Can a Trust Provide Medicaid Asset Protection?

Estate planning is a diverse endeavor. What is ideal for one person may not suit the next, and this is something that you should understand when you are planning your estate. You have many different options, and the ideal course of action will vary on a case-by-case basis. With the above in mind, there are a number of different types of trusts that can be utilized. The right choice will depend upon your objectives. The basic distinction between trusts is the matter of revocation rights. Revocable living trusts are very popular, because they facilitate efficient asset transfers, but you do not lose control of the assets while you are living. You can initially act as the trustee and the beneficiary, so you control the actions of the trust while you are alive and well. When you create the trust, you create a trust agreement. In this agreement you name a successor trustee to administer the trust after you die, and you also name successor beneficiaries. After your passing, the successor tr

Will Medicare Pay for All of My Health Care Expenses?

When you are planning for retirement, you should be aware of what you can expect from the Medicare program. Medicare is a government health insurance program that is intended to provide coverage for senior citizens. You gain eligibility for Medicare coverage by accumulating retirement credits while you are working and paying taxes. At the time of this writing in 2014, you get one credit for every $1200 that you earn. The maximum annual accrual is four credits. Once you have accumulated 40 credits, you will qualify for Medicare coverage when you reach the age of 65 under currently existing laws. Medicare will certainly be of great assistance if you qualify, but there are limitations. There are significant out-of-pocket expenses that you should prepare for in advance. There is a deductible for inpatient hospital stays, and there can be co-payments for long stays. You have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B coverage. This is the portion of the program that pays for visits to ph

When Will My Heirs Receive Their Inheritances?

You probably want your heirs to receive their inheritances in a timely manner after you pass away. If you feel this way, you should be aware of the facts, because there can be misconceptions. The last will is the most commonly utilized vehicle of asset transfer in the field of estate planning. If you use a last will to facilitate future asset transfers, the heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances right after you pass away. The will must be admitted to probate, and there is a proving of the will. The probate court examines the will to determine its validity, and the court will ultimately supervise the administration of the estate. This process does not run its course overnight. The exact duration of the process will vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances. An uncomplicated case will typically pass through probate in a little bit under a year. Timely Asset Transfers It is possible to proactively implement probate avoidance strategies. There are a number of

What Are the Different Types of Special Needs Trusts?

The process of estate planning involves careful decision-making. You should act in an intelligent and informed manner so that you do not make mistakes that cause unintended negative consequences. With this in mind, we will look at special needs trusts in this post. People With Disabilities There is no one-size-fits-all estate plan, because every family is different, and every person is unique. When you have someone with a disability in the family, you should certainly act in a measured fashion when you are putting your estate plan together. Individuals who have special needs are typically enrolled in the Medicaid program. Medicaid is a health insurance program that is jointly administered by the federal government along with each respective state government. The Medicaid program is designed for people who have significant financial need. As such, if you want to qualify, you must be able to meet the income and asset requirements. For an individual, the asset limit in most states is jus

What Is the Difference Between SSDI and SSI?

You see a veritable jumble of acronyms referred to when you are looking into legal subjects. These acronyms make it easy to talk about concepts, programs and legal devices that have wordy titles. In this post we will look at two of them: SSDI and SSI. Social Security Disability Insurance When you are working, you invariably see a chunk of your pay devoted to something called FICA. This is the portion of your tax dollar that goes toward Medicare and Social Security. If you pay into the program sufficiently throughout your working career, you will become eligible when you reach the appropriate age. To qualify for Medicare and Social Security you accumulate retirement credits. You can earn up to four credits per year, and you become eligible when you have accrued at least 40 credits. In 2014, taxpayers get one credit for every $1200 that they earn. The age of eligibility for Medicare is 65, and your age of full eligibility for Social Security depends on your year of birth. People born be

Is There a National Organization of Elder Law Attorneys?

Elder law is a very important legal specialty right now. This is the area of the law that specifically focuses on senior issues. Why is elder law particularly relevant at the present time? An unprecedented aging of the population is underway, and many people who are approaching their senior years have legal questions. It would be wise to discuss your future with an elder law attorney if you are concerned about the eventualities of aging. There are a number of pressing elder law issues during our current era, and you should take steps to prepare yourself. Long-Term Care Expenses A government agency tells us that seven out of every 10 people who are reaching the age of 65 at the present time will someday need long-term care. Living assistance is very expensive, with the average annual charge for a private room in a nursing home in Connecticut exceeding $100,000. The average length of stay is over two years, and 10 percent of seniors in nursing homes remain in the facilities for at least

What Is Capital Gains Tax?

Taxation may be a major concern for you when you are devising an estate plan, and rightly so. It can seem as though you have paid enough taxes throughout your life, and your estate is comprised of assets that you have left after paying these taxes. However, whether it is fair or not, there are taxes on asset transfers. There is a federal estate tax, and it carries a 40 percent maximum rate. The federal estate tax exclusion is $5.34 million in 2014. This is the amount that you can transfer tax-free to people other than your spouse. Because of the unlimited marital deduction, you can transfer unlimited assets to your spouse free of taxation. We practice law in the state of Connecticut. In Connecticut there is a state-level estate tax. The exclusion for the Connecticut state estate tax is just $2 million, and the top rate is 12 percent. Since this exclusion is considerably lower, you could be exposed to the Connecticut tax even if you are exempt from the federal estate tax. If you are ex

Can Medicaid Take My Home?

When you plan ahead for retirement, you probably think about the active, golden years. This period of time can be quite enjoyable if you take the right steps along the way. At the same time, you should also consider the twilight years that will follow. According to a government agency, a significant majority of senior citizens will eventually need help with their day-to-day needs. Medicare will not pay for long-term care, but Medicaid will cover these costs if you can qualify. In this post we will provide some facts about Medicaid planning and Medicaid recovery. Measured Divestitures Medicaid is a need-based program. There are income and asset limits that you must stay within if you want to qualify for coverage. You could give away assets to qualify for Medicaid. Many people essentially give their children inheritances in advance. It would be logical to take a wait-and-see approach. You could hold on to your assets and give them your children if and when you find out that you need lon

What is a Step-Up In Basis?

When you plan your estate, you may wonder about taxes that may be applicable. There is a federal estate tax, and it carries a $5.34 million exclusion in 2014. If the value of your estate does not exceed this amount, you do not have to worry about federal estate tax exposure. On the other hand, if you want to transfer more than $5.34 million, the estate tax looms large. The maximum rate of the federal estate tax is 40 percent. We practice law in the state of Connecticut. In our state there is a state-level estate tax. At the present time the exclusion is just $2 million. As a result,  you could be exempt from the federal estate tax, but exposed to the Connecticut state estate tax. Inheritance Tax An estate tax is levied on the entirety of the taxable portion of the estate in question. An inheritance tax is levied on transfers to each nonexempt inheritor. There is no federal inheritance tax, but there are a few states in the union that have state-level inheritance taxes. Fortunately, t