Studies have found that workers overestimate how much they will receive in Social Security benefits when they retire. Having a good understanding of the realities can help you plan for retirement.
While everyone should have a durable power of attorney that appoints someone to act for them if they become incapacitated, in some circumstances it is not enough. In these cases, a revocable trust can help.
The amount you can gift to any one person without filing a gift tax form is increasing to $16,000 in 2022, the first increase since 2018. The federal estate tax exclusion is also climbing to more than $12 million per individual.
The Biden administration is moving forward with a pilot program that would hand over the care of millions of Medicare beneficiaries to private, mostly for-profit, groups.
Disagreements with a nursing home can arise regarding any number of topics, including the quality of food, troublesome roommates, lack of privacy, or services not meeting what was promised. Many disputes can be resolved by speaking with a nursing home staff member, supervisor, or moving up the chain of command. But if you can't resolve things within the nursing home, your next step should be to contact the local ombudsman assigned to the nursing home.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the amounts taxpayers of different ages can deduct from their 2022 income as a result of buying long-term care insurance, and the figures are almost the same as in 2021.
No one wants to see a loved one become unable to make decisions for him or herself. If this happens, however, the court may appoint a substitute decision maker, often called a "guardian," but in some states called a "conservator" or other term. A guardian is only appointed as a last resort if other, less restrictive, alternatives, such as a power of attorney, are not in place or are not working.
When the SSA closed its field offices at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it remained open for the purposes of denying benefits. But, plaintiffs say, the agency was effectively shut for low-income elderly adults and people with disabilities who needed to validate claims, or who sought to challenge the agency’s denial of their claims. The result: thousands of beneficiaries whose benefits were wrongfully reduced or discontinued, according to the suit.
Medicaid long-term care benefits traditionally pay mainly for nursing home care, but the federal government can grant “waivers” to states allowing them to expand Medicaid to include home and community-based services. The downside is that receiving care in a nursing home is an entitlement, while getting care at home is not.
Medicare Premiums to Increase Dramatically in 2022Medicare Premiums to Increase Dramatically in 2022
Medicare premiums are rising sharply next year, cutting into the large Social Security cost-of-living increase. The basic monthly premium will jump 15.5 percent, or $21.60, from $148.50 to $170.10 a month.
Marriage is supposed to be “until death do us part,” but after one spouse dies, is it possible for a court to declare a marriage invalid (annulled)? It can be happen, as a Nebraska widower recently learned, but only in certain circumstances.
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.
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.
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":
I reviewed a POA recently for a new client. I was shocked to see a provision in the POA that was completely inappropriate for this client. This particular POA prohibited the making of gifts in excess of the annual gift tax exclusion.
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.
In order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits a nursing home resident may have no more than $2,000 in "countable" assets (the figure may be somewhat higher in some states). Note that Medicaid is a state-run program, so the rules are somewhat different in each state (especially California), although there are federal guidelines.
This year, Social Security benefits will rise 5.9 percent, the sharpest upsurge since 1983’s 7.4 percent jump.
Every year Medicare gives beneficiaries a window of opportunity to shop around and determine if their current Medicare plan is still the best one for them. During Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7, beneficiaries can freely enroll in or switch plans.
Every time I help a client with estate planning, we have the "talk" about how to handle bank accounts. Here is a discussion of the relative merits of different methods for handling bank accounts in estate planning, from best to worst.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case disputing how much states can recoup from Medicaid recipients’ settlements in personal injury cases. The decision has the potential to affect anyone who receives government assistance with their medical care following a disabling injury that results in a lawsuit.
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.
I get this question all of the time - do I HAVE to hire an attorney to help me purchase a home (or a residential lot). The answer is there is no law that requires it, but it is a really good idea, and the cost in pretty nominal compared to what it will cost to fix problems that arise later due to not having legal representation.
Britney Spears’ legal fight to wrest back control over her personal and financial affairs has flooded the issue of guardianship in Klieg lights.
As life circumstances change (births, marriages, divorces, and deaths), it may become necessary to make changes to your will. If an estate plan is not kept up-to-date, it can become useless.