adult children and retirement plans than for a young couple just starting out. Before deciding whether to get married or just live together, you need to look at your estate plan, your Social Security benefits, and your potential long-term care needs, among other things. Whatever you decide to do, you may want to consult a lawyer to make sure your wishes will be carried out. Here are some...

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Long-Term Care Insurance Future Questionable

Posted by on Sep 24, 2012 in Elder Law | 0 comments

The future of long-term care insurance is uncertain and the viability of the market is in question, according to a new report by Moody’s Investors Service. Limited claims experience, long policy horizons, rising premiums and extreme market consolidation are all contributing to the indefinite outlook, writes Laura Bazer, Moody’s vice president and author of the report, “Long-Term Care Insurance: Sector Profile.” “Key credit considerations for the sector are the relative newness of long-term care insurance and the long-tailed and complex...

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Disinheriting A Relative

Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts | 0 comments

You may feel that you have given one child more during your life, so he or she should get less in your will. Or you may want to cut out an heir altogether. Whatever the reason, disinheriting a close relative–especially a spouse or a child–can be complicated. It generally is not possible to completely disinherit a spouse. Even if you don’t leave your spouse anything in your will, most states have laws that keep a spouse from losing everything — usually the spouse is entitled to one-half or one-third, depending upon...

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May Someone With Dementia Sign a Will?

Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts | 0 comments

Millions of people are affected by dementia, and unfortunately many of them do not have all their estate planning affairs in order before the symptoms start. If you or a loved one has dementia, it may not be too late to sign a will or other documents, but certain criteria must be met to ensure that the signer is mentally competent. In order for a will to be valid, the person signing must have “testamentary capacity,” which means he or she must understand the implications of what is being signed. Simply because you have a form of...

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Preventing a Will Contest

Posted by on Apr 20, 2012 in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts | 0 comments

Emotions can run high at the death of a family member. If a family member is unhappy with the amount they received (or didn’t receive) under a will, he or she may contest the will. Will contests can drag out for years, keeping all the heirs from getting what they are entitled to. It may be impossible to prevent relatives from fighting over your will entirely, but there are steps you can take to try to minimize squabbles and ensure your intentions are carried out. Your will can be contested if a family member believes you did not have...

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