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So far Elder Law Attorneys has created 319 blog entries.

Spousal Lifetime Annuity Trust – Lock in the Estate Tax Exemption to Benefit Your 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 (SLAT) can help transfer assets outside of your estate. The current federal estate tax exemption is $12.92 million for individuals and $25.84

How to Get Medicaid to Pay for Nursing Home Costs

Nursing homes in the Lehigh Valley cost $140,000 – $180,000 a year. Medicare and health insurance don’t pay for this. Fortunately, Medicaid does. But impoverishment is the price of admission into the Medicaid program.  While most spend themselves broke, a savvy few manage to qualify for Medicaid without forfeiting their estate.  One way to for

Estate Planning for Your Special Needs Child

Parents of a developmentally-disabled or otherwise incapacitated child bear a life-long burden of care.  In fact, after their child turns 18, it gets harder.  As an adult, the child is not permitted to continue participating in many programs that were available during school-age years. And adults with special needs encounter many challenges not faced as

What is “Long-Term Care” and Who Needs It?

“Long-term care” refers to those services and supports that help persons perform everyday tasks and personal care needs. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 70% of people who reach age 65 will need some form of long-term care during their lives.   Everyday Tasks Everyday tasks, also referred to as “instrumental

Power of Attorney – An Essential Estate Planning Tool

A Power of Attorney, often referred to as a “POA”, is a document you sign that allows you to appoint an “Agent” with legal authority to act on your behalf. Your Agent can then step in if you become incapacitated, are away, or otherwise unavailable to take needed action.   Don’t Confuse a POA with

How to Avoid Capital Gains Income Tax

Generally, when you sell an asset, its appreciation in value from its acquisition cost are it's “capital gains” that is subject to federal and state income taxation. Conversely, if the asset’s value at the time it is sold is less than what it cost to buy, the owner realizes a “capital loss” that often

“ABLE” Account -Financial Savings Tool for Special Needs Persons

An ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) account is a must-have savings tool for persons with special needs. It supplements but does not replace needed public benefits while often providing greater flexibility than available under a supplemental needs trust. The maximum amount that can be contributed each year to an ABLE account for a person

How Does Medicaid Treat Spouses of Nursing Home Residents?

Medicaid is the only public benefit program that pays for long-term nursing home care. Medicare and private health insurance don’t. But in order for Medicaid to pay you’ve got to be broke. Worse yet, if you’re married, your spouse, referred to as a “community spouse” must also be broke – almost. Spouses may keep a

Retirement Plan Required Minimum Distributions

IRA and other qualified retirement plans offer a unique opportunity for persons to amass, over their working lives, a retirement nest-egg that grows tax-deferred. But upon attaining age 72, an account holder must begin to annually take taxable required minimum distributions (RMDs).  The required beginning date is April 1 of the year after the account