Articles

IRS Announces Higher 2019 Estate And Gift Tax Limits

The Internal Revenue Service announced today the official estate and gift tax limits for 2019: The estate and gift tax exemption is $11.4 million per individual, up from $11.18 million in 2018. That means an individual can leave $11.4 million to heirs and pay no federal estate or gift tax, while a married couple will

Charitable Giving Options Under the New Tax Law

The new tax law makes it harder to claim a tax deduction for charitable contributions. While charitable giving should not be only about getting a tax break, if you want to reap a tax benefit from your contributions, there are a couple of options. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, nearly

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2019

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is increasing the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2019 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance. Premiums for "qualified" long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 7.5 percent of the

Medicare’s Different Treatment of the Two Main Post-Hospital Care Options

Hospital patients who need additional care after being discharged from the hospital are usually sent to either an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) or a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Although these facilities may look similar from the outside, Medicare offers very different coverage for each. While you may not have complete say in where you go

Elder Law Alert: Department of Veterans Affairs Makes Sweeping Changes to VA Pension and Aid & Attendance Benefit

By Dionysios Pappas, Vasiliadis Pappas Associates LLC Introduction VA Pension benefits are “nonservice connected” disability benefits that provide a monthly tax-free income to eligible wartime veterans and their surviving spouses. A married veteran can receive up to $2,169/month, a single veteran up to $1,830, and a surviving spouse up to $1,176. Pension benefits are particularly

Six Things to Consider Before Making Gifts to Grandchildren

Grandparents often are particularly generous to grandchildren as they see their family’s legacy continuing on to a new generation. In many cases, grandparents feel they have ample resources and their children or grandchildren may be struggling financially. Assistance with summer camp fees, college tuition, wedding costs or the downpayment on a first home, can relieve

Always Put Caregiver Contracts in Writing

When hiring a caregiver, it is important to put the contract in writing. Courts can be especially strict about requiring contracts when caregivers are relatives, but a formal agreement is still necessary even if the caregiver is not a relative.  A recent Michigan court ruling illustrates how failing to document an agreement with a non-relative caregiver

Questions to Ask Before Buying Long-Term Care Insurance

When long-term care insurance first became available, there were few customers. The product was full of holes, untested, and overpriced. Not surprisingly people took a wait-and-see attitude, mainly because it took a while for most people to even become familiar with the need for this type of protection. Fortunately, insurers have responded with significant product

Hybrid Policies Allow You to Have Your Long-Term Care Insurance Cake and Eat It, Too

As long-term care insurance premiums rise and fewer companies offer policies, alternatives to traditional long-term care insurance policies are springing up.  Previously, we wrote about annuity “doublers” that help pay for long-term care. Another increasingly popular hybrid product combines life insurance with long-term care coverage and offers buyers solutions to a number of problems that have kept people from

The New Tax Law Means It’s Time to Review Your Estate Plan

While the new tax law doubles the federal estate tax exemption, meaning the vast majority of estates will not have to pay any federal estate tax, it doesn't mean you should ignore its impact on your estate plan. In December 2017, Republicans in Congress and President Trump doubled the federal estate tax exemption to $11.18 million