Medicaid’s Attempt to Ensure the Healthy Spouse Has Enough Income: The MMMNA

Someone who qualifies for Medicaid to cover the cost of nursing home care mut pay his or her income over to the nursing home. The government picks up the rest of the cost. When most of a couple's income is in the name of the spouse who is receiving Medicaid, the spouse remaining in the

Make Sure Your Will and Other Essential Documents Are Safe from Disasters

It’s an unfortunate reality that with the increasing number of natural disasters across the country, including fires, floods, and hurricanes, the chance that you could lose your house and possessions has become more likely. In the event of such a calamity, it is important that your estate planning and other important documents are beyond reach

Receiving an Inheritance While on Medicaid

For most people, receiving an inheritance is something good, but for a nursing home resident on Medicaid, an inheritance will ordinarily result in that person losing his or her Medicaid benefits due to receipt of “excess resources.” In Pennsylvania, non-exempt countable assets of a Medicaid applicant or recipient in excess of $8,000 ($2,400 for persons

Medicaid – With A Community Spouse Annuity You Don’t Have to Wait Five Years

By Stanley M. Vasiliadis, Esq., CELA 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

Medicaid’s Home Care Waivers Can Help You Avoid a Nursing Home, But the Line May Be Long

Medicaid long-term care benefits are statutorily authorized only for nursing home care. But the law permits the federal government to grant “waivers” to states allowing them to expand Medicaid to include home and community-based services. Pennsylvania has such a program. The downside is that receiving care in a nursing home is an entitlement, while getting

New Tax Proposals Mean Some Should Review Their Estate Plans

A number of tax proposals being considered in Congress could significantly affect gifting and estate plans for those with larger estates -- over $3.5 million. If you're in that category, you might want to meet with your estate planner to take advantage of gifting opportunities that are available under the current law. Under Vermont senator Bernie

What Is a Fiduciary and What Are Its Obligations?

When you need someone else to care for money or property on your behalf, that person (or organization) is called a fiduciary.  A fiduciary is a person or entity entrusted with the power to act for someone else, and this power comes with the legal obligation to act for the benefit of that other person. Many

Be Careful Not to Name Minors as Your Beneficiaries

Most people want to pass their assets to their children or grandchildren, but naming a minor as a beneficiary can have unintended consequences. It is important to make a plan that doesn’t involve leaving assets directly to a minor. There are two main problems with naming a minor as the beneficiary of your estate

Using a Minority Valuation Discount to Reduce Estate Taxes

While the current estate tax exemption is quite high, a closely held family business may put your estate over the limit. Careful planning is necessary to lower or completely avoid the tax, and minority valuation discounts are one strategy. Families that want to pass on their business may run into the estate tax. Estates

How to Protect an IRA From Heirs’ Creditors

When a person declares bankruptcy, an individual retirement account (IRA) is one of the assets that is beyond the reach of creditors, but what about an IRA that has been inherited?  Resolving a conflict between lower courts, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014 unanimously ruled that funds held in an inherited IRA are not exempt from creditors